Tuesday, May 4, 2010

happy birthday, beautiful

Ramona's birthday didn't go as planned. I was going to spend the evening before her birthday reminiscing about her birth and getting ready for her big one year old birthday party. I was going to write a post about the day she was born. I was going to write a post about her fun party.

What happened is that we got sick with a horrible stomach bug. All three of us, and then some. We had to cancel her party.

But I still did a lot of reminiscing. As I went to bed the night before her birthday, I thought, "this time last year I thought she would never come". I went into labor with Ramona with a bang at midnight. From nothing, to two contractions and then broken water. By 6:17 am we had our little girl. I will never forget the moment she was put in my arms. I felt choked. I couldn't squeeze out words. I held a sob in my body. At that moment, holding Ramona, I felt there was no difference between mother and daughter. I felt like I had been born enumerable times. And I felt shock at seeing Ramona again. I felt certain that I knew her, like I knew myself, like I knew nothing.

I've felt a lot of other things in the last year, things less pure than that. Things muddied by life and expectation. But that moment. That moment of holding out my arms, and getting back myself. That moment I will think of in my last breath.

I was disappointed that we had to cancel her party and were too worn out from our illness to make her first birthday very special. We took advantage of the fact that she's one and had no idea that a fuss should be made. That evening I decided to make her a special birthday dinner. Not some crappy baby food, but a real meal. Scrambled eggs, toast, and banana.

I'm going to just cut to the chase and tell you that we discovered that night that Ramona is allergic to egg. We had to rush her to the doctor. Ramona is fine, it was as small of a deal as a big deal can be. But the limitless possibility is what scared me, and still scares me. As we were rushing to help, I was trying to determine how bad this really was. Could she breathe? Was her silence a bad sign? Am I going to lose her in this seven minute car ride?

Friends, my child didn't come close to that. But my mind went there. My brain eeked out, screamed out the words, "Are we going to lose her?"

Today, my baby girl, Ramona Maple, is one year and 3 days old. She walks beautifully and doesn't say a single word. She speaks her own cute language of strung together syllables. She is willful, but sweet. She loves jokes and dancing. And I feel never-endingly fortunate to be her mama.
Happy Birthday, Beautiful.


  1. That made me cry. How sweet. Ramona is so lucky.

    There is a part of our brain that shuts off when we have children, the part that "goes there" about what would we do if... I am so glad that everything is alright and Ramona is toddling around making your life more special. Happy Birthday, Ramona!

  2. That made me cry too! It was wonderful and eloquent. She is a beautiful little girl with a wonderful family to love her and take care of her. She will know some day the value of that and will always hold you close to her heart for the wonderful childhood you gave her.