Milestone photography - 1 year

One year ago today, I was in a hospital room, exhausted and relieved. It's crazy to remember (and admit), but I actually had trouble bonding with this sweet little angel. My epidural was a bust (only worked on the right side, they didn't like how I was pushing so they took it away - the nerve!). My epidural worked like a dream in my first two labors, so this unexpected pain kind of caught me by surprise. I did my best to remember all the tips from natural birthing class years ago, but it wasn't going well! I couldn't move my legs at all because of the epidural, so I couldn't get into helpful positions to speed labor or reduce pain. I was stuck with the cons of the epidural and none of the pros. The pain continued when I quickly developed a uterine infection and was wracked with fever for a week.

When she finally made her appearance in the delivery room, I didn't want to hold her. I wanted to rest. She wanted to nurse. I felt mad and selfish. How could she make demands after all I just went through? It was such a foreign feeling. With my other two kids, I bonded right away and celebrated their quick latch. How do you natural birthers do it?! Now, if you've seen this sweet face and her sweet disposition, you know these feelings didn't last long! What a little heart melter.

If something happened to you this year that was painful, tragic or unexpected, I encourage you to take a second glance. Don't just look away because it hurts. Maybe after the dust settles from the loss of your job, you find that a new passion to pursue that fills you like never before. Maybe something that felt unpleasant at first, became the most beautiful thing in all the land. Look back on this year with fresh eyes and plan for wonderful things ahead.

Happy birthday sweet girl! Thank you for making my life better in every way. Rayna is a snuggler, a climber and a dancer (also, I think she might be a genius). Any ounce of music, no matter how distant, no matter if you're mid meal, calls for dancing. Cell phone ring from the other room? Dance party. She is so happy and she makes everyone around her so happy too. Sorry we got off to a rough start, Rayna. I love you my walking, talking, dancing, climbing, clapping, snuggling princess pretty face!

In typical 3rd born fashion, we didn't have a cake smash or elaborate party. But we did make it into our run down back yard for some portraits. =)