My dear, sweet Bailey,
It's hard to believe that a year ago from today I was recovering from your birth in one hospital while you were struggling and sick in another. Daddy would go visit you and send me pictures and I would sit there staring at them with tears in my eyes. I had only briefly met you before they whisked you away and I was longing to have you on my chest where you belonged. I wondered if you would even feel connected or attached to me when we were reunited because we were apart for those long couple of days. I feared that the nurses in the NICU would take my place but everyone kept reassuring me that I was still your mommy and I did carry you in my belly for 9 whole months!
As soon as I was well enough to leave the hospital, daddy rushed me to go see you! When I picked you up for the first time, you instantly nestled in my arms and soon nursed like a champ. I changed your diaper, which made you fussy, and I knew how to comfort you and settle you down. It was like no time had passed and you and I had always been together. I automatically realized that no nurse or grandparent or anyone in the universe could ever have the same type of bond with you that I can have.
Through the past year, you have become my biggest "mama's girl" ever. When I'm in plain sight, you want me and only me. You adore your daddy too, of course, but nothing seems to make you feel quite as happy as when you're in my arms. On the rare occasion that I leave or run a quick errand to the store by myself, you try to follow me out the door and cry when I shut it! When I come back you always rush to see me with that big grin of yours and I love to watch you light up.
I have loved watching you grow this year, Baby! You have gone from that tiny baby to a crazy little girl who is into absolutely everything. You love to get into my kitchen cabinets, remove all the contents of my diaper bag (when I forget to zip it up), and make lots of messes. Your favorite place to explore is the refrigerator and you're never very happy with me when I close it up! You've already been walking for about 2 months and you're so fast that sometimes I have to run to catch you. I think you're just busy trying to keep up with those big sisters of yours!
You have also learned a bunch of new words. You like to hide your eyes with your hands and say "boo!" You laugh every time and in the process, you show off your 6 brand-spanking-new teeth. You've also learned to say "ball," "bye," and "all done." I love hearing your little giggles and babbles and I can't wait for the day that you and I can actually carry on a conversation.
There is not a day that has gone by where I haven't admired your beauty. You have the most beautiful curly hair and your eyes are so vividly blue. You would not believe the compliments I get when I'm out and about with you! I stare at you in amazement and I simply cannot believe that you're mine! I am so blessed to be your mommy and try each and every day to be the very best that I can be for you, Princess. You were that final missing puzzle piece to our family and now that you're here, we're complete. You play such a special role in our family and Daddy and I are so thankful that God entrusted you into our care.
Your first year of life has been challenging at times, but more than anything, it's been extremely rewarding and full of joy. I can't wait for the years to come and all of the things that I'll have the privilege of teaching you as your mother. Happy Birthday, Miss Bailey! I love you more than you could ever even begin to imagine.
With all my heart,