The sweetest, most beautiful mohawk haired little girl I had ever seen.
I would describe giving birth as a total out of body experience. I felt as if I was at a live taping of "A Baby Story" watching this life come out of someone else. I can't even really put into words the things that went through my mind as I watched her emerge.
One thing though that I found interesting was that she felt kind of like a stranger to me. Yes, yes, I instantly loved her, but for me it took a few minutes to wrap my mind around the fact that this baby was the same baby that had just been inside of me only moments ago.
It's quite a phenomenon.
I had felt such a bond to the baby within me, the one rolling around, kicking and poking me, but who was this baby?
After a few minutes of checking her over, holding her body against mine, and kissing her little mouth over and over again, the bond quickly became unbreakable.
She was mine.
I knewthis girl.
This was my girl.
The events of that glorious day were recorded by Trey in a little spiral notebook that I keep close to my heart. Aunt Megan and Aunt Jess also contributed when Daddy couldn't.
There's another notebook that is close to my heart that I am ashamed to say I haven't yet finished reading. Trey started a journal of love letters to me. He wrote in it almost everyday from the day I was 100 days pregnant until the day Lael was born. He gave it to me in the hospital.
Our couple of days in the hospital were a blur to say the least, but I surprisingly remember a good bit of that beautiful chaos. I couldn't sleep. Every time I would fall asleep I would start dreaming about my newborn bundle, and would quickly wake up and want to see her little face again.
Do you remember how you felt as a child the morning of Christmas when all of your new toys were about to be revealed?
That's how I felt every time I woke up from any amount of sleep.
I remember calling the nursery and saying, "Hi, can you bring me my baby? K, thanks." HA! I had a baby! What?!!
I'll never forget our car ride home.
The hospital is pretty close to our house, so the trip was short and sweet. There was that unspoken tension in the car where I knew that Trey knew that I was watching every turn, every tap of the brakes, and every increase in mph that he made. Of course, there would be no acknowledgement that he was totally aware that I was watching him like a hawk from the back seat of that car, but oh, he knew. :)
As we safely traveled down the road toward home the Christmas radio station we had tuned into was playing one of Amy Grant's classics. Oh, ya'll.
But for real, my emotions just came full circle as I sat there watching our daughter in her car seat as we made our way home to be a family of 3. The Lord had been good to us. He had given us more than we ever deserved. She was here. She made it here safely, and she was ours. For keeps.
So, here we are a year later celebrating 12 months of new experiences, up and downs, trials and errors, crying, laughing, smiles, baths, bottles, diapers, spit up, laundry, naps, playing, diapers... oh wait, I already said diapers, hugs, and too many kisses to count.
This birthday holds many emotions for me as her mother. I actually woke up this morning with the strangest realization that I have never celebrated my child's birthday... well, other than the actualbirthday. I think I'm gonna like this. Much more exciting than celebrating(??) the fact that I'm a whole year older!
Lael's first birthday is a little bittersweet in the sense that a chapter has been closed. No longer is she my fragile infant that I can cradle in my arms. She is becoming a little girl. While I'm a bit sad to end one chapter, I am overjoyed to enter into the next. Her sweet, playful and tender spirit continues to expose itself on a daily basis, and we can't wait to see more of her personality unravel itself. So, as we say goodbye to the old, we welcome all things new!
Lael, you are our angel. The Lord gave your Daddy and me a priceless gift in you. You are the embodiment of joy, and we thank God daily for the life that He alone breathed into you. We pray that you will know and love Jesus, and call Him yours early in your life.
I went with Megan to the drive through Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
Ate outside in the 70 degree weather and tried my darndest to get the slightest bit of color on my paler than pale face. 'Cause let's just be honest, by the time November had rolled around that "pregnancy glow", well, it had faded... along with my summer tan.
I then went to the drug store and bought some castor oil.
Bascially, Benson is an aquatic expert, if you didn't already know. A 3 year old with a head full of sea life knowledge. Or at least that's what Lael thinks.
He enjoys practicing his big brother skills with his little Lael. No doubt he'll have his little brother or sister totally convinced that he hung the moon.
We were so happy to have Jess and Benson come with us to Kiawah for a few days, and we decided to visit the Charleston Aquarium. I really wondered if it would even phase Lael, but she actually was enamored by all of it.
She even made her "Oooooooooo" sound as you can see in the picture below. This is what she says when she sees something interesting. I wish you could hear it for yourself. It's kind of hilarious.
My uncle and cousin are volunteer divers at this aquarium and they get to feed the the fish for show times. They said that this turtle's name is Gretel. How sweet. :)
I'm glad she likes fish. Fish are good pets to have. They just swim and eat. And occasionally when the bowl gets so green with algae that you can't even see your fish and are embarrassed to have it sitting on your kitchen counter, you clean it. Not that I know about that. Ahem, I've always been a very responsible pet owner.
So, one day when Lael begins asking for a fish, like, every time we go to Wal-Mart (not that I know about that either), I will be happy to indulge her. One little fishy fish at a time, of course. 'Cause this momma can only keep up with onealgae fish bowl. :)
During our time last week at Kiawah Island, we visited the historic Angel Oak tree on John's Island. Ya'll know I had to take advantage of this photo op. There is certainly more than one angel in these photographs.
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