At 16 years old I was fourth-two and a half weeks pregnant. I had gained 54 pounds and stretched my petite frame as far as I could. I knew it was all worth it as the little person I carried inside of me was bringing me so much life already. I was keenly aware that I was not in an ideal situation. I understood my opportunities would look different. I also was mindful of the many challenges taking care of another human would have. Despite all of the "realities" I was about to face, I held on to a truer reality; I was about to embark on the greatest love journey of my life.
Everyday leading up to delivery felt like the longest day of my life. I was so excited to stare into the face of this precious being. On top of that, I was as big as a house and ready to feel normal again. Baby and I almost did not make it through the eighteen hours of excruciating labor. While trying to go through my small and titled pelvic bone, baby's head got stuck. My very large and gentle father had to literally pin me into the fetal position so I could receive an epidural. The doctor said they had nearly lost baby and I all together. My body finally relaxed enough for her head to drop down and pass through the birthing canal. And just like that she was here…
Georgia Ann, the most beautiful human on the planet. She weighed 8lbs 6.5oz and was a whopping 21 inches long. She had a full head of black hair and was perfectly healthy. I may have been utterly exhausted, however, I was experiencing extreme bliss. She was everything I could have ever hope for.
She was worth adjusting my sleep schedule, my ability to take long showers, and my overall routines in life. Even the most basic things like running errands were suddenly a time management strategy game. Do I go when she is sleeping in the hopes she will sleep through the whole event only to realize she will wake up and not sleep for the rest of the afternoon? Or do I attempt to go before she naps hoping she will be in dreamy rest on the way home and I can unload the car with both hands in an organized fashion, only to discover she is out of her element and screams the entire time I am shopping? Or lastly, do I wait until after her nap? She would theoretically be rested, fed, and ready for our outing… At this point I am passed out on the couch with no energy to do anything while she smiles at me in sheer ignorance of my dilemma. During this season, I just did my best to accommodate her needs and learn how to meet my own at the same time.
By the time she was 5, Georgia Ann's jet black hair and turned into gorgeous red locks. She had also become a child fashionista. Stubborn and headstrong, she would argue with me about what mixed matched outfit she was gong to wear to kindergarten. She knew her own mind and would not be convinced otherwise. I was both a proud momma, and frustrated. I did not want to raise a spoiled brat, yet, I also wanted to allow her to be her. I found myself in this tension a lot over the course of Georgia's life. She challenged to grow, mature, and sacrifice beyond what I knew I was capable of. She showed me that I could love her with my whole heart and also be there to guide her through life.
Soon she was a tween. She wanted to wear makeup, have boy friends, and voice her strong opinions. Her clothing style would change drastically based on who she hung out with. She was really trying to find herself. She changed and developed almost daily. It was hard for me to keep up with her taste at this time. Did she like zebra stripes or rainbows today? Does she like pizza or hot dogs tonight? Is she into hoop earrings or flowers??? At times I felt like I was walking a tight rope trying to get to know my daughter who didn't quite know herself. I had to develop strong roots in my own personal identity so she would have an anchor to tether her wavering being to.
Teenager, beloved teenager. Georgia Ann was very normal over these 6 years. By normal, I mean she had her ups, downs, breakdowns, breakups, and came out the other side as if she just went through the birthing process all over again. Hormones and emotions brought fresh fire to the turmoils she had experienced – a severely disabled brother, her father and I's break up, an abusive stepfather and subsequent divorce, and her father's periodical attempts at being a part of her life. When I ended up falling in love with my best friend, Georgia felt like she was no longer the center of my world. To make matter's worse, Georgia's father passed a month before her eighth grade graduation sending her into a spiral of self doubt and destructive choices. She finished high school barely hanging on to life.
Through all of this, I have never met a more courageous, strong, intelligent, and phenomenal person as Georgia. Despite being overshadowed by sorrow for many years she fought her way out of it's dark and painful valley. Today she has two beautiful and thriving children, a successful business, and empowers people to be the very best versions of themselves. She is absolutely stunningly gorgeous inside and out. Her fashion style is now one the people envy. She has turned her headstrong stubbornness into determination and perseverance. She embodies grace and elegance. I am eternally grateful I get be her momma. She is the light of my life and makes me very proud. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was changed by a love I would never experience the same again.
Happy Birthday Georgia, you are on my mind every sec of every day. Thanks for being you!