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Feb 07

Happy Birthday Jessica Mary

Five years ago today, I had my gorgeous girl. And I can still remember every moment of it, from the first contraction, to the puking, to the absolute relief of the epidural (finally), then the dilation stalling out, and the nurse explaining that they had to do an emergency c-section. Begging the doctors to please let my mom come into the room with me, the tears – I was so scared! Not just of the surgery (although that terrified me) but of the fact, that all of a sudden, there was no way out and I was going to be mother. Moving into the operating room, the isolation of it, Marc and Mom weren’t allowed in there at first, and I was so scared, then finally hearing her first cry and my mother chanting “oh Melissa, she’s so beautiful, she’s just so beautiful.” Then when my blood pressure dropped out, when I couldn’t stop shaking and I was so upset that I couldn’t hold her, and I tried so hard to get control and stop shaking so I could have my baby… and then finally just resigning myself to not being able to hold her and feeling myself fade out – and then when Marc brought her over to me, and held her tiny face so that I could look into her beautiful huge eyes – and when I saw her, it was like my entire world boiled down to just that moment, and everything changed. I’ve never before felt anything that intense, that overwhelming, that immediate. Suddenly, Jessica was in the world, she was my world and it was the best and most beautiful thing that had ever happened to anyone.

She’s so beautiful and so smart and sweet and loving. She’s the very best of me and Marc, she’s got his sense of humor and his mind-boggling intelligence, my sense of drama and emotion – she’s all about overwhelming joy and utter sadness – when she’s happy, the whole world shines on her, and when she’s down, she loves to throw herself fully into it. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a little girl, in a daughter, and the idea of having her in my life for the rest of it makes it so incredibly interesting to me. I don’t want to miss a single second – watching her grow and learn and become the completely whole person that she is has brought me such enormous joy.

I’m a different mother to her than I am to Sam. I love both my kids so much, and I’m paranoid that someone will read this and think I love Jess more than Sam – so let me state, officially and for the record, that I love my boy just as much as my girl. But Jess is my first, and she’s the one that made me a mother. And with her, everything is new and I’m feeling my way thru. With Sam, I know that a temper tantrum doesn’t mean that he needs to go to the doctor (which I did on more than once occasion with my girl – if she was screaming that loudly, she must be in pain, right?). Now suddenly, she’s five years old and she’s going to kidnergarten this year and I still can’t quite catch up with her. She’s still my tiny baby girl, who laid her little head down on my shoulder, who shhhh’d from the beginning when I told her to. She’s the one I tuck into bed, and the one I send off to preschool in the morning. She’s my success story, my shining star, my first baby love. She’s the culmination of what Marc and I built – when everyone thought we were out of our minds, we made her. Her Hebrew name means “beautiful celebration” and it’s always seemed to me be to the perfect name for her – she is such a gift, and such a perfect way to celebrate Marc and I together.

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