The day you were born, my baby girl—Adley, will always be the best day of my life. But please don’t ask me about what the day itself was like.
It was our third day inside a slightly too cold hospital room. The room looked very sterile but had some small pleasantries like fake wood paneling and patterned wallpaper to try and fool you into thinking it was not a hospital room. I don’t know what it was like outside since I was sitting next to your mother for the previous 56 hours. That’s how long it took from the moment we entered the hospital to when you graced us with your presence.
Please don’t misinterpret my tone. You were worth the wait. But something else happened that incredible day that changed my life forever. While anxious to meet you, I witnessed a strength I didn’t know was possible. I watched helplessly as the most amazing person, your mother, did everything in her power to ensure you came out healthy.
It’s why I will forever love you and promise to love your mother even more.
Some people are born to be parents, and your mother is one of them. She’s nurturing, caring, and unselfish in a way that took me some time to understand and appreciate.
We cried tears of joy when the doctor at our local urgent care told us we were having a baby. We went in to get your mom’s sprained ankle x-rayed and left knowing you would be part of our lives in nine *short* months! At least, I thought they would be short months.
Within a week of finding out your mom was pregnant, the morning sickness began. I kept telling her this was a normal part of pregnancy and would be over soon, but the stomach issues stuck around with few exceptions until you joined us.
If that wasn’t enough, your mom was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a dangerous and potentially fatal complication for both the mother and baby. We were terrified.
But through it all, she kept fighting, determined to make sure you were both healthy.
I did everything possible to make a tough situation just a little easier. I went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, and occasionally rubbed your mother’s feet (given my general disdain for feet, this was a big sacrifice on my part). Truthfully, there was only so much I could do to help.
Through it all, my admiration for your mother continued to grow. Then came the big moment when we would finally get to meet you. What I thought was the end of the road was only just the beginning. You were enjoying a comfortable life inside your mom’s belly. It was time to come out, and it took some convincing.
Due to the preeclampsia, your mother was induced. We waited hours for dilation, and your mother dealt with three Foley balloons to help move the process along. I watched as she suffered through excruciating pain. We later found out the epidural only numbed her legs. After 56 hours of labor, including four hours of pushing, we finally met you, Adley.
My eyes welled up in those first moments as I saw this perfect, tiny human seeing her first rays of light. Seconds later, my attention returned to the woman who went through hell for us to experience this. She sacrificed her body and endured pain beyond anything I could imagine. She’s why you are here, and I know you will be a strong and confident woman.
The love I felt for you beginning that day is endless. It’s unlike anything I will ever experience.
But the connection I felt with your mother through it all is immeasurable. I’ve witnessed the single greatest display of strength, desire, and compassion. She’s the most incredible person I know, and she’s helping shape you into something equally special. You don’t always make things easy. It’s something I knew about you before you were born.
So, when I say I love you more than anything, Adley, know I mean it. But also know that I love your mother even more. Because of her sacrifice, I’m here experiencing these moments with you.