A year ago, my belly was round and hard and swollen and filled with you, my beautiful daughter.
A year ago, I had so many desires for you and so many anxieties about change and no time to actually ruminate long on any of it because I was chasing around your brother.
A year ago, I only had a sample of one to consider when trying to understand what we were in for.
A year ago, I wondered how our family would change, how we would stay the same.
A year ago, I had no idea how I would continue to handle chasing around your brother with you alive and in our house.
A year ago, I worried that having you in our lives might send me over the edge.
A year ago, I eased my anxieties by convincing myself if I could just survive the first year, I'd be ok.
A year ago, I walked around for weeks, my hips and pelvis aching; ready to birth you.
A year ago, I was not expecting you so soon, though I wanted you here desperately.
A year ago I felt contractions start early in the morning.
A year ago, I readied myself to go to the hospital and meet you and those contractions abated.
A year ago, I gathered with close friends and family and beautiful children and feasted together on a meal made with care and love.
A year ago, I gripped onto the banister in our foyer while everyone dined and held on for the ride.
A year ago, I kissed your brother goodnight and told him mommy might have a baby by the morning.
A year ago, I labored hard in our living room and wondered if I could do it.
A year ago, I headed out into the early-season snow with your father and our doula and we made our way to the hospital.
A year ago, I shocked the nursing staff by my arrival and my calm demeanor.
A year ago, I shocked myself by bursting my water all over the floor and the side of the bed.
A year ago, I birthed you, beautiful you; 10 pounds, 4.8 ounces; a head full of thick, matted, dark hair; cheeks your face could barely hold on to.
A year ago, I birthed you, beautiful you; standing next to the bed in one one push; feeling you exit my body in an uncontrollable need to have you alive outside of the womb.
A year ago, you arrived. You completed our family. You brought peace and wonder and joy. You brought tears and frustration. You brought smiles and giggles.
You brought love when our hearts were already full.
To my beautiful, sweet, amazing daughter: thank you for continuing to grow our hearts with love.