You arrived one day early. Your brother had been nearly two weeks late, so we weren’t prepared for you yet. But when a test at the midwives confirmed the presence of amniotic fluid, they sent me immediately to the hospital to be induced. There weren’t any naturally occurring contractions to signal the start of your birth, no going home to fetch a half-packed bag. There was instead a frantic call to your daddy—who found himself in Dallas at the moment—and the making of hectic over-the-phone arrangements for someone to care for your brother while we awaited your debut.
I sat in the car for an hour, stalling as long as I could so your daddy would have time to trek back across the metroplex, stopping first at the house to finish packing my bag. When I’d waited long enough (I wasn’t about to be induced without him by my side), I walked in and began the check-in process. Soon your daddy came rushing up, your big brother in tow, and at 12:30, they settled us into our room.
By 1:50, I was dilated to a 3, and your father and I prepared for the long haul. Your brother caused me more than 24 hours of anguish, so I expected another excruciatingly long labor. But by 3:15, I was dilated to a 6. At 4:26 pm on that sweltering late summer day, you greeted us with a weak cry and a head of black hair.
They took you from me to take your measurements (8 pounds, 9 ounces), but your skin was pasty, your lips were blue. NICU nurses sucked fluid from your lungs, and your daddy nearly blacked out and fell on the midwife’s stool, knocking our camera to the floor. You would be fine, they assured us, but they wanted to take you to the NICU for observation. Lying there, I watched them wheel you out, the tiny bundle that just moments before had been nestled inside, inexplicably intertwined with me. Your daddy looked at me, tears filling his eyes. “Go with her!” I urged. So he went, following the nurses anxiously to the NICU, where other teeny tiny fresh-from-the-womb babies made your 8-pound, 9-ounce body look big. The midwife stayed at my side for nearly two hours.
Finally, several hours after you were born, they brought you back to me. And you were ours … our baby girl.
It’s hard to believe that was three years ago … But today you leave behind the two-year-old moniker. You’re three. You have one foot still planted in toddlerhood—with remnants of baby fat still clinging to your frame—and yet you’re growing into a little girl that can sometimes take my breath away.
My sweet little one, I adore you. You have a captivating beauty and a fierce spirit, and you bring light and laughter to our family in a measure that overflows. You are a delightful paradox of tea parties and a dirt-smudged face; baby dolls and Legos.
When you arrived you awoke in me a femininity that I barely knew existed. You were God’s gift to a heart that didn’t know she desperately needed a girl. You smooth my rough edges and restore my tired heart, and I am humbled and blessed to be your mom.
And now we’re getting glimpses of the feminine heart God has given you … one that’s both compassionate and courageous, beautiful and brave. You boast a fierce, stubborn spirit that sometimes brings me to my knees, but your persistence and your tenacity are tempered by a tender heart. God is molding you, shaping you, and we get the incredible privilege of watching you unfold.
All of us … we love you, darling. We love you more than we could ever express! May you feel that today in an overwhelming way. Happy 3rd birthday!