Dear Kendal…

Dear Kendal,

Well this is interesting…a letter to my youngest.  We have some catching up to do girlfriend…

One year ago within minutes of writing this, I learned that I would finally go to the hospital to deliver you.  I remember wishing away the end of what felt like your long stay in my overgrown and over-stretched belly.

37 weeks

You wouldn’t come easily.  We learned you were in a deep transverse arrest (face presenting), and we were told it was too dangerous to naturally deliver you.  I was being prepped for an c-section.  Alright I will be honest, when they first told me I was going to need a c-section, after a pause, the first thing I said was “Okay, alright…well at least I don’t have to push…”  And then there were about five blank stares from those in the room who assumed I was not taking it seriously.  I was but I am sorry, the doctor broke my water a while before that and I was in full blown labor immediately.  I already knew what labor was like, and I could not get it together…ridiculous, I know. Nevertheless, you made your stubborn entrance into this crazy world as perfectly as you intended…foreshadowing what life with you would be like.

kendal 3 days

I would have kept you small that small for a million years.  You were a dream baby.  You were also busy from the moment you arrived wiggling and moving and waving your arms nonstop.  Sleep slowed you periodically, but as you grew we realized that our hands (and hearts) would be more full.

One week after your six month birthday, your sister was admitted to the hospital for leukemia.  I feared that day for more reasons than the completely obvious.  I had a little baby at home who needed me. I had a baby at home who I needed, too.  I had to accept that I would miss a large handful of your firsts and that I would not be there each day.  I would miss you grow.  I would miss rocking you to sleep.  I would miss a small part in directly raising you for the next six months.  And it killed me.  It still does when I think about the time that I missed with you…the time that I can never ever have back with my baby.

In that time, when your days were rough I would skype you at daycare, talk to you on the phone at night with daddy, and sneak away for one or two nights just to be able to see your sweet face.  I know that you will have no memory of that time and for that I am thankful, but please know that a day did not go by where I did not miss you or think of you when I was away getting Tessa better.   I remember so vividly having to decide what baby needed me more each day, and I hope my heart never endures that feeling again.  Even though I cannot replace those long days and nights, I will make up for it in the days and years to come.

You are such a brilliant and sweet little lady.  You crawled at 5.5 months, walked at 9.5.  You climb on everything and dance every single time you hear music.  You have been talking and teething your way into your toddler years.  Most days we say how crazy you are, but really we know how amazing you are.  Your spirit is wild and free.  You are driven and stubborn like your dad (okay and maybe mom as well), and sweet like your sister and brother.  Being your mom is awesome.

credit:  Judi Carey
credit: Judi Carey (Little Britches Photography)

I love watching you grow.  Happy 1st birthday baby girl!

credit:  Judi Carey (Little Britches Photography)
credit: Judi Carey (Little Britches Photography)

Love, Mom


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