The day my prayers were answered...

Today's the day. November 11, 2008 at 7:04 PM Alexi Preston was born. As I stated in my last post, my expectations were high about giving birth and having Lexi in my arms for the first time. My expectations were not only exceeded, but I experienced an "out of this world" feeling. It's funny, because a year later I still feel it. The labor and delivery room was filled with so much joy and love one year ago. After 12 hours of labor I did not feel one bit of pain. I waited for about 8 seconds to hear the most precious cry ever. Alexi, my daughter, was healthy, pink, and blessed.

I will never forget Jason standing in between my bed and Lexi's incubator. He is the sweetest father and the most loving husband. He didn't want to leave me, but he wanted to be close to his 7 pound newborn daughter. We made eye contact, each with tears in our eyes and I told him it was okay for him to be next to Lexi. He stood next to Lexi and I could see the pride in his eyes. I could see it all over his body. His dreams and prayers came true too. We both felt complete. We were a family. A family full of unconditional love. This day changed our lives. We were given the best gift anyone could ask for. Alexi will never know how many prayers were said for her. Before she was conceived, while she was in utero, and all the 365 days of her life thus far.

Since today is Lexi's first birthday it is not all too peculiar that I sit here reminiscing about this past year. Today at lunch Jason asked me what I thought was the hardest part of the first year. Just like labor pains, you forget about the tough times, the sleepless nights, and the crying moments where you don't know how to fix it. My response was, "ending breast feeding." Not even the guilty feelings I experienced because it didn't work out the way I expected, but the worst part was the pain I experienced trying to get back to normal. I even stated the pain was worse than labor. The other obvious difficult time was on Lexi's two month birthday when she was in the hospital for a few days. It broke our hearts to see little Lexi with an IV and in a hospital bed. I have never felt so helpless in my life. I wanted so badly to take it all away from Lexi and give it to myself. Jason helped me more than he will ever know during those few days. He was my rock. I don't have words to express how much he helped me get through that time. Our families also helped more than they know. I will never forget Mimi and Uncle Daniel showing up at the ER and just sitting with us for hours. Aunt Sarah took Andie in, brought us dinner and sat with us in the hospital room. Paw Paw came by before work and smiled as he looked at his granddaughter. Our Houston family called non-stop and sent Lexi her bear "Sam" and balloons. We felt a tremendous amount of love during that hospital stay as well.

On a happier note, I remember Lexi's first laugh. Jason was out of town, but I got him on the phone to hear it. She was giggling away and I was crying. I remember the first time we made eye contact and she realized I was her mom. I remember cuddling with her and us both falling asleep. I remember the day she rolled over for the first time. I will never forget the days she smiled, sat up, crawled, pulled up, danced, pointed, said "hi," gave kisses, gave snuggles, or spit raspberries. She makes me laugh all the time. I literally don't stop kissing her all day long. It is uncontrollable. I have fallen quite hard over her.

I knew being a mom would be awesome, but that is definitely an understatement. I "get it" now. I get why mom's have to call first thing on your birthday morning. I now know why they don't sleep, take the best care of themselves at times, or buy their children things rather than buying something for themselves. I will always put Alexi before myself. I will always want the best for her. I will always want to be with her on her birthday. I will always tell her the labor and delivery story on her birthday. My wish to Lexi on her first birthday is for her to have twice as many smiles and giggles than she did this year. Although I don't know how it possibly can, but my love for my daughter will continue to grow. I will love her more and more each and every day.

I am thankful for so much, but most importantly, I am thankful for our answered prayer. Being a mom is a dream come true. Happy 1st birthday, Alexi. I love you. And that again, is an understatement.

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