Before we found out we were pregnant with you we had no idea if we could have any children at all. You see, a few months before I took that positive pregnancy test we lost your older sister or brother and one of my tubes. I suppose you will have no idea what that means for quite some time but it was the worst heart break I had even been through.
All my life I had dreamed about being a mommy someday. Other kids wanted to be doctors, astronauts, teachers, scientists, rock stars, and actors. I wanted to have children. During the months between losing our first child and finding out I was pregnant with you I went through many different stages of grief. I mourned my loss and I prayed that someday my heart would feel whole again. My heart ached. That part of me that I thought God had made to be filled with motherly love was instead uncomfortably stuffed full of fear and sorrow. I prayed that God would fill it instead with His love... in whatever form that may be.
He answered that prayer by giving me you. From the time that pregnancy test turned positive my heart was full of love like I never imagined was possible, love that could only come from the one who is Love. All of a sudden, so much of God was made just a tiny bit clearer so my tiny heart could understand Him. I loved you before I knew you; I finally understood how God could have loved me from the beginning of time. I would gladly die to see you in heaven; I could finally start to wrap my head and heart around Jesus dying on the cross for me.
I've been very blessed with a lot of love in my life. I have amazing parents, siblings, friends. Most especially I have your father who could and would and does lay down his life for me daily. This was something new though. Your grandmom would tell me when I was pregnant with you that I had no idea what I was in store for. She said explaining how much you love your children is like trying to explain how much I love Kyle to someone who has never been in a relationship. Until you have that kind of selfless, lay down your life, do anything to get them to heaven type of romantic love in your life you can never understand even the concept.
And so throughout my pregnancy I loved you. I loved you each time I threw up because I knew it meant you were safe and healthy. I loved you as my stomach started to expand and the stretch marks started to show because they were my battle scars, my proof to the world that I had carried life within me. I loved you when I first saw your heart beat on the monitor, when I was afraid I had lost you because I had spotted. I knew you were a fighter and that there was no stopping you from coming into this world. I loved you from the first time I felt you move, it was something special that only you and I shared because you were mine. I loved you when I found out that you were a girl, my daughter, my princess, my Madeleine. I loved you when your little head injured my pelvis and I couldn't even lift my legs onto the bed without help because in your movements I could sense your personhood and knew that even at that stage you were a complete individual. I loved you when I got kidney stones and I would do anything, suffer anything, to keep you healthy and keep myself out of surgery and the risk of delivering you early. I loved you when I was almost two weeks late and you refused to come out. I loved that the night I went into the hospital to give birth to you was exactly one year after I had lost your sibling and that the day of my deepest sorrow had turned instead into my greatest triumph. I was at the end of one of the longest marathons of my life and I was about to finally meet my child.
Since there were complications during your delivery I was not able to hold you right away. I watched as they suctioned your lungs from across the room. I took it all in, your giant size, your dark hair, your almond eyes, your pink cheeks, they way you stayed calm despite the bright lights and the sounds and the people. I watched as your daddy reached out and touched you for the first time and I longed to hold you in my arms. At that point in my life I wondered how I could ever love any more. And then I held you in my arms finally and I did. I loved you even more.
In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that this much love is possible and I am reminded on a daily basis that I can love more and that the love I have for you is a fraction of what God has for us. Time has gone by far too quickly but as each stage, newborn, baby, toddler, slips away I am honored by being able to witness a new one, witness your growth and transformation into the person God created you to be. My prayer is that I can foster and stir up in your heart all of the gifts and graces that are yours by virtue of your baptism and that by growing up in God's light you will be open to even more love than I know. You could travel through time and space and I can guarantee that nothing will be as miraculous and life changing as finding love. Whether your become a nun or a wife and mother, I know that if you follow God's will that your life will be filled with untold amounts of joy.
I am so blessed that this is where God led me, to the path where I am a mother to a beautiful, smart, caring, cautious, imaginative, amazing little girl. I love you Madeleine. You are the answer to my prayers and you are the light in my life that lights the way to God. I hope that someday you can read this and realize that if you hold this much beauty to me, how much you are loved by your Heavenly Father and by your Mother Mary and I hope that once you realize that you never let it go.
Happy Third Birthday Princess.
All of my love,