To My Daughter, Maddie Grace:
You were the bow that wrapped the miracle together. Two tiny pink lines forever seared in my mind, a testimony of restoration, redemption, and all things new. Your presence was felt sooner than your brother's, with seesaw stomachs and cupcake cravings. Oh, so many cupcakes, my little cupcake. The belly grew rounder and the ankles stayed slim for a smidge longer than my first baby-carrying experience. Yet, you also eventually caused puffy ankles and swollen fingers, all 9 plus pounds of your sweet self. My little cupcake.
I rarely had moments to just sit and feel you be you. In the evenings, you would stretch and roll and reach out to touch the inside of your dark home; I would reach back from the outside, sometimes pushing you a bit, too, because you were quite a dancer. My basketball belly would pitch and yaw with your airplane wing arms and legs and hands and feet flying inside.
The morning before you chose to start your adventure, you must have flapped so hard that you let a little trapdoor open. Your nice little liquid padding started to leak, but it wasn't enough to make me call the plumber yet. However, evening came, and you stretched and rolled as usual, springing a little leak. I called your Sha Sha and Pops to come stay with your brother, for they were planning on coming into town the next day anyway. In the early morning hours before dawn, your daddy and I drove to the hospital, leaving brother sleeping soundly and unaware of his new baby sister.
Labor was rolling and stair-stepping and raw. I sat on a blue plastic ball, rolling my hips and swaying as the pain intensified. Little one, you were coming much quicker than your brother. At 7 cm, I caved and asked for an epidural. A few short minutes later, and I felt like you were about to walk yourself out. Just that quick, you were ready to come. 30 minutes of pushing, with daddy at my right hand, and you burst out with all the glory of any princess I've ever known. Straight to my chest they laid you, all vernix-covered and squinty-eyed. You nestled in, close and quiet. A little too quiet, my dear, and several heavy smacks later you chose to raise your voice.
And raise your voice you did. A little meow came out here and there as you searched for a snack. Just 10 minutes in this wonderful world, and you were looking for your first meal. Just like me, you like to eat, and eat you did.
A short 24 hours later and you came home. Home to a tiny cottage with one bathroom but lots of love. Brother held you and kissed you and called you his own. You are the first paragraphs of our new chapters. May your story stay strong and bold. May you hold true to who you are and whose you are. May you always know the love of your family, and the love of the Father who gave you to us.
I love you, Madison Grace Anne, and I am so proud to be your mommy. You and your brother are the best parts of your dad and me, with dashes of stubbornness mixed in. You are the icing to my cake, my little cupcake.
Jonah's story can be found here.