We celebrated your birthday last Wednesday, and even after a year I do not have the ability to fully express to you what you have brought to my life. I remember telling your daddy on Christmas Day that we were pregnant, and we were both excited but had no idea how much our lives would change when you were born.
From the beginning, you were a challenge; my pregnancy with you was really hard, and there were a lot of problems. Several times I was sure we were losing you because I kept having major bleeding, and I had every possible malady known to pregnant women. Morning sickness, the bleeding, a constant bladder infection, kidney infections, weight loss, stuffy nose…you name it, I probably had it. On the day we had you, I went to the doctor for my appointment and cried as I begged him to not make me go through one more week of this. He admitted me in for an induction at 38 weeks, because I was contracting and at 5 cm when I went in. Within an hour, they were wheeling us down the hallway with the doctor on the bed holding your head up off the umbilical cord, headed for an emergency c-section. Minutes later, there you were, with your full head of hair and your dazed eyes, and I was instantly besotted.
We went through colic, and your daddy and I took turns walking the floor with you. When you weren’t crying, you were nursing, and some days it felt like I was chained to the couch with you attached to my nipple. I tried to go back to work and it lasted less than three months, because you hated the bottle and would cry at daycare most of the afternoon; you just needed me, your mama. I used to call you my little limpet baby, attached to me at all times.
Still, with all of the challenges, I will tell you that I cannot imagine not having you. You are completely different from any of the other kids, and have forced me to stretch and grow in ways I had not envisioned. You have refuse to allow me to harden my heart in order to leave you so i could work, you have not let me become complacent and blase, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t count my blessings, even on the days where all I can do is cry with you.
We are so lucky, all of us. The boys have all had to learn patience and develop the ability to help you cope as you navigate through life. They have been and will be your protectors, your strongest allies, your big brothers. Your big sister has been so happy to finally have a little sister, and that fact that you are a year younger than your niece makes us all laugh. You were wrapped around your daddy’s finger from the second they pulled you out of me, and he still talks about how amazing it was to be the first to hold and kiss you.
The pictures are in reverse order because I see you the way you are now, but underneath the now is the before, the tiny baby and the slightly bigger baby and the way you first looked when you smiled. Every day has come together to bring us to where you are, at the end of the first year. We love you, Miss Josie, and we are so grateful you are with us. Happy, happy day.