Eighteen years ago today I was in a hospital suite. In labor. It wouldn’t be brief. I’d continue laboring for the next seven hours.
Which was actually refreshing. Because I’d already been in labor for three days straight. I was suffering from preeclampsia. The baby was suffering from an intrauterine growth issue. And to top it all off, she was coming early. Way way early. Not by accident. But by design. So that she could survive. And I hoped to, as well.
But sitting there 18 years ago. Wracked with pain. Fearing for my life and the life of my as-of-yet-unborn-but-doing-her-damndest-to-change-that child, I had hope.
Despite the issues in labor—and the extreme and frightening complications that occurred upon delivery—we both survived. And so today is the day that changed my life forever. Mainly, because I still had my life. And now I had another.
Today, 18 years ago, I became a mother.
And that, darling readers, friends, and family, could be a post all its own. But this post on this day—despite how it began—is not about me. (I mean, let’s be real. This is my blog. Mine. Everything is about me. But let’s pretend, shall we?) It’s about the incredible woman who came into my life that day. First quiet. Eerily and frighteningly quiet. And then screaming.
Honestly, I don’t think she’s stopped. Scratch that. I can confirm that. Because she just interrupted me writing this post.
Today that little tiny person is taller than me and eligible to vote. She is also one of the most caring, empathetic, and sensitive humans I’ve met in all my trips around the sun.
From the start she’s withstood disasters, both global and personal and always come out the best person she could be. Even though some of the most important moments in her life read like a Buzzfeed listicle of disasters.
- She was in the womb as I sobbed watching a plane crash into the second tower on that fateful day in 2001.
- We celebrated her first birthday as the US declared war on Iraq in 2003.
- And this year we celebrate her 18th birthday with balloons, banners, confetti, and cake. With disco lights, and breakfast tacos, and a big home cooked dinner. And a Zoom call with her closest friends. Because this year, her birthday comes as the US starts to move into lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
She is resilient. She is strong. She feels for everyone. She drives me nuts. She makes me proud.
Happy birthday to you my incredible daughter. I wish you a better world than I brought you into. I am confident that you are one of those rare humans with the ability to make it that way.