I'm a lover of words, coffee and tequila. Lucky to be living my happily ever after as a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos and one crazy dog.

On The Day You Were Born...

Dear Grace, 

You are a blink of an eye away from turning two.
I can't tell you the way just thinking those words crash right through my heart.
I'm so proud of all you've become. But I'm heartbroken at how fast time is racing by.
Your daddy always jokes that in 14 short years, you'll be asking to borrow the car.
I never laugh, because I know that he's right.

I wanted to tell you the story of the day you were born. I'd like to make a tradition of telling you about it on every birthday. Someday, the idea of you being brought into this world by anything but the stork will disgust you. That's probably about the time this tradition will go on hiatus. But when you start having children of your very own, you will want to know every detail. And by then, I will certainly have forgotten all but the best parts.

I will have forgotten about how the entire world took on a new tint when we learned you were going to be born. Here were people shopping for groceries, and we were getting ready to have a baby. We told everyone that we knew that you were coming, including every cashier we encountered that day. I will have forgotten that Daddy parked at the wrong entrance of the hospital and I refused to get back in the car so we had to walk the whole way around the building. Then the elevator to the labor and delivery floor was broken.
I will have forgotten the pain (thank goodness) and how Daddy broke the showerhead at the hospital trying to adjust the pressure, so that scalding hot water was beating endlessly against my back and I didn’t even care. Once you were born and I went to use the bathroom, the ceiling was leaking. I will have forgotten that I had the thought while in the shower alone that I hoped Daddy thought you were perfect because I was not ever doing this again.   I will have forgotten how I demanded an epidural because I thought you were going to take hours to arrive (when in reality, I was moments away from delivering you) and when the anesthesiologist peaked his head in the room and saw you screeching, he said “Guess you don’t need me, good job”. I will have forgotten how I thought that he was really lucky that you were so beautiful because I might have stood up and kicked him in the shins. I will have forgotten how Mimi actually pushed Daddy out of the way to be by my side for your grand entrance.  I will have forgotten that Grandpa didn’t even make it to the waiting room when he heard you cry for the first time. I will have forgotten that because I was scheduled to be induced the next day, Oma & Pops & Gram and Auntie had all turned off their cell phones. They weren’t expecting a call until the following day, so no one was around to answer the phone and Dad paced the hall finding someone to tell that you were here. He finally reached Grandma & Pepere in Connecticut and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sound so proud.

You were born in the very early hours of Wednesday, April 15th, 2009. I was scheduled to be induced at 8:30 that morning. The original due date I was given was March 5th. I was also told you would be a boy. I don't need to go into detail about that debacle, because I promise I will NEVER forget about it.
When our doctor told us that I was "favorable" for induction & already 3 cm dilated, Daddy and I were thrilled. I asked the doctor what the chances were that I would have you on my own before 8:30 am tomorrow, he almost laughed in my face. Naturally, I believed him. That was my first mistake.
We spent the day calling practically everyone we knew telling them the good news. We actually jumped up and down on our bed in excitement.
This, in retrospect, was probably my second mistake.

We already had plans for dinner at a friends house, so we decided to go anyway. I remember distinctly feeling that whip crack of pain, my first genuine contraction. As I doubled over, I thought, "hmm. That's probably not good". Determined to wait until we were scheduled to be at the hospital, I didn't tell anyone. I forged ahead&enjoyed a delicious meal that has since been dubbed "the birthing burgers". On the way home, my anxiety kicked into over-drive. I worried that you might have an extra arm that ultrasounds had somehow missed. That you would be born less than perfectly healthy. That you might look too much like an alien. That you might not love me. That I might somehow be the world's worst mother.  Daddy told me we would love you anyway. (Turns out, he was right).

When we got home, there was work to be done because, you know, we were having a baby the next day and all. I tried to keep busy by putting clean sheets on the bed. Before the job was even finished, I knew something serious was happening. Your dad was watching (of all things) WWE wrestling on TV. This was not really a habit of his then- and it definitely isn't now, because I can't even hear the announcers voice without getting ptsd-esque flashbacks. I decided to "hop in the shower" where I spent the next 40 or so minutes trying not to panic as it slowly became painfully (pun intended) apparent that I was actually in labor.

We tried to time contractions. We failed because even as Daddy crawled in bed to hold me & comfort me (achingly sweet gesture, until I realized he had actually fallen asleep and subsequently wanted to kick or pinch him. Hard), I was too busy being in pain to tell him when I was having a contraction and although he is a lot of things, he is not a mind reader. Turns out I was having back labor, so I didn't really have a break between contractions. Thanks for that.

Daddy wanted to call the doctor. I wanted to be ABSOLUTELY SURE I was in labor before we called.  I'm not quite certain what kind of proof I was looking for, but when I ran to the bathroom to throw up for the third time (that’s a lovely little part of labor that we like to call transition, or a special little circle of hell), Daddy whispered into his cell phone to the doctor on call that he thought we should go to the hospital. The doctor told him that I probably had a virus, that he should tell me to take some Tylenol and “see what happens”. Daddy replied that he didn’t want to see what happens, because he was fairly certain that what would happen would be a baby.  The doctor exasperatedly agreed to let us come in, for some IV fluids so I didn’t get dehydrated. Thank goodness that Daddy was so persistent, or you would have been born in our kitchen.

We arrived at Portsmouth Hospital around 10:30 pm. My water broke at about 11:15. You were born at 1:33 am. I told Mimi that I thought I needed to push & then subsequently told her not to tell the nurse (I was so helpful and facilitating thought this whole process, huh?). The nurse (who’s name was Lou & I will never forget her) decided to check me, with a roll of her eyes, to appease me and realized, one gloved, that we were “having a baby”. She pleaded with me not to push and called first for the OB GYN and then for any doctor in the ER. There was no warming table, no scale in the room. Nothing. And after about 5 pushes (which I made absolutely no attempt to stop, I’ll have you know) you were here. Lou caught you one handed, as she didn’t have any time to put on a second glove.  I asked if you were ok, as you didn’t cry right away (you’ve been making up for that ever since). You were immediately placed on my chest and your first out of utero act was to poop all over me. I was so elated I barely even noticed. Then the doctor arrived. Clearly, you were far too busy and important to wait for him.

This is the part I won’t ever forget. You stared up at me, alert and so alive. Your eyes were somehow wise, as if we were meeting again after a long absence. You were strong as you grasped my finger and searched for my breast. You made Mimi & Grandpa cry, but I, who cries at Hallmark commercials, had no tears. You had made me stronger. Equal parts wise and clueless in one fell swoop.  I didn’t feel as though I was meeting you for the very first time, because I had confided in you for nine months. Told you my fears. Laughed as you rippled across my belly.  I felt as though I had found my best friend. That we were together at last, where everyone could see for themselves how special, how brilliant you were.

I won’t ever forget those first few days. How our hospital room was constantly full to the point of explosion, full of people who marveled at your perfection and who love you still to this day. How we didn’t sleep for almost 48 hours, functioning on the fuel of our excitement. I can still will myself to feel that calm and still of the first morning, before any visitors arrived and it was just the three of us, as a family, in that small hospital room with sunshine streaming in through the windows, oblivious to the world marching on without us. When our life gets crazy, when I forget to breathe and feel like I might teeter over the edge, I reclaim that moment, hold it in my mind and my heart. 

Thanks for making your way into this world far easier than the 9 months that preceeded it. Mostly, just thank you. 
Love you to the moon & back, 

Always yours,

You pulled my trigger

The song that rang out was so pretty and new

How did you get so wise

With one look in my eyes

I guess that's what angels can do 

Fairytale Dreams...

In which I don't even attempt to reign in my wordiness or edit my thoughts and just get honest...