Happiest Birthday, Miss Claire
Creating her was fun.
Pregnancy was easy. I dealt with a sore back, headaches and leg cramps. I tried to get every last ounce of sleep possible, knowing that as soon as Claire was born, all that would change. I had my bag packed a week before my due date and I had a sitter lined up for Sadie-Dog.
So it wasn’t a surprise when at 10 o’clock at night on October 11th when my water broke, I was the calm one.
I woke up out of a dead sleep when I felt a pop and drip. I thought I had peed the bed. But when I went to the bathroom I didn’t have to pee, yet stuff was still coming out.
Timidly, I called downstairs, “Matt?”
I heard the remote fall on the floor and he came running to the bottom of the stairs. He wasn’t stupid. He knew it was time.
I called my doctor and she told me that my water had most likely broken and I was to go to the hospital. Oh – and eat something on your way. Yah, right. I thought to myself. I was full of nervous energy.
Matt forgot his wallet, he forgot his overnight bag, he forgot his head. When we got to the end of our windy, bumpy road, he realized all this. Since I was feeling no pain whatsoever, I calmly told him to go back to get it. When we were in the driveway, before the car was even fully stopped, he bolted out and was back in 10 seconds flat. He made me laugh.
Labor was easy, too. With the right drugs and the right company, anything is possible. Once they began to induce my labor with Pitocin, I labored for 10 hours and joked with everyone the majority of the time. When Carly and my Mom went to go get some lunch at 11:30, they were shocked to see dozens of people running to my room at 11:50.
I pushed for 12 minutes and only 5 times. I didn’t hear my doctor say if she was a boy or a girl. I didn’t see her. They took her away and a few NICU doctors looked her over in the room a few feet away while I wondered and waited what she was.
“Cassie, did you hear me? I said, she’s a girl!” My doctor told me with a big smile on her face.
“What’s her name?” Everyone wanted to know.
“I need to see her. I need to see her face.”
And the NICU docs moved over and there she was. This beautiful little baby girl, wide-eyed and looking for me as I was looking for her.
Matt looked at me and said, “Well? What do you think?”
“She’s a Claire, Matt. She’s our Claire. And she’s perfect.”
My Mom took a zillion photos of her on the weigh table and when the nurse finally handed her to me swaddled up and perfect, I looked at my Mom and said, “Her middle name is Raelyn. Rae for Carly and Lyn for you, Mom.”
Loving her has been the easiest part of all. While tantrums and freak-outs are a part of our normal, every day life, it’s when she says to me, “Mama, I’ll make a funny face if it makes you happy,” when I realize how lucky I am.
She’s most definitely not go with the flow and hates to be told no and she is easily distracted by, well, anything. She’s stubborn at best and has a hard head. She hates when I’m sad and has a way of knowing when to hold back a tantrum if Luca is already started on one.
She’s a daddy’s girl to no end and has successfully had him wrapped around her little finger since minute one. Separating those two is like trying to keep the sun away from the sky. And while I fit in there nicely, I’m no Daddy. And I don’t hold it against her one bit.
She’s my life. At 12:02, my life had changed forever. And three years later, I’m still just as much in love with her as I was from the very beginning. She’s my little Bubba Bean.
Life sometimes doesn’t make sense. I tried not to figure it out. But the moment Claire Raelyn entered it, I understood what it was all about. To love unconditionally, every moment of every day, that’s what she teaches me constantly. She shows her love in a way I never thought to be possible – by just being her. Her smile, her charm, her laugh…her everything. She’s the reason I exist. The reason I need air. The reason I love.
She’s taught me how to be a good Mom, inside and out. She teaches Luca things I could never do. She’s made Matt and I a stronger couple. She doesn’t leave Sadie-Dog out.
She’s my everything.
Miss Claire –
I love you bunches. Thank you so much for being my daughter and for making me see the beauty in every day. I thank your Daddy every day for marrying me so that I could have you in my life. Please, never change, because you, Miss Claire, are exactly the way you should be.