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Dear Zoey:

I decided that I would write you a letter on your birthday every year until you tell me you don’t want them anymore.  The advantage this year is that you can’t talk and tell me that you don’t want one….I figure I’ve got at least a few years of letters to write.

I watched you sleeping this morning.  I brushed the long dark hair from your eyes and stroked your cheek.  You have such soft, beautiful skin – such a beautiful face.  You were snuggled up next to me, curled up in the space between me and your Daddy – close to my heart – forever where you belong.

I think back on this day a year ago.  I got up and got ready to go to the hospital, finished (over)packing my bag and struggled to tie my shoes – your Daddy had to help me – my belly was big and round.  I slowly, with his help, walk through the snow to the car and settled in for the hour ride to Chapel Hill.  I was nervous and excited and anxious that everything would be alright.  At 9;51am, there you were.  So beautiful, so pink, so sweet.

Over the past 12 months, you developed from the quiet, sweet baby I brought home to a fun, sometimes willful, chatty little social butterfly.  You are almost walking – you taken steps without holding on but prefer to hold Mama or Daddy’s hands as you cruise around the house.  You’ve said “Mama,” “Dada,” “Dogh,” and “Baba.”  You crawl around like crazy and are a speed demon with the walker.  Your favorite foods are sweet potatoes and peaches and macaroni and cheese.  You are such a good eater.  You love people as long as your Mama is nearby.  You can’t wait to walk/run.  You love books and your favorite seems to be “Count My Kisses Little One.”

You were a giraffe for Halloween – the sweetest little giraffe that I’ve ever seen.  You helped me make Christmas cookies and devoured your first one, giving me the sign for “more” over and over again.  You took your first plane ride and trip to California in August.  You were a dream on the plane.  You are always such a great baby.  Christmas was so much fun.  You tore open presents and then ignored them, heading to the next wrapped box like a baby godzilla with a grudge.  Your favorite presents seemed to be the blocks from Aunt Amy and the Abby Cadabby doll from Aunt Angeline.

I can’t wait to see what next year brings.  This year has flown by and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy you.  Like this morning – just watch you sleep.

I love you Zoey.  You are the best thing I’ve ever done.  At some point in your life, that statement will embarrass you.  Too bad.  It’s true.

Just remember, I will always be….

Your Mommy.

First Birthday Party

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Christmas 2007 was filled with such excitement and joy.  I announced our pregnancy to Hubby with a pair of baby booties as an early Christmas gift (only one pair, I didn’t know they were twins until about a month later).  We were outted to our family by the inability to get Lasik…we stayed home to enjoy our last Christmas, “just the two of us…”

Christmas 2008 was filled with sadness and anger and depression.

Christmas 2009 was filled with sadness and hope.

Christmas 2010 was filled with trepidation, anticipation and anxiety.  In just 3 days I would hopefully have my healthy little girl safe and sound.  We were on the lookout for any bleeding that could signal an emergency trip to the hospital.  My name was on a helicopter transport list – Dr. Hot Rockstar would deliver my little girl if he had to snow ski through Chapel Hill to do it.

Christmas 2011 is filled with joy and gratefulness and still a little sadness.  I have my little girl.  She’s perfect and I love her so much.  I miss my boys.  I’m lucky and grateful but I’m still a lost baby mama.  This year we can’t afford to make our usual donations honoring the boys so I organized a quick toy drive at work for Toys for Tots.  I’ve gotten a ton of donations and that makes it a little easier.  I reminded Hubby last night that eventhough we can’t buy each other gifts, there isn’t anything else I need…I have him, Zoey and the dogs (well, honestly, I could use a new nursing bra – this one is poking me like crazy!!). 

I’m lucky, I know it.

I’m participating in Once A Mother‘s Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday (that I remember it’s Friday and get here to post in time 🙂 )we can gather here to share our little ones’ triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes … even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course).

Zoey is just amazing to me…she’s giggly and so incredibly mischievious…she loves to share her snacks with me, “Da-da” and the “Dohgs” (our two dogs who are ecstatic to have discovered that she’s got treats).  Her little personality is so fun to see as it changes almost daily.  She gets soooo frustrated that she’s not more mobile yet.  She scoots and pulls up but on her own, she’s not crawling forward or walking yet.  She’s so close though, you can just see it.  Put in her the walker?  Oh she’s a holy terror.  You can heard her coming down the hall…stomp, stomp, stomp…squeallllllllllll as she chases after the dogs….

I teared up last night as I realized that she will be a year old in less than 2 months.  That’s right.  The bay-bee that I never though would be is going to be a year old.   I’m so incredibly grateful everyday for her. 

I’m planning a first birthday party.  Me.  I’m her Mommy.  And I’m so damn lucky.

Zoey on a Fall day sporting her pink cape...she's my super baby!