Hey! Guess what, guys!?

Ellery’s ONE! LOL. I know, right? When did THAT happen? Oh, January 13th.

Ellery’s First Birthday Post

Sweet Ellery Jean JellyBean:
I still can’t believe my baby, my sweet baby girl is one. The last baby I will be having, and now you’re a toddler. Wow. It actually feels like you weren’t a baby for long.

I fought for you. Six months prior to knowing I was embracing you, I gave an angel baby wings and sent her to be with Jesus. I fought for you. You fought for me. You and I, we fought the good fight. My heart wasn’t cooperating with the whole pregnancy thing. With you, something was different. I got really full of fluid, and it put way too much pressure on my heart. The doctors didn’t know what was going to happen, to you OR to me. Many appointments were made to cardiologists, specialists… it was crazy. It felt surreal, like it wasn’t my life. They threatened to take you early, too early. So I fought for you. Told them they couldn’t have you yet. Doctor mentioned the possibility of me having a stroke. Maybe even emergency heart surgery… it was incredibly difficult to hear, and put my own well-being and possibly life, on the line. However, that’s what moms do. So, we struggled. I am not going to lie, it was not fun. It was scary. A lot. I lived one minute to the next most days. Thanking God for waking me up, and keeping you safe….

39 weeks into that nightmare (is it terrible to say pregnancy was a nightmare? It was a blessing, do not get me wrong, but it was not all fun), they said they could take you. And after the weirdest labor ever, you were here. And boy, oh boy, I have never been happier to see anyone’s face…

This past year has flown by. And I feel so ridiculous when I say that, because time physically cannot fly, but let me tell you… this year has been incredible. You are the answer to so many prayers. You are healthy where your big sister was sick. You are chubby where your big sister was so thin, so frail. And you eat and love food where your big sister couldn’t be bothered with all of that. I am so amazed, everyday, at how DIFFERENT you two are. I could not have imagined I’d ever be blessed with two totally amazing, yet two totally opposite daughters. It’s incredible how God knows what we needed, and made sure we were ready for an easy baby, in the face of how difficult life was for your big sister…

In the blink of an eye, you have learned so much. You talk (when you want to). You walk (when you want to). You dance (when you want to). You eat (when you want to). Noticing a pattern? You are definitely a little lady who knows what she wants, when she wants it. You have figured out that your sister is, and will forever be, a best friend in your life. She would fight for you, and I know you would fight for her (especially if she had Oreos. Just saying: you have inherited your mother’s sweet tooth). You have become quite the Momma’s girl, though Daddy remains your favorite. And I am ok with that: your daddy is pretty fabulous. 🙂 We prayed for you. I know that now: YOU were the answer to my prayers…

You have taught me so much (here is where I am crying, so forgive me if this sounds nonsensical for a minute). I know now how good God is, and what He can do. I know now what it feels like to FIGHT so hard for something, and to do whatever is needed to keep a baby safe. With your sister, I fought for her because she wasn’t physically able to fight her own fight. We had to do so much to keep her healthy, and alive. But it didn’t have anything to do with my physical being. With you, it was me. Laying it all down. For you. It still humbles me to this day that we did that, you and I (and God). You taught me how important life is, like really REALLY is. I took so much for granted before all of this, but watching you play with your sister and laugh at every silly thing she does… my purpose is clear. I am supposed to be your mommy. This is not a mistake, it’s by design.

You have driven me to do great things, to pave the way for you to do great things. I am finishing my Master’s (less than three weeks!!). I am teaching and showing you that a good mommy can be more than just a mommy: she can have a career and a life outside of the house. I am fighting for causes and for people that I hope will not even be social issues when you are my age. I want you to see that we can have voices and use them for good. We can stand up and fight for what we believe in, all while also being women of faith: they are not separate if you don’t let them be. I want you, and your sister, to do great things, no matter who you love, where you go or who you become…

This year has given me so much more than I ever could have asked for… And it’s all because I had a prayer. And God gave me you.

Day One (don’t mind the date being off, I never was able to figure that part of my camera out)

Two weeks before your birthday! Look at you Go!!

Happy Birthday, Ellery. I love you so much, more than you will ever know.
I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

And how does this make you feel?

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