Oh Betsy Boo. Your first year has been such a blessing. And it is with such nostalgia that I think back on to your birth story. You came in to this world with such anticipation, such eagerness, and such wonder. The ten months in the making prior to your arrival were magical. Every day brought a new promise, a new joy, and new joy-filled fear. After nine months of watching you grow from a poppy seed into a watermelon, we were ready. Oh, we were so ready. Waiting each day, for your arrival. Your sister came early, so surely, you would too. But, you had your own way of proving, “I’ll be different. I’ll be me. I’ll be my own person.” And that you did.
You knew how to grow inside my belly. You were so good at that. You were so good, in fact, that the doctor felt it was probably a good idea to come out on your due date. Anything past that, may have made for an otherwise ginormous baby. So, we were patiently waiting for that October 2nd induction date. Thursday. Not your due date, but a day early. As those days passed by that week, your arrival became more real. We washed the onesies. We set up the bassinet. We waited. We were anxiously waiting your birth, as we also anxiously and simultaneously waited for the completion of our home. October 2nd. A Thursday. It was here- you were going to come! The hospital would call any minute with an open room for your delivery. We kept your sister home from school because she had a fever. Which, in hindsight, was God’s way of saying- take this time with her. Enjoy your last minutes at a trio. Because that was it. But the minutes passed by and it was finally lunch time. No phone call. A quick phone call to the hospital would tell us that this was a busy day for having babies. The hospital was full. And we had to wait. So, that we did.
By 4 pm, there was still no phone call. So, we took your sister to the park. I remember sitting on the park bench, feeling your baby body turn and shift inside my huge belly. I remember thinking, I wish this would happen, already. I was ready.
We tucked your sister into bed that night, and I knew then, that that would be her last bedtime as an only child. From this day forward, there would be two bedtimes. Two bodies to bathe, two girls to get jammied up.
Friday morning arrived, and, as most typical pregnant nights previously experienced, I couldn’t sleep. I was awake and showered by 5:30 that morning. Boy, I was ready for your arrival. I felt I could sleep more after you arrived since my pregnancy had been consisting of 1-2 hours of sleep intervals at best. I walked downstairs in your Nanny and Papa’s house and I had just sat down with my first cup of coffee. My phone rang. They were ready. Ready for us. Ready for your arrival. Your sister kissed you from the outside of my huge belly, and your daddy drove – very peacefully, actually- to the hospital. We had surreal conversations in the car that morning of “can you believe she’s going to be here soon?” and several spoken and unspoken prayers for a peaceful delivery. But ultimately, I was ready. Waiting is hard. Waiting for a baby is even harder.
I stopped to register, and the woman checking us in, asked why I was there. Clearly, she didn’t’ see your large presence in my black top. I laughed. Quite comical that she could miss something so abnormally huge. And again, the entrance was quite different from your sister’s rushed and chaotic arrival. The process to register and check in took forever, it seemed. We were so ready for you to come. Finally, your daddy and I headed upstairs…
The nurse brought us to the room- and she did all of the “nurse” things. But it was so calm. So peaceful. We were so aware. It was like a slow motion movie. And then she started the induction process. Cervical gel. Things picked up. The pain. The bright lights from the room. The contractions. HGTV. Seriously? We were watching HGTV because at that point, we were still knee deep in a house remodel. After an hour, we went for a walk to the cafeteria to speed things up a bit. Your daddy was so excited because of the food in the cafeteria. He was excited to bring your mommy food. Meanwhile, I was just focusing on the next contraction that was coming. They were getting stronger. So strong, that I had to lean on the cafeteria tables to help myself breathe. As your daddy brought the second round of food, I suggested we head back up stairs after it was almost too hard to stand. We made our way back upstairs, after what seemed like the longest elevator ride ever. Probably had visions of a baby delivery in the elevator prior to getting to the second floor. After getting settled again in the room, the contractions were strong. Every few minutes, and they were getting worse. The Epidural came- but it slowed things down. Unfortunately, however, it went straight to my right foot, but it still slowed the contractions down. Not too effective anywhere else. Your daddy had to hold my foot up, and it became quite the laughing source. Lunch time rolled around, and we were now waiting- not much progress was happening. They started Pitocin and nothing major happened. Still waiting. Your Nanny came in to cheer things along. We had heard that my doctor would stop by, and when she did, she broke my water. Within 20 minutes, you were headed down and out into the world. As your Mimi, Aunt Sarah, and Gram came in, I started to push. You were ready- and there was no stopping you. Within about 5 pushes, you arrived.
You were 8 pounds, 13 ounces of squishy goodness. So squishy, in fact, that the delivery nurse couldn’t tell if you were a boy or girl at first because of your rolls. The nurse placed you right on top of my chest, my heart, my whole soul. That first encounter is still so vivid, so surreal, so emotional. How could I love another child with as much love as my first? My biggest fears turned into the biggest joys. My heart expanded; it grew; it learned. Oh my love for you was so great, and yet you were still so new. Within moments, your sister climbed up and placed her hand on top of your head. That continues to be her favorite place to show love. She loved you so much that day, before even knowing you. And that love has just continued to grow.
Your arrival into this world was marked by patience, wonder, and perseverance. The pure amazement of God’s miracle was witnessed on the day you were born. By the timing, the love, the perfection. You were ready to say, “I am here. I am me. And I am ready.” This year has been filled with amazing joy- watching you grow each inch, and reach each milestone. And each day, you have found your way to say, “I am here, I am me, and I am ready”. Let your light shine, little one, as you continue to grow into a beautiful little girl.