364 days ago

…Was the day before I met you.

It was my first day of maternity leave. I had a week before your due date and spent the day at the DMV with your dad. Their computers went down, causing a crazy long wait, and I had to leave for a while to get food while dad stayed.

For dinner, we went to get sushi. We got a ridiculous dessert called The Ninja (or something equally stupid) and I was full beyond capacity.

A few hours later, my body sent your eviction notice, and by midnight we were at the hospital.

And then we got discharged.

“Not active labor,” was the verdict. Which anyone who’s been there knows is the kiss of death to any remaining composure in a woman who is nine months pregnant.

“YOU MEAN TO TELL ME WHAT I’M FEELING ISN’T REAL LABOR?!” Because I’m pretty sure it felt like an elephant was dancing on my spine. No worries though, I got a sweet Scottsdale Healthcare water cup as a consolation prize.

So we went home, defeated. Dad got some sleep and I cried and sat on an exercise ball all night. I remember messaging with Leslie, Ally and Jennelle, and probably several others in half consciousness, before finally going to the doctor when they opened.

The rest, as they say, is history. Herstory.

You arrived without much of a fuss at 6:55 p.m., and here we are.

Here we are, sitting in your nursery. You’ve been asleep in my arms for a half hour but I’m not ready to put you in your crib. It’s silly, but part of me is resisting bedtime tonight because it feels like a teensy part of the “baby” you will be gone tomorrow. You’re standing and taking steps and gosh darnit – do I have to stop referring to you as a baby now that you can toddle? More importantly, is toddle a word?

It’s insane to think of the events of the past year. The hours spent rocking in this chair. The tears, laughter, fear and joy. The pediatrician visits, frantic runs to Walgreen’s and SO MUCH GOOGLING.

There were moments where I didn’t think I could do this another hour. I doubted myself in ways that felt ugly and dark. But somehow, there was always a light at the end of those hard days.

I don’t think anyone has to have kids. And I know our lives could have felt full without you. Full of plans and things and adventures, unhinged freedom of time and thought. But I believe our souls would lack the same depth and meaning that we have today, because of you.

So I’m sitting here in the dark, writing this on my phone, listening to your soft breaths and reflecting. You always lay one hand on my chest as you fall asleep and there’s something purely humbling about holding a sleeping baby. Even the fussiest, wildest ones are completely peaceful as they slumber. Once again tiny and vulnerable, once again all parts baby.

We’ve gone through a lot this year, and always done our very best. Never perfect, but always better one day to the next.

Happy almost birthday, sweet girl.

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