I wanted to take a trip back in time to New Year’s, 1997. I was nine months pregnant with my daughter and a week overdue. Her due date of arrival was Christmas Day and we were totally prepared for it. We even had received ornaments that said “Baby’s First Christmas 1996” but she didn’t show up. Now believe you me I was totally ready. I felt like I was going to pop but there was very little sign that she was ready to join us. I saw the midwife and she ran an ultrasound to see what was going on. Everything was fine, but if she hadn’t arrived after New Year’s, we would need to induce labor. I was not looking forward to that. So I took her advice and did what I was told to try to bring labor on. I was supposed to rest with eleven-year old and three-year old sons running around and drink lots and lots of water. My parents came over on the 31st and took care of the boys for me all day. My mother made sure that I did what I was told. Nothing seemed to be happening so later in the evening my parents went home and I settled my mind to the fact that this child was never going to come out on her own. Then the contracts began. They really weren’t bad at all and I just went about my business. But then I noticed that they were getting closer and closer together, so I called the midwife. She told me that I needed to get to the hospital. I was quite skeptical because the boys had taken 24 hours each to be born so I was thinking that this was going to be a long night and that I had plenty of time. I called my parents around 11:00 and asked if they could come and stay with my youngest. We had decided that my older son would come with us to be there for the birth. My husband, son and I loaded up in the car and drove the half hour to the hospital. The contractions began to intensify quickly. When the midwife said that it was almost time to push, I know I must have looked at her like she was crazy. My babies took their sweet time being born and I figured it would be hours. Boy was I wrong. At 1:17 A.M., January 1st, 1997, my 9 pound 4 ounce baby daughter entered the world. She was the second baby born in that hospital that night, the other arriving about a half an hour before. We stayed at the hospital for a few more hours and then I was ready to go home. I do not like hospitals and knew I would rest better at home. They did their tests and we were out of there.
Flash forward to 2009. We just celebrated my daughter’s 12th birthday. I still remember vividly the moment I laid eyes on her and the joy I felt holding her in my arms for the first time. I still feel that same joy when I hug her today. I adore my boys but I think there is something different about having a daughter. I can’t quite place my finger on it, but I am so glad that God decided to add her to my life. I wouldn’t trade a moment I spend with her for anything, even when we are at odds. She both challenges me and inspires me, and I look forward to what the future holds for her. What an awesome way to start a new year.