One year ago today was the eve of my daughter's birth. We don't have a crazy story of frantically rushing to the hospital at 2 am, or giving birth in our bathroom like these friends, or anything remotely close to labor at home. Instead, we calmly got in the car and headed to the hospital that afternoon at the predetermined time to begin the induction process. I was 5 days past my due date with low amniotic fluid, and my doctor didn't want me to wait any longer. Michael and I both wrote our experiences of Ellie's birth, here and here. The best lesson I learned was that I simply didn't care how she got here, only that she arrived, safe and perfectly healthy. We were blessed in these circumstances.
Tomorrow is my baby's first birthday. I've been struggling to even sort my thoughts and emotions around this. I have a one year old. Michael and I and Ellie make up a family. After years of struggle and waiting and hoping, we finally were blessed with the birth and presence of Ellie Grace.
And she's amazing. I know, I'm her mom, so it's easy to disregard my opinion at first, but it's true. From the beginning we've been blessed. She's a good eater (after a lot of hard work and stubbornness and dedication to the cause at the beginning), and now eats just about anything I put in front of her. A good sleeper. A happy, joyful baby, now almost toddler. She is an extrovert that loves people and smiles joyously at just about anyone who will give her attention. I already see glimpses of empathy in her, as she cries when other babies cry and loves to share her prized possessions, such as half eaten cheerios. She travels well and rarely fusses, even when sick or without her nap. Her teeth have popped in (she's up to eight) without much notice or change in her behavior while teething. We've been blessed with an extremely good-natured baby. We're almost spoiled by how low-maintenance she's been (we often wonder if our next child will be a hellion).
She squeals with ecstatic delight at the mere mention of "daddy." And doggies. (We're still working on mommy). She loves her baby dolls ("bee-bee", her newest word) and rocks them and kisses them and snuggles with them.
She loves to roll balls. She has several and could sit on the floor and roll them back and forth all day. We predict a future athlete. :) She loves books and will sit in our laps numerous times throughout the day and point out shapes and animals and her newest favorite, clocks. Yes, clocks.
In the past week or two she started doling out kisses to anyone and everyone who asks, and even to those who don't. Yesterday she even blew kisses. In case you are wondering, yes, my child is a genius. I believe that's the clinical term.
I laugh alongside her throughout our day. She's a chatterbox. Not that I know what she's saying, but I believe she's a bit of a verbal processor like her momma. And we giggle and laugh and find joy in opening and closing lids and feeding her babies their "bottles" and banging drums and dancing to music. Oh yes, Ellie loves to dance. She bounces up and down and smiles wide whenever music with a beat can be heard.
My heart is full to overflowing. I am blessed and grateful for this petite bundle of joy and energy. I am amazed at the intense pride and connection I have had with her since the moment I first laid eyes on her, and yet, it grows even more with each passing discovery and new word and cheesy grin.
Yes, I'm a first time mom and my baby is my world. Yes, I'm that mom that takes a zillion pictures of everything (I blame it on the scrapbooker inside me). Yes, I'm that mom who couldn't be more proud of my baby for figuring out how to open and close her barn, or how to stack two blocks on top of each other. I burst with pride this morning as she stacked her wooden shapes onto the wooden pegs. I will freely admit that I'm simply in love with my little girl. I miss her when she's sleeping or when I'm away from her (not that I don't look forward to or enjoy my down time, because I do). I love being a mommy. I was made for this.
I can't wait to see what year two will bring.