My daughter is 1 today.
I can’t believe a year has gone by already!
I know every mom says that. Or something along those lines.
“Where has the time gone?”
“My baby is growing up so fast!”
“Time is flying by!”
But seriously. I don’t know where this year went! It slipped right through my fingers. I blinked and it was over.
I still remember the day that Scarlett came into this world as if it were yesterday. Probably because the last 365 days flew by at lightning speeds and it actually feels as if it were yesterday.
Seeing her sweet face for the first time, smiling down at her as she looked up at me, the warmth of her skin against mine… all of it, all of those first few moments are truly indescribable.
But holding her for the first time. Now that… that I can get into.
From the moment we found out we were having a girl, an overwhelming amount of joy seeped into my body. It was pure bliss. A dream come true. A miracle really. But I was equally hit with other emotions that I wasn’t quite prepared for.
Is she truly healthy?
What if they missed something?
What if I lose her too?
I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t lose her, I just couldn’t.
These types of questions soared through my head day in and day out. It was all I could do to tone them down but I couldn’t rid of them.
Every day, I prayed fervently for her. It was the one thing I knew I could do in order to keep my mind at ease.
For those of you that know my story, you know that it holds a heavy weight. A deep wound that left a gruesome scar. I have somewhat healed over time, knowing that I had to carry on, but I have never forgotten, and I never will.
That heartache stays with you. And as much as you ask it not to affect you, it does.
I found myself over analyzing, worrying more than trusting, crying when I should have been rejoicing and consistently expecting a negative over a positive.
I felt unlucky. Like a gambler trying to win the jackpot, risking it all and then losing everything.
Life was unfair. Cruel. Hence why I purchased land and built a home in negative town. I assumed that’s where I was meant to be since the odds were never in my favour.
But before I get too far off on a tangent, I’ll swing my way back around.
Apparently I could write an entire blog post on the subject of grief and it’s aftermath.
There were certainly moments when fear didn’t disrupt my joy and I delighted in the fact that I was carrying a healthy baby girl. That in itself was something I never thought possible, so I clung onto that thought alone to keep myself on the track of positivity.
The end of my pregnancy with her was taxing. I was exhausted, swollen and taking care of a busy toddler. But most of all, I was ready for her to be in my arms.
I know a lot of moms say they want them to “stay in there as long as possible” and that they are “safest inside the womb”, but my way of thinking was the opposite. I felt as though she wasn’t safe until she was on the other side. With me.
But as the saying goes, she decided to be “fashionably late” and I spent the last week of pregnancy in tears. I was so ready for her arrival. I walked up and down my driveway more times than I can count, bounced on my yoga ball and my sweet friend Becky rubbed my ankles, in hopes that something would entice her to come out! It didn’t help that I had on and off contractions for a few weeks before I had her. She definitely kept us guessing! So much so that when I was actually in labor, I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep because I didn’t think it was real. Luckily, Matt convinced me to go to the hospital just in case and it’s a good thing that he did!
Labor with her was as “good” as labor could be. Excruciatingly painful and downright exhausting, but I was thankful that it went as smoothly as it did. I was also relieved to have the doctor I was hoping for. That was definitely an answered prayer considering my odds were 1 in 8 (or 9? I’m not sure of the exact number, but close enough).
When it was almost time for her debut, things went sour. Everything leading up to that point went so well that I wasn’t anticipating any downfalls.
They lost her heartbeat on the monitor.
That, however, does happen sometimes when the monitor isn’t in the perfect position or the baby decides to move around in the womb, but they lost it entirely. Two nurses frantically scoured my belly for what seemed like and eternity, trying to find it again. Eventually, one of the nurses whispered to the other, hoping I wouldn’t hear her.
“Call the doctor, now”
…But they had already called him minutes prior to this situation. He was already on his way after I told them I was ready to push.
I started to panic. It was a quiet panic. On the outside I looked calm and collected, but it was full on hysteria inside my head.
I remember looking at Matt across the room. I didn’t say a word but it’s as if he could read my mind. He knew exactly what I was saying without any words being spoken. He looked back at me as if to say “everything is going to be alright”, again, without actually speaking.
They never did find her heartbeat again, but moments after the nurse phoned the doctor for the second time, he flew into the room. Within seconds, he was gowned up and ready to go. He didn’t waste any time. There wasn’t any time to waste I suppose.
I was also ready. And I wasn’t wasting any time either. I remember thinking “I have to get her out now”. Fear of losing her gave me all he power and strength I needed. She was out on the fourth push. I wasn’t messing around. Matt later told me that he was worried I was going to pass out. He said my face went blue and I barely took a breath between pushes. But I don’t remember any of that, I just remember fighting for her life.
When the doctor laid her on my chest, I did as every mother does in that moment and I cried tears of joy. There was also a long-awaited sigh of relief as I nuzzled her perfect little face. I smothered her in a thousand kisses and gawked over how beautiful she was. Finally here. Finally safe in my arms.
Matt and I soaked up every new moment with our precious daughter and at the same time, sent many whispers of thanks to the big man upstairs. We knew that God had been watching over her all along and we were thankful beyond words for her safe entrance into this world and into our arms.
And now, our little love is 1. What a wonderful year it was with her. I frequently say to Matt “if I could do it all over again, I would!”. She was (and still is) such a happy girl; full of life and adventure! She has brought an overabundance of laughter into our home and a portion of healing into our hearts. She will never replace the little angel that we lost, but she brought a piece of her into this world for us to hold onto. I believe that with all of my heart.
And I also have to say, that watching her and Beau together, has hands down, been the greatest highlight of my life so far. Their relationships flourishes daily and I love being the one on the sidelines to witness it. He has adored her since day 1 and I can already see how much she looks up to him.
Without a doubt, I am profusely blessed.
I can’t wait to watch her personality shine as time goes on, watch each milestone that lies ahead and most importantly, to watch our mother & daughter bond grow.
Happy 1st Birthday Scarlett. Mama loves you more than you will ever comprehend.