James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To my Lola Bird...

Exactly one year ago today, I met you face to face for the very first time.  But you entered my life long before that.

Rewind the tape back to Christmas Eve 2008.  Your daddy was about ready to pack his bags and leave his insane, emotional, irrational and terrifying wife in a cloud of dust.  I was crying on the bathroom floor, yet again, for no apparent reason.

Until daddy placed a very important test in my hand.  A test that would change my life forever.  A test I was terrified to take.

But I did it.  And, as the two lines indicated, I passed.
I didn't believe it.
So I took another one.
Passed again.

Without reporting my perfect score to your daddy, I ordered him to get in the car and pick up two more.  He tried to peek, but I wouldn't let him.  Fearing for his life, he grabbed his coat and headed out the door.

I jumped in the shower.  As the hot water pounded my face, I couldn't help but allow myself to consider what those two (or four, at this point) pink lines would mean for me.  What they would mean for your dad.

Daddy returned with the two additional tests, both of which I passed with flying colors.

And that's when I learned you were a part of me.  That's when I began to accept what I had been suspecting for three months. 

If it hadn't have been Christmas Eve, we probably wouldn't have told your grandparents and aunts and uncles.  We called Auntie Kelly (who was vacationing in Hawaii with grandma and grandpa) to break the news first, but she didn't answer.  So we called grandma's phone.  They were eating dinner at a very loud restaurant.

Grandpa was thrilled.  Kelly cried.  Grandma said nothing.
Don't worry, it was only because she was overwhelmed at the prospect of having a Lola in her life, as she later assured me.

We told your Ivins family by wrapping up a couple of onesies for Grandpa Tony and Grandma Cyndi to open.  It was a lovely moment, one I wished we had on video.

Then we took you to Europe for two weeks.  So don't ask to go when you are a teenager.  You've already been.

The whole time you lived inside me, you made sure I knew you were there.
You responded to my voice.
You knew your daddy.
You made sure I got used to the no sleep thing by kicking my ribs from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night.

And then one day I couldn't feel you moving.
I have never been more afraid in my life.
I left work in tears and rushed to the doctor, who hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor.
When you gave it a good kick, I burst into tears again.
Tears of relief, tears of love, tears of realization.
That's when I knew how much I loved you, even though I hadn't met you yet.
That's when I knew that the most important thing I would ever become was your mother.

The first time I held you, I didn't know quite what to think.
I felt like I was looking at a complete stranger, one who made lots of noise and was hungry all the time.
But you knew me.
You looked at me with your big, beautiful, brown eyes and gave me the confidence I needed to do be your mother.  You had faith in me, despite the fact I lacked that faith in myself.

Or maybe you just had gas.

This first year with you has been beautiful.  You have taught me so much, little girl of mine.  You've taught me to trust myself.  You've taught me to laugh at myself.  You've taught me to appreciate simplicity.  You've taught me to pay attention for the moments that I so often overlooked in my first 24 years.  You've reminded me how precious life is, and how lucky I am to have what I have.  You've taught me that even the littlest things are miraculous. You've reminded me why I'm here, and given me a reason to hope that no matter how messed up this world gets, there will be always be room for good.  There will always be room for innocence.  There will always be room for love.

Thank you, beautiful baby, for loving me in my imperfect state.
Thank you for helping me see the good in everyone, even when it's difficult to do.
Thank you for giving me a reason to be better, to be stronger, to be more.

I love you, Lola Maria.
Thank you for the best 365 days of my life.
Happy first birthday baby bird.

Yours forever,



Alysha said...

Jess, you are such an eloquent writer. I will never forget when I talked to you on Christmas and you said, we are going to give you your present now- You're going to be an auntie!" I am so glad that you disobeyed me and had a baby while I was gone. Happy Birthday Lola!
Your favorite Aunt

Kelly said...

I loved being the first to know that you were pregnant :) Best day of my whole life. I also was the first to feel Lola kick. Don't you forget that- I felt her kick even before Reece because he was on a camping trip that weekend and I was up playing with you. Also I am disappointed that you never finished the birthing story... I was very intrigued and then you didn't finish it. I would like you to finish it. Also I'm glad you disobeyed Alysha as well, that's probably why Lola likes me better than her. I love you! and Lola bird. She is the best thing you have ever made- but that ceramic bird thing comes in a very close second... Happy birthday Lo-bird!

Alysha said...

She likes me better because I commented first. And it's my ceramic bird! It's dang good too.

kelly said...

Whoops Alysha made I guess you only have made one thing of worth... HA! Just kidding :)