Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

One year ago today, I woke up uncertain of what my day would hold.  Several times in the dark of the night, I had woken up feeling twinges in my stomach. Instead of the obvious, I chalked it up to be some indigestion from the blooming onion my husband and I had eaten the night before as we celebrated our four-year-anniversary at Outback Steakhouse.  But once I rose from bed and went downstairs, I realized something: I was in early labor.

Max meeting his new baby sister for the first time.

Thoughts spun through my mind: Can I really in be labor? I don’t want to go to the hospital and get sent home!  I don’t want to call my family and not really be in labor!  How can I be in labor? My son was six
days late, this baby can’t possible come today!

While it was just four days before my due date, it didn’t seem possible this little lady I was dying to meet could actually be ready to make her way into the world today.

I woke my husband and told him that I thought today was the Big Day.  We were both ecstatic, and I nervous.  I gave Max extra hugs, realizing this is the last day we’d be a family of three.  It didn’t seem possible we’d soon be back in this very house with our daughter. We called family members to come take care of Max so we could head to hospital.  They arrived excited about the newest member of the family, and we left eager to get this show on the road.

They checked me into triage and told me I was dilated to 4 centimeters, but not quite in active labor.  The nurse suggested I walk for an hour.  The hour flew by as I walked the hospital halls grimacing through the contractions, but realizing it meant we were that much closer to meeting our second little angel.  The nurse re-checked my cervix to discover I had progressed just one centimeter, but I was admitted. Hooray!

A short (thanks to the epidural) two hours later my baby girl was born!

There are no words that can describe the moment that passes through your mind when you meet your baby for the first time.

The nurse laid my crying, seven-pound girl on my chest and I could do nothing but beam.  I tell her that she’s every bit as magnificent as I ever could have dreamed.  I tell her that even though I’m just officially meeting her, it feels like I’ve known her forever. I tell her she’s right where she belongs.

An hour later, my in-laws arrived with our son.  Seeing my son lay his eyes on our new, seven-pound two-ounce little girl brought me to happy tears.  Leading up to this moment, I had felt especially nervous.  I worried: would he embrace her? Would he resent her?  In reality, things went just as well as I hoped.  He looked right at her when we told him that she is his new baby sister, that’s he’s now a big brother.  He poked her nose.  He poked her eyes.  He smiled and hugged her.

As I look back at the journey of this year with my daughter, stare into her dark brown eyes & dimpled cheek, I experience for the second time a love and a fullness in my heart that I never knew was missing. She’s the daughter and friend I never had.  She’s another piece of this puzzle I call my wonderful life. I reflect on not just what she’s given me in the form of a child and a daughter; but what she’s taught me during this one short year on Earth.  She’s taught me patience and perseverance.  My two children have taught me to love unconditionally, with my whole heart.  They’ve taught me to forgive easily and to laugh often.  Laughter is often the only way to keep your serenity.

Most of all they’ve taught me to slow down.  You live this life one time.  Stop and smell the roses.  The laundry can wait.  Unload the dishwasher later. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It probably really isn’t that big of a deal.  But these kids are young now.  They want me now. They need me now.  Embrace these moments.

As my daughter turns one today, I feel joy.  Yes, I have that bittersweet feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realize this little girl of mine is growing up, and I realize that she may be my last baby. But instead of dwelling on the inevitable, I embrace her milestones and cheer her on, and I look forward to the months ahead. It is so amazing to see your children’s smiley faces learn, grow, and explore.

Halle eating a cupcake during her one-year
photo shoot by Kate Leach Photography.

We spent a lot of last week at the park, enjoying the spring sunny days Indiana had to offer.   I pushed my kids on the swing and heard their giggles and smiled back at their happy faces.  I watch them with bliss and a happy heart.  My eyes fill with tears of thanks for these wonderful children that I can call mine.  As a blink and a single tear rolls down my cheek, they both look at me in wonder with wide, curious eyes.  I smile and tell them I love them.The breeze blows and I hear a dog barking, I smell the sweet smell of spring in the air.  I bask in this glorious, perfect moment in time.  I want it to last forever.  I grin at their little faces and as a song by the great Louis Armstrong comes to mind.  I start singing to them: “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” What a wonderful, wonderful world.

Category: Kids

Tags: 1 year birthday