Today (or maybe yesterday) you are one. I can’t believe we’ve already spent an entire year together. A year ago you were born 2.5 pounds and in need of breathing support. Now you are over 15 pounds and tear around our house like you’ve always been here. Our lives are so different from a year ago, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Even the puggles are happier with you in their lives (also, fatter).
I cried the day you were born because I was so scared. I knew you’d be fine despite being only 31 weeks, but I didn’t know how I’d survive without you. You spent six and a half weeks in the NICU and they were the hardest six weeks of my life. I hated watching other people take care of you when I wanted to so badly. Changing your diapers was the highlight of my day because I was finally allowed to do something for you. Leaving the hospital without you was the hardest thing we’ve ever done and your dad cried too (although he now denies it).
When you finally made it home, we were a little terrified. I had my dissertation defense a few days later and I was so unsure about leaving you even though it was with your Aunt Mandy (by the way kid, we may not be related by blood, but she would do anything for you). We survived that and were soon on our own as family left.
Besides the occasional nighttime breakdown, we did great and you thrived. Nursing just didn’t work, but you never minded keeping me company while I pumped. You were and continue to be a champion sleeper (you definitely get that from me) and you’ve always been such a content baby. I watched you get three shots at your 2 month visit and you only cried on the third one. There are definitely hard days (yesterday, for example), but even on your worst days you still give us plenty of smiles and giggles.
I always knew once you were here that your dad’s world would stop revolving around me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your dad adores you. You both light up at the sight of the other. The days he can’t be home to see you are really hard, especially since he so wants to be here with you. Never forget that your daddy loves you more than anyone else. I hope you’ll stay this close, even when you reach the dreaded teen years. You’ve made our marriage better and I love your dad just a little more when I see how much he loves you.
Everyday I’m amazed by you. You are so stubborn and independent at a year and we love it. I hope you’ll stay your own person and never let anyone push you around. You also just keep pushing and trying to do new things. We love how inquisitive and interested you are (although we are going to need to buy a lot of outlet covers). You are fascinated by peoples’ teeth and I suspect you may grow up to be a dentist (or a dog trainer because you cannot get enough of the fuzzy types). No matter what you do, we’ll love you. Just remember that you’ll always be my little girl and I promise to try not to embarrass you all the time. But a little embarrassment is good for you. Especially as a teenager.
Thank you, baby girl, for the best year of my life. I know I’ve cried about your the circumstances surrounding your birth, but I wouldn’t change it. You are perfect.