Every baby comes with its own birth story, and the journey it took to bring it to life.
Mackenzie Riley came into this world on a Tuesday morning via emergency cesarean section after almost twenty-four hours of trying to be induced. She is perfect. She is taking away every hardship pregnancy gave me over forty-one weeks by the minute. It only took me a day to say “it was all worth it.”
This is my take two on life. I did this once before—with another partner, much more planned and strategically plotted. I was so much more nervous; so much more calculating; so much more judgmental of the process and myself. I threw away any motherhood instincts, mostly because I had a partner who doubted me, criticized me and didn’t believe in me—or in love. Not in the way of the fairy tale. Not in the way it’s supposed to be.
I never was a girl who loved princesses, but I love stories—especially ones with a happy ending. So when I didn’t have a happy ending the first time, I set out to write another story.
When I met Andrew over five years ago, I didn’t know that he’d be the perfect daddy to my gorgeous baby girl. But I did have a vision, as he walked away from me the first day we met, of him walking down the street holding the hand of a long-haired little girl. I filed this crazy image out of my mind until many years later.
But this man, whose heart belongs to children, was meant to be a daddy all his life; a man that came into my life to love me, my son, and now, our beautiful daughter.
My first marriage went sour the day my son was born and my ex-husband decided that I was superfluous to our son. I spent over two years in a controlling relationship, crying every day. He sucked out every morsel of happiness during my son’s first months of life.
I was terrified for what this new baby could do to my new relationship. How would we handle the stress of a newborn? The feedings, the restless nights, the crying.
But now we have this gorgeous baby girl and she is so different from my son. My energy is different. Our house is filled with love and positivity. Andrew supports me as a mother, as a woman, as his partner, as the other half of the love that created this new life. And that has made this experience—even in the short week that has been—remarkable, life-altering, euphoric.
I used to see men with babies and cringe. It was never one of those images that awed me. Until now. Until I see Andrew holding our daughter, his eyes looking deep into hers, thankful that I took the courage to make this fairy tale my reality.
I look down at her head of full black hair, at her steel eyes as she looks through me; I smell the sweetest baby fragrance.
She is sweetness defined. A delicate baby girl that makes me pinch myself. I am thankful for anything and everything I did to be given this precious gift.
I am inhaling every moment; soaking up every fleeting second—eternally grateful for the man who gave me a second chance to be a mommy; a man who taught me not to be afraid to dream—because if we can dream it, and imagine it, we can achieve it.
Cheers to Life 2.0.