This little girl is a dream to photograph. I wish I wish I wish that I would have done more outside photography or photographs in general of her while she was growing up. I could kick myself. One of my regrets, and I don't have many, but that is a big one.
This life she and I live is pretty spectacular. God could not have given me a more perfect fit in this mother/daughter partnership that she and I have. I knew she would change my life when she was "brewing" inside of me. I loved being pregnant! Absolutely loved it! Not once did I have an ultrasound to determine my baby's gender, in fact I only had one ultra sound at eight (8) months pregnant, doctor mandated. I didn't want to know the gender until he/she was born.
Pizza. I lived off of pizza when I was pregnant. If I was hungry and feeling nauseous...pizza was my rescue. ...and thank goodness for Mammy's pool. It was the only relief for my aching back. I rocked a bikini too...no shame.
Once I found out I was pregnant (at 24 years old), I figured I had better get some type of additional education in order support my baby. ...and I did just that. Within two weeks of learning I was pregnant, I marched into the admissions office of the college I would ultimately earn my business law degree, specializing in Paralegal studies, and the rest as they say...is history.
I was due on September 20, 1998. That day came and went. At the time, my commute to school was just over 40 highway miles one-way. At the check-up on my due date, the doc said "nope, not ready, but soon"! He also said that if I do not go into labor before the 24th, he wanted me back in for a check-up. Talk about a nervous wreck... On the 24th, I went to class that day and left school early for my doctor's appointment. At the doctor's appointment he said that I was 2 centimeters dilated and then proceeded to tell me that it was up to me to decide if I would like to go home and wait it out or go straight to the hospital. DEER IN HEADLIGHTS LOOK FROM ME. HUH? I was suddenly faced with a choice of driving me and my unborn baby 40 miles home and play the waiting game or admitting myself to the hospital. The thought of either was paralyzing but the real thought of driving down the highway and my water potentially breaking...I mean really, anxiety level THROUGH THE ROOF. Everything that could have happened bad was racing through my head. WHY is the doctor giving ME the CHOICE, HE was the doctor! Reality is here. I am going to have a baby. Scared and alone. Here we go.
So what did I do? Who did I call? Duh, I called Mom. My fingers trembled as I picked up the receiver of the phone at the doctors office to dial my Mom's work number (there was no texting back then). By the time the phone started to ring I was in tears. I was so scared. I could hardly speak when my mom answered. Somehow I got out what I needed to and she was on her way. There I went, out to my car and literally, drove myself to the hospital to have a baby. Who does this? Was this an omen for the rest of my life? I was a wreck. Where do I park? What do I say? As I drive to the emergency room and park my car and trembling as I walked into the emergency room, doing my best to hold back the tears (didn't work). Gosh, this was so emotional. Tears falling down my face as I sit here today writing and remembering, now 16 years later. I walked into the emergency room and told the gal at the counter that I am here to have a baby. (I couldn't believe those words just fell out of my mouth.) I don't recall much at that point. I ended up in a room and my mom soon to follow.
I was admitted around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 1998. A bit over 12 hours later at 3:15 a.m. September 25, 1998, we had a baby. ...and boy (haha...no pun intended) was I surprised. SHE came out face up eyes wide open...I am not kidding. I could see her face and her eyes. She wasn't crying. She was looking at me and me at her. A she?? We didn't even have a "she" name picked out! Seriously. She went unnamed for a few hours. I will never forget seeing her and learning her in the first 15 minutes or so we had together. I never understood until that moment how that when you look at your newborn's face, it is an imprint that cements itself in your memory. (Prior to this experience, I thought all newborns looked the same.) She was taken away for routine newborn tests and such, which seemed like the longest few hours of my life. When they finally brought her back to me, and I saw her for the second time, I remembered her facial imprint and KNEW she was mine. (I had a that fear of "what if she was switched at birth".) As soon as I saw her again, that fear quickly dissipated, I knew she was mine. I could go on and on, for now... All of my love.