Wednesday, June 23, 2010

celebrating my girl

Twelve years ago this morning, my beautiful chick arrived in the world. Twelve years ago at this very moment, I was in the throes of a nightmare labor—she was born at 8:43 so right about now was all about begging for drugs, broken machinery, losing her heartbeat, oxygen masks, and pain that ripped me apart. In the free-for-all no one noticed I was fully dilated and she was crowning—and 4 super pushes, I met Iz.

When the midwife congratulated me on a beautiful baby girl I said she was wrong, I was having a boy. I think I convinced myself she was a boy because I really wanted a girl and didn't want to be disappointed at birth. But, there she was, a beautiful girl who showed up a month early. She was whisked away to the neonatal ward to make sure all was ok and there I was, drenched in sweat, beyond exhausted, completely spent, overcome with too many emotions.

And I was a mother.

Her arrival made me who I am. Being a mother is the single most important role I'll ever have. I had no idea as I visited this tiny little being, attached to too many wires in the NICU, how radically she'd change my life.

But, this is about her.

Well before she was born I knew how determined she (or actually it) was. The baby, whom we called shmoo, spent much of its time kicking me from the inside with such force I'd often double over in pain. I'll never forget clutching my left rib, her favorite spot, yelling at her to stop. I'd never imagined I could get angry at a fetus, but there I was, screaming, finally grabbing an appendage that seemed as if it was about to burst through my abdominal wall with a nod to Alien and then screaming even more when I realized I had someone's very small, very strong foot in my hand. We were having a moment.

We still do.

She hasn't lost that determination. Focus. Drive.

She is also remarkably sweet and soothing. Loyal beyond imagination. Thoughtful. Caring.

So smart it's disconcerting at times. Wise far beyond her years. Creative and driven to make what she imagines a reality. Empathetic. Engaging.

Geeky—a description she wears with honor. Quirky. Weird is another word she uses to describe herself gleefully.

She hugs with fierceness. She loves with no reserves. Her soul runs deeper than just about anyone I've ever met.

And yet she loves Sponge Bob.

She has my heart. She is my hero.

Happy birthday to the fabulous Miss Iz.

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