Tonight, after not being able to send pictures or receive on my cell phone, I finally downloaded all pictures into our computer. These photos go back several years now. This photo in particular struck me and really just threw me back into time. This is the first time that I was able to hold Kaylen. She was born 08/22/08 and this photo was taken on 08/25/08 – three days after her birth. I still remember it as it was yesterday holding her for the first time. As you can see in the picture, my face is very red and very swollen, but some of the redness is from crying at holding my daughter for the very first time. Most of the redness and the swelling was caused by the preeclampsia that I had which caused her premature delivery-being this is three days after delivery-I wonder how I must have looked the day of delivery. The was the other thing that struck me – I didn’t realize just how bad the swelling was until I view this picture on my computer. Now, I realize, it’s no wonder why the doctor delivered me in under a hour of meeting me at the hospital – oddly enough, I always thought it the back in my head that maybe doctor should have waited a few more days before delivering me. I never uploaded these photos and these are the only photos I have meeting my daughter for the first time – I’m so thankful now that I have them to remember such a life changing moment in my life. I remember I was so nervous at meeting Kaylen for the first time. After three days of desperately wanting to meet her and finally be given the okay, I remember feeling like I had to get ready for her. I had to take a shower before I meet her and hold her. I remember being so anxious as Jeff lead me to where to the NICU was and thinking to myself that would it mean I was bad mother if I wasn’t able to pick her out of all the babies in the room – would I somehow just know which baby was mine? I remember clinging onto Jeff’s hand and asking him if he would tell me which baby was ours. For reasons that I don’t know and make me laugh today, he told me no. He believed that I would know which baby was ours. I remember having to scrub in for the first time and being so diligent at the first scrubbing (as other NICU parents can attest as time goes by, you don’t scrub for the full 3-5 minutes each time you have to reenter the NICU) and worrying that if I didn’t scrub enough that somehow I would make her sick. After the scrubbing, I went towards where the babies were and just looked around and, amazingly, I did pick her out from the other four babies in the room with her. And when I sat down and they put her in my arms for the first time, I was overcome with emotions like nothing I had felt before. I remember just looking at my husband for a split second and wondering how had God given us something so wonderful and so amazing and then the flood of tears came. It brings tears to my eyes at this very moment. My love and bond to her was instanteous. I KNEW in that second that I would love her like nothing else and that I would do anything for her. It’s so overwhelming being given such a precious and tiny gift from God – a gift that I knew also meant a lot of responsibility – it is that love and the responsibility that causes such emotions – it somehow just mixes all up into one. To this day, my love for my daughter just grows. I still pray that some how, some way, no matter what life brings her that she will know and never question without a shadow of doubt just how much I love her – that someday she might know just how much she changed my life and how she helped me to grow into a better version of who I was meant to become – her mother with an undying and unyielding love for her.