12 Month Letter!
A letter to my Daughters on their 1st Birthday:
My sweet girls, I’m writing this to you on the eve of your first birthday. And this letter is one of many drafts, as I just can’t seem to find the words to convey my sentiments for this day. Your day! It’s the first anniversary of your highly awaited birth and it comes as a reminder of how far we’ve all come. My girls… you may not know it but we’ve come far.
A few winters ago, I reclined nervously on an examination table, an attendant jellied my belly and within seconds, we saw two beautiful blinking heartbeats. After years of trying for you babies… finally you found your way to us. We almost lost you early on but my girls you’re fighters. I will forever remember that day… when we saw your rapid flashing hearts for the first time. You already complemented one another as your hearts harmonized on the screen. From that moment, I had already fallen deeply, unwaveringly in love with you two.
After doing everything in our power to abate your early arrival at 21 weeks… you girls came in your own time. We did everything we could to keep you safe inside but my girls you did all the rest. And for this I give you massive credit. Shocking everyone with your determination to stay put and beating all the doctors’ odds. You kept us all waiting until your original delivery month and you came on your own terms. You entered this world just 19 days shy of your 40 week due date, in the middle of the night and only a few hours prior to your scheduled induction/delivery. You chose your birthday and this definitely aligns with how your first year has gone. I am a mixture of emotions as I mourn many aspects of your babyhood and yet relish in your growing independence.
On your birthday, I will celebrate the little girls you’ve become, but my little ones I’m also nostalgic for the babies you once were. The little bundles I carried home from the hospital… that thrived on being held close. We savored the weeks following your birth, soaking up all your newness and feeling inspired by your deep souls. Now my little ones I’m lucky if I get you both in the same place at the same time.
As I’ve watched you grow this past year, my heart seems to expand with each new step you take and every time you fall, I feel your pain radiate within me.
As your rolls and endless cheeks melt and are replaced with long strong limbs and angular cheeks, I can’t help but give into moments of anxiety, desperately seeking the pause button! But you girls will continue to grow and become who you will, whether or not I’m ready. I can only be grateful that I’m here to bear witness to the little people you’re becoming.
You make me positive we were always meant to be a family of four as there is no way we could top this. You girls are as independent as you are brave and adventurous. You both do your own thing but are also willing to share center stage. We think you’re both happiest when together, and more and more you both really want what’s best for the other. You reach out when your sister is sad offering head pats and kisses. You seek out the other when the mood is light and the giggling ensues.
At one, you both aren’t quite mastering words, but you communicate rather effectively. Ainsley you prefer a “haaah” noise and head gesturing that somehow makes perfect sense and Harlowe you use your index finger and a handful of signs. I swear I’ve heard you both say, “I’ve dropped food off my tray mommy. Please get it for me” with just a point of your finger or a complex head gesture and your accompanying baby babble.
You can both be totally laidback and sweet. As well as extremely determined and driven. When I think about how I’ve changed since becoming a parent, I’m less apt to be controlling and unsure, it makes me wonder – chicken or egg? Am I more laidback because you are too, or is it the other way around? What I do know is you girls have changed me dramatically and being your mom is an absolute privilege. Together you’ve taught me not just how to parent but you’ve also showed me how to enjoy it.
Thank you, my sweet girls, for showing me how amazing parenthood can be. I will love you always, respect you endlessly and protect and fight for you, with every inch of my soul.
Love with all my heart,
A few photos from 1 year shoot: