My husband was the first man to make me feel beautiful. Make-up or not, dresses or sweat pants, he loved me for me. As cliche as it might be, it's true. There are many of us who have gone through many horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad boyfriends before "the one." And that's how it happens. But to me, Wade was exceptionally special. He not only made me feel good about myself in a way I had never before allowed myself to feel, but he made me laugh, he challenged me (in sooo many ways, more good than bad), he didn't put up with crap, and he was always 100% himself which made me do the same. That's why I knew from very early on that he was the man for me forever and always. And I also knew that I wanted to have 10,000 of his babies.
It was during my pregnancy that I began to feel myself change, both literally and figuratively. Being on bedrest obviously doesn't leave much time for exercise so my body was, and is, less than perfect. Let me pause to say that I'm was a perfectionist. I've never had good self-esteem and have always been extraordinarily hard on myself. That includes my appearance. Pregnancy offered a new challenge to my self image. I'm not so vain that I would jeopardize my child's life in order to save myself from some jiggly thighs. So, I had to let it all go. And go it went! And you know what? I was completely and utterly okay with it. Before she was born, my baby girl started to change me. For the better, I might add. (And that's just one way pregnancy changed me. Of course the thought of a little, teeny person growing inside of me pushed me to new heights, but you knew that already I'm sure).
Now that she's been a part of my life for nearly a year, I can look back and see just how much I have evolved as a woman. I feel stronger, more secure, more open and honest, more at ease with myself. In the first few months of her life I had so many women tell me, "You're such a relaxed mom. I don't know how you do it!" The truth is, well, I had to be. I had a child who screamed for hours on end, for days, until I was a blubbering heap on the floor. But just looking at her, even screaming or crying or pitching a huge fit, can bring me back to reality. It's not about me. It's about her and "listening" to her tell me what she needs. I've found it's easy to put her before me in everything, but in doing so I've found a side of me that has brought me a sense of peace. I absolutely love being a momma. There is nothing in the world that I would give it up for.
So, Harper, my love, thank you for changing me in ways I never thought possible and giving me the greatest role I could have ever hoped for!