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Readers Beware: This is a look into my life that few have ever seen or even know about. If you are shocked by what you will learn, just know that I have come far since then, but the reasons I am writing about it now are all personal. It’s not for attention or pity, I am not accepting any of that. I am who I am today because of the things that have happened in my life.
I consumed myself with decorating the baby’s room in one of my all time favorite things, teddy bears. Our families sent furniture, bassinets, bouncers, strollers, car seats, toys, clothes… you name it … they sent it. This would be the first grandchild on both sides of our family. At night when he would leave for work, I would go sit in the baby’s room and reorganize the little clothes in the dresser, smell the body wash, and day-dream about life a few months from now.  At this point in our time in California I didn’t really have any close friends. I spent a lot of time sobbing into the phone to my poor mom.
When I wasn’t rearranging the 20 little outfits in the closet my nose was stuck in a book of baby names. I battled over thousands of names. Searching for something unique that would stand out for my son or daughter. The doctors believed it was a girl, but they were not completely convinced. I was pretty sure that it was a girl, but never closed off the idea of a son. The rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful, I went to my Lamaze classes alone dressed in the one of the only maternity outfit I had… a pair of bib overalls. He never understood the reason to spend money on maternity clothes.
I sulked in the marriage. I stayed angry a lot and extremely home sick. Luckily my closeness with my tummy grew, and I would find myself talking to the little person inside me all the time. The baby was a safe listener, never argued back, and always took my side. Who doesn’t love a listener like that?
She was due on Christmas Eve 2000. But she didn’t come. Two weeks went by… I was miserable. The date I had looked forward to for 9 months had come and gone. It wasn’t until sometime in the early morning hours January 5, 2001 I went into labor.
I spent the whole day in pain at home, enduring my contractions as long as I could. I knew once I got to the hospital I would no longer be allowed to eat or drink, and hearing some horror stories of 48 hour labor, had me determined to hold out as long as possible.  When I finally did check in to the hospital at around 5 in the evening, the doctors told me I was ready to deliver. By 8:10 we had a beautiful little girl named Hailey Marie. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. From then on, I was consumed with this little person. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was completely determined to make her life amazing.
Hailey was an angelic baby. She slept through the night at 10 days old. She rarely cried. She was never sick as a baby. The only thing she always hated was getting her shots. No big shock there. She learned to crawl, walk, and talk early. Our little home was cheerful and alive with giggles, I felt a family connection that I had been missing since leaving Florida.
9 months went by in an instant, and then our world was changed forever.