Tomorrow morning at 10:40am, August turns a year old. I am unable to sleep tonight, excited about her gifts and small party. Since midnight of the 23rd, I have not been able to shake the memories of how I labored with her last year. I had been awake since the 22nd, even woke up early for an appointment because she was over 40 weeks. I didn't really didn't get more than three hours of solid sleep that night or any other night. I was not able to sleep those last few weeks. I didn't fall asleep until the afternoon of the 25th, my new baby in my arms.
Looking back, I am amazed at what I did. Who was that person with all that courage and strength, fearless and determined? I remember watching the sunrise, dewy mornings, walking around by the lake, Mexican hot chocolate and my arms around Jacob's neck. I remember the miso soup he made me, the playlists I made and listened to, the darkness outside and how the rooms looked lit in the wee hours. The stillness of the night interrupted by us heading for the hospital, it was an hour away in Beaumont. A very long drive. Into a brightly lit hospital at 4am, not knowing what would happen next. All the while, August was calm and she remained so until she made her entry at 10:40am. Her cry, my tears. I kissed her tight, chubby little cheek and she stopped crying instantly and kissed me back. By my side ever since.
The three of us remained together from the moment she was born and for the next two days in the hospital room. We continued the Babymoon in Woodville. From here, it still seems so very long ago. I have looked at the photos and watched the movies and still, nothing makes those days feel like yesterday. I have taken in this year like I have no other. It has been 365 days of gratitude and being present. Not a day has escaped without a photo or recording of some sort, not a day that I didn't smell her head or feet and not a day without true love.
Tonight her Papi took her out to get dinner while I decorated a room for her party. I labored briefly pinning streamers from one side of the room to the other. This time, last year, I thought, I never once thought of the future. Tonight I look over at her and she still smiles in her sleep. Happy Birthday, My Lovely Girl, we are so blessed and in love with you.