Eaactly one year ago today, I ran to the toilet at my grandparents' beach house, losing the contents of my stomach for the first time in twenty some years. I did the same later that day at my in-laws' house, shortly after we told them that I was pregnant. And I repeated the feat a third time back at home when I took my prenatal vitamin before bed.
A year ago today, Ellie was the size of a lima bean, turning my life (and stomach) upside down, but so very unknown to me.
Today, she is sixteen pounds of laughing, grabbing, rolling, smiling, bouncing life. She's a striver, my Ellie, wanting to sit, stand, move further than her little body will carry her. She loves being around people, being talked to, being outside. Her smile fills her whole face, makes even her dark eyes sparkle.
It's hard to believe how far we've come this past year, that we've survived four months of nausea, the cough that wouldn't die, back pain, a third trimester shingles outbreak, labor and delivery, those early sleepless nights, breastfeeding difficulties, reflux, and dairy/soy intolerance.
My mother always told me that having kids was the hardest thing she ever did - and also the best thing. The past year has proven her so very right on both counts.