A Letter to My Daughter on Her 3rd Birthday

Photo Credit: Jason Lander

You were supposed to be born around February 2nd. So January 25th started just like any other day, except that your mom and I slept incredibly well. For the last few weeks of her pregnancy your mom had not slept well. She was uncomfortable and worried about having you. When we woke up that Friday morning we had breakfast together and talked about how we’d both slept deeply and soundly. Your mom felt great. I left for work before 7am, and your mom went back to bed.

I was working at the public defender’s office then, and was on my way to court at 9am when your mom called to say her water broke. Well, she thought it had broken, but wasn’t sure. I passed off my client files and caught the first bus home. I called Debbie, one of our midwives, and told her what happened. She asked a few questions, most of which I didn’t have answers for then we hung up so she called your mom.

I got home and we waited for Debbie.

When Debbie showed up she took a few tests. She explained to your mom the difference between cramps and contractions and told us to be patient because some mothers have gone as long as 3 or 4 days before the birth. She also said we should go to the birthing center when there’s a consistent pattern of intense contractions for at least an hour.

Your Auntie Caryn came over and the three of us took Porter for a walk together. Your mom had to go pretty slow, and take breaks, but we got home about 1:00pm.

Auntie left and when your mom and I got home she got into the bath. Your mom got out of the bath and said, “it’s time to go.”

We grabbed our stuff and hopped into your mom’s old Bronco. It was an awesome, but old truck and it broke. We couldn’t drive to the birthing center. I had to call a cab to pick us up. Your mom was having contractions pretty frequently and wouldn’t let me talk to or touch her. She wanted absolute quiet.

By the time the cab company showed up, and we were finally on our way it was almost 2:00pm.

vegan babies

Photo Credit: Jason Lander

When we got to the birthing center there was a couple leaving and they wished us luck. We got to our room and your mom got into the birthing tub pretty quickly. She still didn’t want anyone talking to her or touching her. She was starting to make more and more noise as labor progressed. The midwives were passing notes to each other and whispering to me about what would be happening next. And then your little head started coming out. At first, your head just started peeking out, but then you came right out all at once. You were so excited to be born, you came right out. It was 3:19pm.

You started crying almost as soon as you came out of the water. The whole time your mom was pregnant we didn’t know if you were going to be born a boy or a girl. After you were born your mommy sat in the tub holding you for a few seconds before finally saying, “I have to find out what you are!”

Everything about that day was beautiful. The sun was shining and your mom was fearless. She never doubted her body’s ability to give birth to you and didn’t need anyone’s help. It was a beautiful sight to see, and holding the two of you afterward was the most amazing feeling.

And now you’re 3 years old.

You’re funny, incredibly sweet, and sometimes a little bratty. Last night at dinner you thanked me for making a yummy dinner then told me you loved me when I carried you to bed. You’re picky about what you eat, but like tonight ate the tofu and quinoa like a big kid. You’re excited about cake for your birthday party and love painting. You also promised to start eating the crust on your bread now that you’re three. Your favorite color is turquoise and you love Toy Story 3.

Happy birthday, Mija!