This past year has been the most challenging yet rewarding of my life. Being pregnant for most of the year, I was really focused on living my healthiest life for my growing baby while working my butt off to save and to have enough hours for maternity leave. As everything began to fall into place, not a whole lot went as planned but it all somehow worked out perfectly in the end.
Dani-Mae, my daughter, was born October 4, 2018 at 12:19 PM. And my life changed forever. Being a mother is by far the most challenging thing that I’ve ever endured in my short twenty-six years of life. I have been stretched so thin that sometimes I wonder how I get through the days and nights. But with each passing day, I become more aware of myself as a person and the strength that I carry. And that gives me what I need to continue on, to give it my all, each and every day for this little human of mine.
Looking past all of the hardships of motherhood, it is also the most fulfilling, the most rewarding and the most loved I have ever been in this life. Each morning, my daughter wakes up… she doesn’t cry, she just lays there and I can feel her. I feel her breathing change. I feel as she starts to reach around for me in the dark and silence. Sometimes I wait to see what she does, but most times I explode with happiness and start hugging and kissing her. I tell her “good morning” and “I love you” a thousand times over, remind her that she is my baby (even though she definitely hasn’t forgotten), turn on the light and watch her as she glows with happiness, smiling her million dollar smile that starts my day off right.
Dani-Mae is my life’s greatest blessing. She is my light. Not only has she changed my life, I can see how she changes everyone that she encounters. I love watching the most stoic of people melt in front of her. I love watching as my family falls more and more in love with her with each visit. I love watching my rough and tough brothers become teddy bears around her. I love watching my cranky ol sis’s frown turn upside down as my baby enters her arms. I love watching her Jijii Danny, and also her namesake, overcome with happiness as she expresses her adoration for him through her smiles and giggles. Above all else, I love watching my mom as her Jijuu… I thought she was the best mom, but she brings being a Jijuu to the next level.
Dani-Mae fills us all with so much gratitude, she makes me want to be the best person that I can be for her and she is just the loveliest little lady I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing… and she is all mine. I hope that one day she reads this blogpost, and she knows how much I loved her from the second I knew about her. This is my promise to always love and protect her, and to be the best version of myself that I can be, for her. I just hope she knows that, I am trying my very best… and I love her no matter what.
Here are some fun little facts I thought I’d share with you on this fine day… My mom was 25 years old when she became pregnant with me. I was 25 years old when I became pregnant with Dani-Mae. I was born 19 days early. Dani-Mae was born 19 days early. I am a girl born in October and I’m a Libra. Dani-Mae is a girl also born in October and she is a Libra. What are the chances, right!? I am blessed to have such a strong, intelligent, genuinely wonderful woman ahead of me to guide me as I try to do the same for the little one who is following behind me.
– shayla snowshoe