Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lillian Grace

Today Lily is 5! I wanted to share some fun things about her and about my pregnancy...
To Lily:
When we found out we were expecting, I was genuinely surprised! I had just left the gym and decided to stop by the drugstore for a pregnancy test. I took it as soon as I got home, and sure enough two pink lines! Your Daddy was at work, so I called him right away. We were both thrilled beyond belief!
I didn't really believe that first pregnancy test, so I did what every first-time expecting female does and took four more! Yep...still two pink lines.
Your Dad and I went to eat Thai food that night. The waiter brought out our fortune cookies, and I couldn't believe what mine said. There was a word in Thai on the front of the fortune and on the back the English translation. That word was "Girl." Needless to say, I had chills and was optimistically excited for a baby girl! I still keep that fortune in my wallet.
 I had a hard time early on in my pregnancy with you. The first trimester was touchy, and I was put on bed rest for part of it. Then things seemed to stabilize, but I still had to alter my work schedule and could only work every other day.
We found out you were a girl two days before my birthday. What a perfect birthday present!

 The first gift I bought you was a purple (of course) hippo from the Baptist Hospital gift shop. I was working that day, saw the hippo and knew you/we needed her.
I had known for as long as I could remember that if I ever had a little girl I wanted to name her Lily. It's just always been one of my very favorites. It wasn't too hard to get your Dad on board.
You are named after your Pop's mom, my Gamma. Her name was Lillian, and you couldn't be named after a more incredible person. I wish you could've met her.
Your middle name, Grace, was an easy decision. Where would any of us be if not for the grace of God?
I felt great during my second trimester with you. I thought, this isn't so bad! And feeling you kick and move around for the first time was one of the best feelings in the world. I miss those little kicks.
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my second trimester with you! And I was devastated! I remember crying when the nurse told me I failed my glucose screening.
I just knew I'd pass the 3-hour glucose test...but nope. I failed with flying colors. Gestational diabetes it was.
It turned out, gestational diabetes wasn't so bad. I had to prick my finger four times a day, and I had to modify my diet, but I never had to take insulin.
And a plus...we had to see a specialist, so I got to see a lot more pictures of you in my tummy. There was definitely a bright side!
Your due date was February 26, but I was induced on February 18. I was ready, and you were measuring on the large side. It was time.
I tried and tried to have you the "regular" way...but with an epidural of course. After a long day of labor and you not budging, the decision was made to perform a C-section. And I was totally fine with that. I was just so ready to meet you!

One of the first things our doctor commented on when she pulled you out was that your eyelashes were so pretty and long. From the get-go you got compliments on your eyelashes, and you still get them today, on an almost a daily basis!
Holding you for the first time was one of the most incredible moments of my life. You were (and still are) perfect in every way.

 We brought you home, and together your Dad and I navigated how to care for a newborn. I'm sure a lot of mistakes were made along the way, but our love for you was constant.

 You smiled and laughed a lot in your sleep. You also slept with your eyes slightly open and would roll your eyes around. That made me panic at first, but then I realized that was your norm. It makes me laugh now.

 You were a fussy baby for a while. We couldn't figure out what it was and finally your doctor diagnosed you with acid reflux. We noticed an almost immediate change in your mood and fussiness as soon as we started medicine!
You started sleeping through the night at six-weeks-old. You have always been a good sleeper, and yes, we are lucky.

 You never had a lovey like your little sister, but you were attached to your pacis. Weaning you from those was a tough process.

 Your first word was "Dada." Do you know how happy that made your Dad?
We found the sweetest lady, Dear, to take care of you when I returned to work. She loved you and took such good care of you. I had a very hard time leaving you and was plagued with guilt every time I left the house.
You were a chunky baby. Our pediatrician loved talking about your "thunder thighs." And they were the best!

 We had you baptized when you were four-months-old. You let us and the whole church know that day that you were And I'm not talking the cute whimpering that some babies do when they're baptized. It was full-on, blood-curling screaming going on, to the point where you almost threw up on everyone. The preacher even called me the next day to make sure I was OK. I think he could tell by my deer-in-headlights stare that day that I was horrified! But I can laugh about it now!
You didn't crawl until you were almost one-year-old, and boy did you have me worried. First-time parent anxiety is the worst. But you crawled right before your first birthday and started walking shortly after!
I thought your first birthday had to be perfect...I'm talking pressed tablecloth, smocked dress for you, a gourmet smash cake that cost a ridiculous amount. I've since mellowed and have realized that nothing has to be perfect...that you don't notice those silly details.

 A few months after your first birthday, your Dad and I made the decision that I would start staying home with you and quit my full-time job as a nurse. Oh how I treasured (and still do) that special time with you.

Your favorite show when you were little (you still are little, but I'm talking little little) was Super Why. You danced and danced when that show came on. You called it Why Why.

I swear it's because of that show that you learned your letters early on. TV isn't always a bad thing.

You loved going on walks. I'd stroll you around the neighborhood or at the park, and you'd be in heaven.

Swimming was not your favorite at first, but you love to be in the water now.

You also love being outside. I've even heard you say before, "Aah...this breeze feels so good." :)


For a long while there you would not wear sandals without socks. Everywhere we went, you had on your socks and a little old lady tourist. All we were missing was the fanny pack!

You started preschool when you were 2 1/2, and you loved it. I cried when I dropped you off that first day, but you marched through those doors confidently, and I was so proud of you.

You still adore school. I know this trend may not continue forever, but when I drop you off now, many days I see you twirling and dancing down the hallway to your classroom!

That is dance your way through life...literally! You're always running, jumping, or twirling.

And more on the love to run. I swear you are going to be a cross country athlete one day.

The beach is your happy place...

You are a true first-born, and you like to win, and you like to be first. I think this is probably a really good quality to have, but we have to work on understanding that we can't always be first...and that that is OK. :)

You were so happy to become a big sister. It was a little hard at first, you trying to understand that you had to share me...but once you met Hadley you were smitten. And you are the best big sister.

You would finally have a real little sister and someone to replace Stella!

Your favorite holidays are Halloween and Christmas. You love to dress up, and the idea of Santa visiting your house each year makes you so excited.

You are as girly as they come. Princesses, Barbies, and dolls are your happy place.

You are a little artist. One of your favorite things to do is draw, and you're really talented. I have saved so many of your things, and I treasure each one.

You are a momma's girl through and through. And I don't mind one bit!

You love the color purple. I wonder where you get that?

You're a pretty picky eater. But you love milk. And anything sweet. You'd eat chocolate and candy all day if I'd let you.

You're shy and a little timid at first, but once you warm up to someone or a certain situation you are confident and ready to go!

You are kind and tenderhearted. These are my favorite qualities about you, dear one. I will never forget what I witnessed last year at your class's Easter party. All the children in your class were playing outside, and most of the moms were sitting on the sidelines watching. One of your classmates was waiting her turn to ride in a motorized car, and someone jumped in front of her and took off. She started crying, and you immediately took her hand and said, "Come on, let's go play!" And y'all did, and your classmate stopped crying and forgot all about wanting to ride in the car. Even as a young child, you notice the needs of others, especially those who are hurting or different...and there is nothing you will ever do that will make me more proud. 

Thank you for making me a mom for the first time. Thank you for teaching me so much about life. And thank you for just being you.

You are a joy in every way, and I thank God for the gift that is you. Happy 5th Birthday, Lily! We love you forever and always.