730 days. one hour and 6 minutes later

Dear 3of3,

Two years ago today, you were born. After testing positive for Down's, after a placenta in the wrong place, after 9 months of the most horrible pregnancy imaginable, you came to us with conjoined toes on one foot, a collapsed lung, not hearing and unable to nurse enough to get milk from me. 2 days later you went home a perfectly happy, healthy baby. Sometimes tests are wrong, I guess.

Your birth was so fast and so much more painful than anything I've ever experienced that I can't remember any of it; I only know what I have written down in your book. What I do remember is watching your brother, and seeing your birth through his eyes. In that, you have given both him and me the greatest of gifts. He changed a little that day. I have no doubt that if anything, he will always have a fine appreciation for women, and mothers in particular. And I, well, I got to see my son in a whole new light. I love you for giving us both that.

You have changed the entire way I have always seen myself. I have always been terrified of little girls and sure that I could never be a mother to one. See, your grandmother was awful to me. Her mother was awful to her. Her mother was awful to HER. It just goes on and on. I was determined to break this cycle by never having a girl myself. But here you are, and her I am, and I am so crazy bad in love with you that I get lost in it sometimes. That cycle certainly did stop. You are feisty and imaginative and sassy and absolutely spoiled beyond rotten, and you, my dear, are the apple of my eye. You hold the possibilities that I always yearned for but never got to reach. You make every day of mine sunny and lovely and bright.

Because of you, this man that we all love has a place in our family; a role, a title, more than just "some guy who buys us the best presents". You and your brothers have a Gaaaawdfather, an amazing one at that. He his part of our lives now, and forever, and so is his whole family, and it was because of you all that is possible. You brought two families together in a way that few things can, and we are all a little better for it.

I hope that I can always be the mother you deserve, and teach you the right way to live your life, and give you confidence and compassion and patience and strength. And when you're all grown and gone and living your life, I hope that I can be your best friend. My only wish for you is a life full, rich, and well-lived.

And remember, dear, that momma is always right here. I always have a hand for holding. I will always kiss you goodnight, as long as you'll let me.

Thank you for the very best two years of my life. I love you to the moon, baby girl.