To My Rainbow Baby on Her First Birthday

My dearest Allison Paige,

I'll never forget the night I took that pregnancy test. I was suspicious of being pregnant, but honestly, I was taking the test more so to remove the idea of pregnancy from my mind. I didn't really think I was pregnant - but it had been well over a month and I had a cheap Dollar Store test in the back of my bathroom cabinet.

I never imagined watching the test line turn that dark so quickly.

To be brutally honest, I cried. I was scared. Shocked. Nervous. Confused. Unprepared. Worried. Anxious. Every emotion I was feeling was contradictory and frightening. I wasn't ready. An awful lot had happened in the past year and a half - and possibly taking on those challenges again, so soon, I just wasn't prepared.

Despite all of that, I did smile. I did do the typical girl-thing of using my hands to cover my wide open mouth while my eyes opened as big as they could. I did take time to enjoy the moment - finding out I was pregnant in my bathroom. My mind was conditioned to think I would need to take medication, have injections, ultra sounds, procedures, and blood work to ever get pregnant again. I would only ever receive a phone call from a clinic to know if I was pregnant or not. Although this was a moment of mixed emotions, I did take the time to enjoy a moment I didn't think would ever happen for me. A surprise pregnancy. 

Through it all, God used you. He used you to show me and your daddy that pregnancy can be a joyful experience. Birth can go seamlessly. Holding a freshly-born, crying baby can be our reality. And it is possible to take your baby home 48 hours after she is born.

God used you to show us that we could move forward.

You showed us what it's like to cry tears of joy in a delivery room.

We hadn't planned for you, but I can't imagine you coming at a more perfect time. Honestly, I'm not sure we would have ever been ready. God gave us that push by giving us you.

You have been nothing less than a complete joy to our family. Lately, when I talk to others about you, I often mention how you are just happy to be alive. You're always happy - and smiling. You have a easy-going, carefree spirit that I adore. You're curious and always ready to explore the world. Your laughter is the best sound and instantly contagious. Your cheeks are perfectly chubby and that bottom lip never stops poking out. It rocks me to my core in the best way possible.

One of the things I have loved most about this past year is seeing you interact with your sister. She's not too keen on sharing quite yet, but when she pulls her toy away, you just laugh and think it's hilarious. You're just happy to be around her - to watch and learn. And I can already see you are picking up so much from her.

I love it most when the two of you sit across from each other and communicate with giggles. It's the best. I cannot get enough of that. I'm so grateful you both already have a best friend in each other that will last a lifetime - and this happy mommy could not ask for more.

I pray your happy spirit will stay within you forever, that you and your sister will continue to build a friendship and bond that can never be broken, and that I can do the very best in raising you in these upcoming years.

You are most definitely the biggest and brightest rainbow that has ever come into our lives. Your arrival, following such a devastating storm, was exactly what we needed; we weren't planning for you, but I can't imagine life without you. You've given us so much hope moving forward. You are a pure joy. I can't wait to see what God unfolds in your life.

Happy first birthday, Allie Cat. I could just eat you up. I love you so much.