My mom has been telling me that she has really wanted to write a post for my blog since I started it in April 2010. She sent her first entry in this morning and has asked that I share this and I couldn't be more honored to do so.
I thought I knew my daughter. But I didn’t. I thought I knew everything about her. I had a big part in raising her so how could anything she does surprise me? She is the grown woman I envisioned when she was a baby and since I worked hard at helping her become who she is today, I must know more than anyone about what she was capable of doing. She has shown me her strength, love, compassion and determination many times over during the course of her life. As it turns out, her best was yet to come.
I knew from the beginning that she was unique…and loved. There was never a question about my love for my daughter. Ask anybody. Jordan. She needed a name that would set her apart. So she got a unique name. A strong name. I didn’t know then how much and how often she would live up to her name. We have both had to live up to unique names. So we are the same--yet we are very different. Thankfully different as it turns out. But there has never been a question as to our connection from the beginning. The first time I heard her heartbeat, I was a goner. I knew she was a girl. That first kick. And the way she moved in me! I’ve still never seen anyone’s baby move as much as mine did in me. Late in my pregnancy, I’d run home after work, lay back in the recliner and just watch her roll. It was mesmerizing. She was a profound presence in my life from the moment I stared at that positive pregnancy test one Saturday morning many years ago. I remember there were cartoons on TV for some reason. She never liked cartoons as a child which I find ironic.
Like most expectant moms, I felt her presence constantly. I eagerly awaited her birth and wondered what she would look like. And when I saw her face for the first time, I locked in on her. She pulled my focus then and still does to this day. She is life. And she became my life. She’s the reason I know that I could give up own to save someone else’s. Hers, specifically. And those of two more babies that would follow. Yet, giving birth to her was not a joy. And my pregnancy, although crazy easy, was something I just wanted to get through. I wanted to meet my daughter but I didn’t live in the moment while pregnant, and certainly not during childbirth. This is where we are different. She has a vision for what she wants in life and goes after it. She is determined to make her vision a reality. This was never more evident than on her wedding day. She envisioned a perfect day of celebration, bucked the big wedding trend and got exactly what she wanted. A day that was peaceful and happy—no distractions and minimal stress. A day that was focused on the life she was starting with her husband, on a beach at sunset surrounded by people that loved them both. It was perfect. And her vision became my reality of what I believed to be her finest moment as a woman. Until now. Until the day she gave birth to her son—Wyatt. A strong name that he will no doubt live up to.
So it really came as no surprise that she had a vision for how she wanted to bring her child into the world. Peaceful and happy—no distractions and minimal stress. Natural childbirth. The first time she told me this I had to refrain from flinching. I had three kids. Tried to “go natural” with her but I was unprepared. No training. No real understanding of what it takes to make that commitment and then follow through on it. Seeing her train for this day over the past several months has been incredible. She read books and watched videos. She formed the team that would coach her throughout the pregnancy and be there for her and Ty during their defining moment. I am grateful to this team of midwives and a doula who worked so harmoniously together to ensure her vision became a reality. I’m grateful for Annie, the rock star best friend, who instinctively knew what she needed right when she needed it. To the birth photographer for capturing it all so beautifully on film. But mostly I’m grateful to Jordan for being dedicated to doing everything she could to make her child’s birth, well, natural. And for loving being pregnant and living in the moment like I have never seen her do before. Surprising me over and over again with her joy and calmness during her entire pregnancy. But the big moment loomed and I still wondered what the day would look like. I quietly worried about “complications” and even while she calmly explained the process, a part of me remained wary. Undaunted, she went at this like it was a marathon. As it turns out, it was. And she won. I am convinced that her training and dedication to making her vision a reality is why her labor progressed so quickly. Why she was focused and primal at the moment she gave birth. Why she was able to dig down deep into her soul and find that part of her that was strong and capable of doing something this hard. And Ty was her partner in all of this. He was with her every step of the way. Of course he was. This is who he is and who they are as a couple. They established this on their wedding day. They are a team and now they are a family. And watching them bring this child into the world together, arms and eyes locked—was indescribable. I will never forget this moment. I am truly grateful to them for giving me such a powerful memory. One I can call upon anytime I need a clear image of what teamwork, strength, commitment and family really looks like.
So I thought I knew my daughter, but I didn’t. I do now.