I can't believe a year ago today you were born. I remember being up in the morning about this same time last year on Easter with contractions. I thought my stomach was just acting up until I realized the pain was lasting about a minute and was coming every 5 minutes or so. The day you were born is still so fresh in my mind I remember almost everything...
I remember the look on my doula Casey's face when she saw me hunched over the toilet in the bathroom. I remember rolling around on the exercise ball in the living room while your dad was trying to make breakfast for everyone. I remember when Casey deemed it time to head to the hospital and my mom trying to take a picture of us with her camera phone while I patiently tried to smile through the agony of a contraction before leaving the house.
I remember the triage of the hospital. How they made us wait alone in there until they realized that yes I was in labor and I could be admitted. No one even gave me a ride in a wheelchair up to the birthing room because I still don't think they were convinced entirely I was in labor. I remember getting into the bathtub where I immediately felt better because it was like a little cave I could hide in. No one else was in the room for awhile except me, Casey, Chad and our friend Kelsey who just happened to be working at the hospital that Sunday. They all sat outside the tub and watched me for hours. Your heart beat was like a sound machine for the room once they hooked up a monitor to me. I still remember that "thump thump" echo sound letting us know you were ok and would soon be here to great us.
|with the midwife ann who delivered you|
I remember getting out of the tub and trying to push when they said it was time. There was so much pain then but my motivation was to bring you earth side. I pushed on my side for awhile then on my back and I knew it wouldn't be long. There were times I wanted to give up because the pain was too great. I could feel everything and I know I shed a few tears and screamed so much my throat was sore for days afterwards. They told me to feel for your head as they thought that would motivate me. What a strange thing for you to be half earth side and half in utero for awhile there. Did you know what was happening? Did you know where you were going? Was it as hard for you as it was for me to make the journey to see each other for the first time?
Our 39 week journey together came to an end with the midwife saying, "reach down and grab your baby." I pulled you out and on to my chest where we both cried. I think it took a few minutes for me to get it together enough to hold you up and see what I already knew in my heart..that you were a girl.
You were my Charlotte. A name I had picked out before I ever even knew my desire to have you in my life. Eight hours was all it took to bring you into this world and I will never forget how happy I was to have one journey come to an end so a new chapter could begin.
I remember eating a plate full of strawberries after you were born. They told me I could order any food I wanted and that's what I ate. This weekend we had your first birthday party and that is the type of cake we had for you...strawberry. The irony is not lost on me. In a year I have watched you grow from a helpless infant to a stubborn, curious and watchful toddler. Your skin is no longer yellow with jaundice, but a beautiful pale white. You still have blue eyes and no hair that much has stayed the same. You are still watchful of everything around you and so strong and determined. You make me laugh and smile every day. You can wave, pull up on furniture, you have 4 teeth and you charm everyone you meet. You are our char char binks, our babylove, our llama, our Charlie, our Charlotte.
I remember so much from the day you were born and how aware and real it became that first night we spent together. Your cries and noises you made letting us know we'd never be alone again. A year later, you now sleep in your own room but I am always aware of your presence. I never sleep as hard or as long as I did before you.
|with your doula Casey who helped bring you in this world|
This weekend we celebrated you with a Charlotte's web themed party. Everyone was there to celebrate you and your life. Congratulations you made it a year on this earth. You won't remember your party but that's ok....we and all our friends will remember it for you. I had everyone sign a copy of Charlotte's Web so years from now when we read it together you will see those signatures and well wishes and know you are just as loved as you were the day you were born. The party was all for you and created from a place of love. I hope you felt surrounded by it and know how many people are rooting for you as you grow.
As a parent my job is to be the keeper of your stories. To remember for you and create memories and moments for you. I hope I am doing a good job. I can't make every second wonderful but I will remember it all for you....the good an the bad and we will fill in the chapters of the story of your life for you. I will re-read them to you someday should you start to forget....you can reread them for me when I am old and do the same.
Happy first birthday my baby love. I cannot believe a year has already gone by. I am so thankful and proud to call you my daughter. Let's enjoy each day on this next journey together around the sun. Let's write the next chapter together and fill it with love...
|first family photo|