one year ago today...

Dear Gwenivere,
One year ago today I was waking up to my water breaking. One year ago today I was doing the hardest work I'd ever done. One year ago today I was delivering the one that would steal my heart. I can't believe it, I just can't... now I can measure your life in years. That is just unfathomable!

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see, she was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be in my daughter's eyes

Gwen, you are truly my heart's song in physical form.
You are what I didn't know was missing from my life. I can't look back and say that life wasn't good without you, because it was good... but I can say with certainty that it is better with you!!

Life is fuller, busier... crazier! You are funny and fun, you are trying and frustrating, you are so much more then what I hoped for. You talk all the time, and when you make me laugh, you think its hysterical and it makes you laugh too, which I find funny, and it just builds. You are sweet and loving, and so attached to both your dada and I... not to mention your Daisy.

Gwen, it has been a blessing to watch you grow so far... and I can't only image how it will be to watch you in the years to come. I'm constantly amazed at the new things you pick up... the words you repeat, the fact that you are toddling around now, the sense of humor you display.

...And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

So, here we are at a year, and still breastfeeding. What a milestone! Its been so trying and so rewarding.

Together we've made it through one milk blister, 2 bouts of mastitis, a handful of clogged ducts, hundreds of night wakings, hundreds of hours attached to a pump, and thousands of hours with at least one of my boobs hanging out!! But I've also gotten to experience the sweetest moments because of breastfeeding too. Extra snuggles, milk drunk grins, a sweet babe heavy with sleep in my arms.

With all the times that I feel like yelling, "Stop! Slow down! Its all going too fast!" ... breastfeeding gives us our quiet moments together. Moments when we do both stop, slow down, and just enjoy being together in the moment. You comforted, calmed by my closeness, and nourished. Me calmed by the rhythm of your breathing.

We're still going strong and it will be interesting to see when you decide you don't need it anymore. I'm not sure how I'll feel when that day comes, but I'm sure I'll be sad.

Oh little girl, your smile lights up my day. I knew before you were here that I would want to be with you, that I would be an attached mama. What I didn't realize was my need to be with you. Its a biological imperative! I need my baby. I enjoy going out with your dada sometimes, or with a friend, and I work full-time. But if there is a time that we're normally together (say evenings, or weekends) and I end up having to be somewhere else, it feels like a physical ache. I never expected that. But you are such a part of me now, Gwen, you are the biggest part of my heart transported outside of me.

You know, I don't think I've told you yet, but I always thought that I was going to be the mama to a boy. Your dada's family has a lot of boys, and I just thought that I would end up having another little boy... but Gwenie, since the moment I found out you were going to be a girl, I could not imagine it any other way. And now that I know you as you, and not just as any little girl, well I couldn't imagine myself not being your mama. The two of us, we make a good pair.

...In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she’ll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you see how happy she made me
For I’ll be there in my daughter’s eyes

You definitely keep me on my toes too. You're pushing now, testing boundaries and seeing how we'll react to different things. Suddenly you aren't just my compliant little infant anymore... content to be carried around. Now you're moving all over on your own, you want up, you want down, hands out of the garbage sweetie - that's yucky, here - play with this instead, yay for Tupperware, awww hugging the dog, Gwenie I said no garbage please... ::deep breathes::  There is just no stopping you!!

You go from the minute you wake up in the morning, climbing all over us and talking, to the minute I put you down to sleep in your crib at night.
You are even transferring from two naps to one now! Some days you still need more, but most days its one 2-hour nap in the afternoon, and otherwise, you're going going going! Crawling, toddling, dancing (I love when you bounce up and down, and shake your little butt!), and babbling.

 Oh sleep! The ever changing, ever challenging rollercoaster we're navigating together.

Recently you had some of the best nights that you've had since you were just a few months old! You slept in your crib, the whole night, with only a single waking. Unfortunately some serious teething and a bout of fever pushed us back a bit, but I think (hope!) that we are working towards that again... since it was so wonderful for all of us.

This weekend we head to visit our photographer Brandy to get your 1-year pictures taken... the last in series of them that we were so lucky to get to document your first year. But there is so much more that can't be documented by pictures.

At one year you:
- are eating everything (except big allergy causers like peanuts and honey). You especially love yogurt.
- love to give hugs... especially when we say goodbye in the morning or see each other for the first time at the end of the day. If its a particularly good hug, you'll say "Awwww" while you give it.
- will pat my back gently when I pick you up from your crib (since that's what I do to you).
- have five teeth broken through the gums! And one more about to break through.
- are in size 3 diapers, and wearing 6 - 9 and 9 - 12 month clothes.
- love to blow kisses, complete with 'muah' sound.
- say "ahhh" when I pull out your toothbrush.
- babble all the time. Your words are mama, dada, daisy, hi, dat (that), no-no, done (said while tugging on your bib). You'll also repeat drink if you want your sippy cup, and are saying more things to mimic us everyday!
- need to be bribed with a toy to lay down for a diaper change. 

Gwen, this past weekend, I looked around at the faces of those who were over to help us celebrate your birthday and felt so blessed, so happy.
I love being with those people I love, but even better was being surrounded by people who love you. Not everyone who loves you was there (I don't think we have a big enough house for that!), but everyone who was there loves you. You'll learn this as you grow up, but having love Gwenie, having love makes the world richer, the days fuller, and life better. You have made everything richer, fuller, and better for those who love you; I hope everyday that I can do that for you, now and always. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for us, for you.

Happy Birthday Gwenie. I love you more each day... each year!



  1. Happy Birthday to Miss Gwen!

  2. I am totally crying. You are an amazing mother to an amazing little girl, Megan. Your journey together is so beautiful! I LOVE YOU!

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. Happy birthday Gwen! And congrats Meegs for making one year breastfeeding - huge accomplishment!


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~ Meegs