Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To my beautiful girl...

Every day you get bigger and older.  Every day you seem a little different than the day before.  Every day I seem to find more love for you, and just when I think that I can't love you more, I surprise myself and I do love you more.

It seems like a lifetime ago when I found out I was pregnant with you.  And let me tell you, being pregnant with you was one of the best, most magical experiences in my lifetime thus far.  I hear songs that remind me of the time I was pregnant.  I am somewhere and suddenly I am reminded when I was there while I was pregnant. I will never be able to live that period again, but if I could, I would drop everything in a heartbeat to be able to carry you everywhere with me, to feel that beautiful again.

It was a cloudy morning at the beginning of June.  The digital readout only took about 10 seconds to blink the word "Pregnant".  I have to say that I was in shock, trying to realize what just happened.  I went to the Westside Market alone.  I walked in those early hours by myself, smiling to no one but myself, knowing that I had a truly beautiful secret that no one at the market knew.  I knew about you.

I felt like I was pretty ambivalent during the first three weeks.  I wasn't really connected to the pregnancy.  I didn't want to enjoy the idea because I didn't want to jinx myself into having something terrible happen.  I felt that if something would happen, I would just think that it wasn't the right time and move on easily.  I didn't want to speak the words out loud for fear that I would grow to love you and then something terrible would happen.  I honestly thought that I didn't care.  The day before my first appointment with our doctor, I started bleeding.  I told Youssef, my work bestie, and he expressed true concern.  I shrugged it off, thinking "I'm not really invested in this yet, so it's okay."  As I went back into the bathroom, I sat down and thought, "This is it."

And I began to sob.  My body physically shaking because I realized that I didn't want to lose you.  That in those three weeks, I did attach myself to the idea of you in some unconscious level.  I wasn't ready to let you go.  Even though my appointment was for the next day, I called my doctor's office.  The triage nurse told me that if I should take it easy, nothing strenuous, lay in bed all night.  And that unless the bleeding got worse, they would see me the next morning.  I laid in bed that night with E by my side and I cried because I was scared.  E said the only thing that came to mind "It's okay."

At the appointment, I went in alone.  We got situated in the room and Dr. Emery started looking for you.  I held my breath the entire time, not wanting to hear the bad news.  Then all of a sudden, he stopped for a moment and said "Congratulations, Mom."  There on the little screen was a single pixel blinking, flashing a little life that was still growing inside of me.  The nurse brought E in and he, too, saw your little heart beating away.  I'm not going to lie and say that it didn't take him a while to come around to the thought of having a little baby.  But I knew that he just needed to come to terms with it in his own time (and he did).

We told my parents on my & my dad's birthday (yep, we share the same birthday).  I gave him a book with a picture of the ultrasound in the front.  My mom cried and cried.  Your aunt, Mandy, also cried.  She was very pregnant with your cousin Owen at the time.  When I told my mom about the terrible morning sickness that I had with you, she instantly knew you were a girl.  There was no doubt in her mind that you were a girl. I, on the other hand, thought you were a boy -- right up until that ultrasound in October.

The first time that I felt you move was a Saturday.  I was watching the Ohio State Buckeyes football game.  Then I felt this movement that I can only describe as a kernel of popcorn popping inside my tummy.  I look down and the string on my sweat pants jumped as another kernel popped.  I whispered for E that I thought you were moving -- I didn't want you to stop before he could see it.  He didn't believe me.  Then another pop and the strings moved again.  I said louder.  He quickly came over to me and you stopped moving (that would be a habit of yours in our pregnancy).  I wasn't going to believe that you had the gall to have your first movement during a Buckeye game -- until it happened again the following day.  I like to think that you were saying that you were going to kick some OSU butt someday (not that you were excited to hear them play).

The morning of our anatomy ultrasound, your dad rolled over and asked if I had had any dreams about the sex of the baby.  I said that I did and asked if he had any dreams.  He said that he did as well.  He dreamed that you were a girl and I had had the same dream (but my dream also contained mice)!  It was the first time that either of us had dreamed about our baby and we both dreamed that you were a girl.  The ultrasound confirmed it.  We were having a girl!!!

My pregnancy with you was almost perfect!  Beyond the severe morning sickness of the first trimester (the only thing that saved me was Zofran), I only had posterior-pelvic pain for a couple of weeks and LOTS of pubic bone pain (which increased in intensity as the due date got closer).  My pubic bone pain started one rainy night in November.  How do I remember exactly when it started, you ask?  I came home in the rain to my neighbor holding a yellow lab.  She asked me if it was my dog -- which obviously it wasn't.  I put the dog in the garage and went inside to get a flashlight, hoping to see a name on the rambunctious dog's collar.  No luck.  In my brilliant pregnancy brain, I figured that I would just put the dog on a leash and tell it to go home -- absolutely expecting it to go home.  So there is a 7 month pregnant lady walking being yanked around by a huge yellow lab that had NOT been leash trained.  After about 20 minutes of pulling, the dog's license tag fell off, the dog took off, but listened to me when I called her back.  I called 9-1-1 and found the owners through the police looking up the old records.  The dog lived across the street from my house!  Not 6 blocks away from home, trouncing through mud puddles...  The next day, I was so sore from my adventure and it never got better.  But I always would remind myself that pubic bone pain simply meant for an easier delivery because it was pubic bone separating -- I was actually correct on that one...

Swelling appeared with 3-4 weeks left.  I gained 5 pounds in one week, which the doctor said was all water.  He said that I was very lucky to have my due date being in February.  Because if it was in July or August, we would have some serious issues with the swelling.  I truly had the text book definition of cankles.  I would wear my socks for less than 10 minutes and be able to pull them down to leave a serious indent from their previous position.  And I only had to take my rings off for the last 2-3 weeks.

I did everything up until the day that you were born.  The only thing that I usually needed help with was carrying a full laundry basket upstairs.  And this was only an issue because my stomach was too big to fit up the stairway sideways.  I was scrubbing the floors on my hands & knees (more like sitting and scooting) a couple of days before you were born.  I was shoveling snow two weeks before you were born.  My best friend in the whole entire world (lovely Miss Tara) flew in two weekends before you were born.  And we went places and ate out and lounged on the couch.  In fact, I remember painting my toes (how I would reach them I don't remember) three days before you were born.

And your delivery was perfect as well!  I had my 40 week doctor's appointment that morning.  I was contracting all day at work, but no one knew.  Your dad and I went out to eat that evening with our neighbors.  The heavy duty contractions only lasted 90 minutes (until I was able to get my epidural).  And after only an hour of heavy contractions, I arrived at the hospital at 9 cm and was fully dilated by the time Dr. Emery came in to check me.  I'll thank you a million times over for being so high up in my uterus.  Because without your high positioning, this Mama would have had to push you out without an epidural.  Then I think that the easy-peasy four pushes of your birth would be completely different.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my pregnancy with you completely fit the same type of baby that you are -- absolutely perfect and I wouldn't want it any other way.

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