To my sweet girl right before your sister is born,
God gave me today.
He gave me a day to soak you all up. To spend every second of the day playing with you and laughing with you. This has been a hard year. And as the year has gone on, I have been able to spend less and less time with you because of all the pain I have been in during this pregnancy and from resting so much trying to make sure that your sister did not come too early.
But, God gave me today. I woke up this morning in so very little pain. Something that hasn't happened in months. I slept well last night. Something that hasn't happened in weeks. When I woke up this morning, I knew I could actually do things. I felt it. I knew that today I was going to get a day to enjoy spending time with you.
We had so much fun together today, Lilly Belle. I took you grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and to the bank. I got to pick you up to put you in and out of your car seat multiple times today. I held you a few times today. I haven't been able to pick you up in months. You are getting so heavy. Or my arms are just that much weaker. Probably a little of both. I let you push a little cart at Trader Joe's and you loved getting to help me shop. You always love shopping there with me.
We sang in the car. I haven't driven out of the Celebration area in months. If we go anywhere further, Daddy is driving. It usually really hurts me to drive because of the muscles I have to use to move my foot from the gas to the brake. It didn't hurt today. So, we sang in the car. We sang loud. We sang your favorite songs, "Uptown Funk" and "Don't Let Me Down". We danced and sang at the top of our lungs. And laughed.
When we got home you painted pumpkins. I haven't given you very many activities to do in the past few weeks because walking around our home to get things all set up for you to do school or crafts just has hurt too much, or I'd start having contractions just walking around. Not today. No pain. No contractions. You loved being able to paint.
You told me you weren't tired and didn't want to take a nap. So I let you stay up. You had about 30 minutes of quiet time playing in your room and then I decided I just wanted to keep up with our fun day.
We went out...again! We delivered two Usborne packages to friends in town and then I took you to the park! I don't remember the last time I was at the park with you. I pushed you on the swings and caught you at the bottom of the slide. You ran around just laughing and laughing. I can hear your belly laugh still as I pushed you on the swings. It was the best.
We came home and since it was just 4:45pm, I decided we still had time for fun. So, we baked some cookies together. You wore your apron and your chef's hat and we baked. I let you do it all. I snuck you raisins and chocolate chips teasing you that you better not eat them which you thought was hilarious. More laughing. I still had no pain. God gave this time to us today, Lilly Belle. After we were done baking I thought we might as well make a homemade pizza together, I mean, you already had your apron and chef's hat on, so why not?!
We all ate dinner as a family and you were thrilled when Daddy commented that whoever put on the cheese and pepperoni made his favorite part of the whole pizza! You told him that he can be your best friend too and you got down and ran over and hugged him.
After dinner, I was still in no pain, so we took Cogsy and the 4 of us went on a walk to get the mail. Our mailbox is at the other side of the apartment complex so usually you and Daddy go alone. Well, you and Daddy always go alone. Tonight...I went with you. You were so happy.
We came home and Daddy did bath time while I took just a few minutes to sit down. Still no pain, but my legs were getting really swollen. I am definitely not use to moving this much or being outside this much in the heat. I went in to wash your hair and then... it was time for bed.
You usually put up such a fight at bedtime lately. You get crazy or you get fussy or you cry or come out with random excuses 4 or 5 times before usually an hour (sometimes more) finally going to sleep. You don't let me sing to you anymore. You like your stories, hugs and kisses, but do NOT like when I sing to you and rock with you. You haven't for like the past year and it made me so sad for the longest time. Lately, I haven't even really thought about it because it's just not part of our routine anymore. Tonight though, you snuggled up with Daddy as he read you one of your new books. You gave him the best goodnight hug and whispered in his ear, "you are my prince, Daddy." And he told you that you are his princess. He hugged you tighter and gave me a smile that told me it meant everything to him. Then he told he loved you and said goodnight and you came to sit on my lap in the glider. You snuggled up and I read you, "The River." And then you asked for another book so I read your new lift-the-flap book about Space. You never complained. You never got frustrated. You just snuggled in and let me hold you tight as I read to you. Usually while we ready lately you get silly and want to read to us with made up words or you flip the pages all around and go crazy. Not tonight. You just snuggled in.
When I was done reading, you just sat there all snuggled up in my arms. I asked you if I could sing to you. You said, "please sing me a song from Wicked." (You are a little obsessed with witches, Hocus Pocus, and Wicked right now) So I sang you, "For Good," which I used to sing to you every night. You didn't budge. You let me hold you so close and you were just all curled up and snuggled. Your hair was still so wet from your bath and I soaked up the smell of your baby shampoo that we still use on you. You continued to want me to sing to you. I sang "I See the Light," "Do Re Mi," and then I thought for sure you'd want to be done listening, but you just curled in tighter. I asked if I could sing you the song I sang when you were a baby and that my Daddy sang to me. You were sucking your fingers so you nodded yes. I sang you, "Sunshine on My Shoulders." As I was singing, Daddy walked in, and gave me a look that told me he totally understood what was happening. He whispered "I love you. Soak this up," to me, and I cried quietly as I sang you the rest of the song. When I finished singing, I looked down, and you were sound asleep. I sat there with you for about 20 more minutes just rocking you and thinking about how I cannot imagine you not being our only baby. You have not fallen asleep in my arms in, well, I don't even remember the last time. Daddy came back in to see you sleeping and saw that I was resting my head on yours with tears rolling down my cheeks. He rubbed my arm and told me how much he loved me and reassured me that it is all going to be okay. That you are still my baby and always will be my baby...
For the past 3 years and almost 3 months, it has just been the 3 of us. We're such a team. And now, your sweet baby sister is going to be born any day and everything is going to change. I know it is only going to change for the better and we are all beyond excited, but still, it is going to change and sometimes lately, I get sad thinking about you not being the baby anymore. And since I've been in so much pain for so long both mentally and physically, sometimes I feel like I have lost even more time with you. It crushes me.
But...God gave me today.
He gave me you. I have missed you so much, Lilly Belle, but today, God gave me you. He gave me a day to soak up every moment with you. I'm not sure if I will wake up tomorrow and have all my pain back. I don't imagine that this will last. If it does, then that is truly the most incredible gift. The gift of just a little more time just the two of us. Today was such a gift. I love you, my Lilly Belle. You'll always be my little best friend. Always!
Thank you, God, for such a beautiful day. Thank you for letting it end the way it did, with my sweet girl sleeping in my arms. Thank you for giving me the strength to pick her up as she slept and lay her down and tuck her into bed. Thank you. I will never, ever forget this day or night. Ever. I enjoyed every. single. second. Thank you.