About August 23, 2015 - The day I met her.
We waited, impatiently, for your arrival. Your dad and I had been at that hospital in Louisville for far too long hoping you'd make your appearance. We checked in Friday evening and we would not hold you until Sunday morning. My body had a hard time knowing when you were ready. But, more than that, it had a hard time processing the changes to my blood. My platelets were very low, and my iron was plummeting quickly. As quick as my heart rate, I am sure. Doctors tried to rush you along except not too quick, stabilizing your mama for your entrance to the world was important.
Late Saturday night, after I was given an epidural, I was given the okay to start pushing. However this stubborn girl inside of me (That would be you! No surprise there, right? Stubborn.) wasn't budging. I'll spare you the details of what happened between then and when you did arrive. Several hours later at 01:57am I heard your first cry. Weighing 6lbs with a full head of red hair, I saw you for the first time. That very wiggly blessing I had felt inside of me for months, was right there, before my eyes. They handed you to a nurse to check you over just after your daddy cut your umbilical cord. I will never forget the joy in his face (or the tiny splatter of blood that ruined his favorite shirt). Looking across the room at you in his arms was a rush like nothing else. Although, it would be a minute before I could hold you. My body was trembling but I was anxious to have you close to me. 9 months of imagining this moment and there you were. Right there.
When your dad handed you to me, I knew my life had just changed forever. Like the world was spinning slower since you were here. You were mine. I was yours. You were ours.
Everything has changed since then, baby girl. Well, I should clarify, everything except for my love for you. That has multiplied. We've taken one trip around the sun together. With you, right here, in my arms and stretching out my heart. I never knew the amount of love I could give until I had you to give it to. Thank you for being my girl.
You're one year old today. My "mama heart", as I so adoringly call it, can not handle the way this feels. 12 months ago you were housed in my body, stretching, and growing to know my heart beat from the inside. How special is that? I am sentimental. You know this, as does everyone else who talks to me for more than 10 minutes. The love I have for you defies all of the things I once thought were special. It's so much greater.
In the last 366 days I have stood in absolute wonder of the magic that you are. You are the most joyful baby. When doctor's said you were too small, you were still bright eyed and full of wonder. That has always filled me with pure amazement. You've struggled and grown back up to thriving without skipping a beat in your own happy, little, enthusiastic self. I am so proud of you. The day you hit 10lbs. was in the highlights of my year! I couldn't believe you turned the page like you did, little thing. You're the best.
We've shared a lot in the last year. Going from 3 of us, to the 2 of us was the hardest thing I've faced. You kept me afloat, but not only that, you kept me well. I love you for everything that you are. The parts of you that are your dad are some of the loveliest things you possess. Your facial expressions, Evalynn, let me just tell you, they're all your dada. You're you because of him and I. I can never imagine a different you. I am thankful everyday that you're made of every molecule that you are.
Here's to celebrating every little piece of you. From the hair on your head, to the tiny toes that wiggle their way into just the right part of my side to tickle me daily. You are my whole heart, baby girl. No matter how big you grow to be. No matter how much you outsmart me (a day is coming, you're so dang bright). No matter what the future holds for you and I. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.
The one you call mama,