You’re almost one! And this momma is in tears. I’m crazy about you. For nine months, I rebuilt my life to prepare for yours while you were in my tummy. Mommy and daddy moved twice, changed jobs once, and finally settled in a place we knew you’d be safe. I felt your first wiggles, your first hiccups, and heard your heartbeat. I watched you put on a show for mommy and daddy the first time we saw you on the ultrasound. I wrote about you, dreamed about you, talked about you, and celebrated your new life. You took your time in my belly, pushing me into 42 weeks and I gained over half my original body weight. Baby girl, I couldn’t even roll over in bed then! I was too big! The day you were born I labored for 23 hours. I had the epidural put in twice, was put on oxygen, and had numerous other unexpected complications along the way. I cried when I learned I wouldn’t be able to continue, and we were rushed into surgery for a C section. My body was wrecked, but my love was overflowing. I don’t remember seeing you for the first time; mommy wishes she could remember, but I had so many drugs in my body and was so exhausted my memory didn’t hold on. But I remember holding you in the hospital, I remember your perfect nose, lips, fingers, wiggly toes. I’ve never seen so much beauty in my life. During maternity leave, I couldn’t walk. My body was having a hard time healing. Daddy would get up and bring you to me. I would nurse you and pray over you. Pray over your safety, your happiness, your future, your faith. We went on our first walk a few days after being home. I only made it a block before I doubled over in pain, but we finally made it out of the house together. I loved being home with you. I loved holding you while you slept on my chest. We couldn’t go anywhere or see anyone because you were a little fussy, but I gladly gave up seeing my friends to hold on to you. When I went back to work four weeks later, I cried. I had the smell of you on my shirt, a picture of you in my agenda, and a pump to try to continue to give you nourishment. Every three hours I went to a room at work and pumped because I knew that this was the best way to nourish your body and keep you healthy. For many weeks, I also cried in these moments. I felt like I abandoned you. It felt so wrong to be away from you. I missed you so much. I wanted you with me. You got the flu a few months into your life. I was so scared. Your tiny little helpless body. I didn’t know what hurt, I just tried to hold you, and comfort you as you squirmed and cried, and then cried because you couldn’t breathe because your nose was stuffy. Mommy cried too. Mommy and daddy got the flu too. You kept mommy and daddy up all night and it was hard to function with the flu and no sleep, but we did it together. We saw your first smile, heard your first laugh, saw you roll over, heard your first babbles, saw you first play with toys, saw you first sit up on your own, and held your hand for your first steps. Mommy took so many pictures of you… probably too many. Mommy couldn’t stop telling everyone about your accomplishments. You celebrated your accomplishments too — you would wrinkle your nose, grin, and clap your hands looking from mom to dad for approval. You’re still working on walking though; you’re a little wobbly and you kind of look like you just got off a Merry Go Round, but you’re almost there. Don’t worry, I have plenty of film to show your friends someday. I always thought that my grades, my career, my volunteering were what made me alive, what made me significant, but I never knew this type of love, this type of happiness. YOU are my biggest accomplishment and being a mom my greatest blessing. I don’t want more. In fact, I want less—and more time with you. Of course I posted pictures of you almost everyday! I couldn’t think of greater beauty in the world, and I wanted to share it.
Tali someday you won’t understand why I want to know every detail of your day, why I pray for you every moment I get, why I will cry when someone hurts you, why I will jump with joy for your accomplishments, why you will catch me staring at you when you get all dressed up with bouncy curls, why I will want pictures of you with every new step in your life’s journey, but it’s because although you were born on an early morning in September, you will always be a part of me, you will always be with me. You will always be my better half. My life was perfectly adjusted to fit you in it, and God picked you for me and me for you. Someday, you might know this love too, but in the meantime, I guess I’ll just be a “crazy” mom “without a hobby.” That’s okay though. I’m okay with that. Someday you’ll understand. Until then, I’ll keep taking my photos, writing in the memory book, celebrating with you, weeping with you, and teaching you all I know about life. I love you Tali bug.