Today I have a five year-old. Which, simply put, is just crazy. Where did I get a five year-old? Yes, yes, I remember the day before this one, five years ago. A day spent in labor that wouldn't quite kick into gear. A day I spent with Ben walking around the mall and saying outloud "Bring it on!" any time a contraction stopped me in my tracks. We bought our stroller and carseat. We had hamburgers and shakes. My hamburger made me feel sick. Or was that the being in labor part? Who knows.
My mom brought me over a fruit smoothie later in the day. I think Ben and I were watching a movie. I was not happy, not comfortable. If you would have asked me I would have told you I was in pain. But I hadn't yet hit the point at which I would truly understand that when you get to those contractions, you cannot talk. Can not. I didn't know what I was in for.
At 10 p.m. I went into the hospital to get checked. They kept me an hour and when I wasn't progressing they gave me a shot of morphine (wonderful stuff) and sent me home. The last thing I remember is driving up to our house. I was out of it after that. Apparently I would moan and make unpleasant noises when a contraction hit, but I have no recollection. My sweet husband stayed up timing contractions for his unconcious wife, until they were bad enough to wake me from my drug induced slumber.
Ah. I then got to feel those amazing pains of labor. Holy cow. You just don't know until you know, you know? When we got to the hospital around 3 a.m. I was dialated to a seven. They gave me an epidural. I was miserable until it kicked in and then Ben and I napped until they came in at 7:30 a.m. and woke me up. My baby was born about an hour later and suddenly I was a mom, and Ben was a dad. We had a sweet little girl who was all our own. Unbelievable. And yet, there she was.
Almost more unbelievable still is that here she is; full of love, energy, compassion, and drama - sometimes more than I know what to do with. She has been waiting all year to turn five, as if it has some magical quality to it. She is a smart girl. She learns with her heart and with her head. She loves music, loves to draw, loves to be the big sister. In her I see me. In her I see Ben. She is the one who started us on this journey of parenthood.
Oh, you sweet girl. I do love you so much. I hope this birthday is everything you have been expecting it to be. I hope that this year is everything you are expecting it to be. I hope that I can live up to what you expect me to be. And that I can help you become all that you expect you'll be.