I officially have a three year old. A preschooler. An adorable little human who resembles me and and acts out like Ryan. She is like 4 feet tall and is rocking a pretty serious 80's rocker mane. She is fiercely driven and unbelievably stubborn. Three years ago, I birthed this human being.
Parts of last few years have flown by, leaving behind small rattles and toys, which I'm still tripping over, and spit up stained onesies that I'm too sentimental to part with. Other parts have leisurely dragged. I haven't slept the night in THREE YEARS and that menacing feeling that some horrific catastrophe or certain doom is waiting just around the corner, has yet to go away. I'm serious when I say that I've just accepted that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is no longer a rational worry. That doesn't mean I don't watch her breathe or check for a pulse nightly.
Three years and TEN months ago (yes, Grace was late), in an incredibly unforeseen twist of fate, Ryan and I found out we were going to be parents. Those first few weeks didn't really play out the way I always imagined they would. Finding out I was expecting wasn't theatrical like you see in television sitcoms and there was no big reveal. It was closer to an 'after school special' than a romantic comedy.
The tears that were shed were mostly out of fear and uncertainty. Everyone embraced us, just as we knew they would, and that which has started as a shocking surprise became a perfectly fitting piece of our puzzle.
The first few months were tough. It was winter, snowy and miserable, and I was constantly suppressing the urge to vom. My mom dropped off weekly care packages of folic acid loaded groceries and sought to it that the little sea monkey inside of me would have a healthy start! I've never eating so many sunflower seeds. We began to slowly see evidence of the fact that I had something living inside of me. It wasn't but a flutter at first and a suspiciously thick stomach. As the trees began budding I was feeling much better and was starting to actually look pregnant.
We found out our baby was to be a girl, as the sonographer affectionately pointed out her little ovaries that were full of eggs. Talk about mind blowing. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one.
By summer, I was a full blown water buffalo. Gone was the young sprightly young lady off yesteryear. Now my mobility consisted of an unsightly waddle that typically only occurred as I made my way from couch to fridge to bed (and repeat). My preexisting cankles has morphed into ham hocks, and it appeared that my stomach could explode baby at any moment.
My delivery was intense. It was long and hard, and at the conclusion when I was handed my beautiful daughter, Ryan summed the experience up perfectly by saying "I looks like the end of Braveheart in here." What can I say, the man has a way with words.
It difficult to remember the ins and outs of those first few weeks. Hell, months. From where I'm sitting now, it seems impossible that Grace was ever as small as she is in the photos we have of that time. Grace has grown out of all of her baby features. Her face is still soft and her complexion is straight out of Snow White, but she is maturing every day. She carries conversation and has lots of opinions. She likes things in their place and demands that she have the final word on absolutely everything.
Three years ago today, my life stopped being all my own. I was given great purpose and the ultimate reward. Today I have a beautiful, smart, hilarious three year old. Happy Birthday Grace. We love you to the moon!