I am remembering my pregnancy. How joyful, energetic and filled with anticipation I was! How I loved laying on the couch and watching my belly swell and surge with my daughter's fetal antics. How I nested and laundered tiny socks and folded burping cloths by the dozen on my front porch as autumn rolled in. How impatient I became as my due date came and went! How I furiously raked leaves and went for walks hoping to coax the stubborn girl from my womb! How terror overtook me the night I went into labor as I lay awake in my bed wondering how bad it would be. How all my progress and labor stopped completely the minute we signed into the hospital. How D and I played cards and watched TV and tried to sleep and shuffled through the halls of the labor and delivery ward. How finally and swiftly the contractions seized my body after the doctor broke my water.
I am remembering my newborn. How quickly they swept her away from me when they realized she was turning gray. How separated I seemed to be from her when she was across the room surrounded by hospital staff. How tightly I held her when they returned her to my arms. How delicate and sweet the time when our family came into the room to meet her. How steadily and serenely she nursed. How beautiful her soft cheeks, her wrinkled feet, her round belly. How she cried that first night and I thought I'd never sleep again!
I am remembering my toddler. How precocious and chatty! How lovely and sweet-hearted. How determined and intelligent and curious!
I am remembering my child. My beautiful, tender, sensitive, loving, giggly, happy, talented, exasperating daughter. My daily reminder to be patient. My mirror image inside and out. My old dreams and my new hopes. My prayers. My most-loved.
Happy birthday, Beatrice.