I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I remember I woke up and knew that you were coming that day. I didn’t feel any different, but I knew in my heart it would be the day I got to see your face. I got ready that morning knowing we would go to the hospital at some point. I had our bags packed and my hair done and our cute going-home clothes all ready. But this would be my first lesson in many that no matter how prepared you are as a mom, you aren’t prepared for everything.
I remember the contractions started at the mall. We all thought that was funny because we love the mall. They weren’t strong at first, so of course, I kept shopping. I remember Papa needed new shoes and while he tried them on, Yaya noted times on a pad of paper. I remember when they started getting stronger. I remember when Daddy got home and was so excited to leave for the hospital, but Yaya said it wasn’t time. Daddy asked Yaya to see her medical degree and she pointed to me. She didn’t need a medical degree. She’s a mom. Moms know stuff. I remember how the contractions hurt worse when I laughed but I couldn’t stop.
I remember driving to the hospital. I remember when the nurse said it could be awhile and Daddy told her we weren’t going anywhere. He’s been protecting us long before you were born. I remember when the pain was really bad. I remember when it was even worse. I remember when they said it wouldn’t be long. I couldn’t wait to hold you.
I remember their faces when they said you couldn’t breathe, so I breathed extra air for both of us. I remember when they said my heart rate was dropping and the doctor gave me medicine. I remember Daddy’s face being scared but all I could think about was you. My heart knew even then I would always take care of you before me. I remember how many people were suddenly in the room. I remember talking and pushing and pulling and serious faces.
And then I remember silence. I remember wanting to hear you cry but not hearing anything. I remember seeing you across the room. I remember how you were purple and blue, and I just wanted you to be pink and wrapped up in my arms. I remember telling Daddy to go with you. I remember how torn he was to have to leave one of us. I remember how empty it felt without you. I remember laying face down and praying for God to do for you what I couldn’t.
I remember visiting you in the NICU. I remember really bad times and really good ones. I remember watching Daddy hold you and just stare. I remember you looking back at him, memorizing parts of his face. I remember walking away from the hospital without you. I remember sitting in your room at home, praying for you to fight like the strong person we know you are. And you did.
I remember pieces of every day since that day. I remember days when I wish I’d been a better mom and days when I felt like we were getting this right, you and me. I remember you crawling backwards first and getting stuck in corners. I remember the day you slept on your bear on the floor next to TayTay as she painted you a picture. I remember Daddy sneaking in to your room to let you sleep on his chest.
Five years later…
Daddy still sneaks in to let you sleep on his chest. I’m still willing to give you all my air and heartbeats. I can’t describe the ways God has changed me by letting me be your mom. I can’t explain how proud I am of your love for people, your energy and your confidence. I’m grateful I remember that day. It makes me all the more grateful for this day.
Happy 5th Birthday, Brynna Grace!
I love you from the east to the west…