Today is my first-born’s birthday. Wow oh wow. As I’ve thought of special ways to celebrate her today – a tricky thing to do when they get past, oh, eight – I keep flashing back on that day twenty-something years ago. I was so young. I was so naive. I was so so ready to be a Mom. I didn’t even care if it was a boy or a girl. If you’d forced me to choose, I would probably have said a boy, assuming that’s what the hubs would want. So after several hours of back labor, the doctor literally sitting on the floor at the bottom of the bed in the birthing center, when I pushed my last and I heard the words, “It’s a girl,” I wasn’t prepared for what happened to me next.

A peace and type of euphoria washed over me. Not just because my baby had finally arrived, but because it was a girl. She was here. I had a daughter. In that instant – a moment so rapid it could barely be calculated as passing time – when I heard the doctor’s words, I KNEW I NEEDED a daughter. It was perfect. There were many reasons and most of them flooded through my consciousness at that moment, but the rightness of it so overwhelmed me in that moment it resulted in a joy and, well, sureness, seldom matched since then.

And joy it has been. My constant companion then, my best girlfriend now. We have faced a lot together, my little warrior and I. The hardest parts were the ones I couldn’t face with her.

So on her birthday, as I try to celebrate her in ways that will bless her, I am also celebrating MY day. The day that changed my life like no other. She lay in bed with me that night, all tucked up under my wing. I’d turn and look at her over and over, marveling at the miracle, wondering how I got so blessed, trying to imagine that any other woman in the world felt like I did, secretly scoffing that they thought THEY had the perfect baby… I thought of that last night as we sat laughing together on the couch and realized that all these years later, I feel exactly the same way.

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