Halloween is tomorrow. October is such a special month for me, it's always been my favorite. I've always wanted to be married in October. And now I'm sitting on the couch feeling sentimental and to be honest quite sick as I hope and pray Riley makes her arrival before October fades away. I'm able to breathe much easier now that she's dropped and the pressure against my tailbone reminds me of how low she really is. Friday's doctor's appointment revealed that I'm 75% effaced and dilated up to 2 cm. We ended up with a growth ultrasound check up since I haven't really changed my measurements the last few weeks and she figured the baby was too low to properly measure. Riley is over 6lbs and measuring about 2 weeks behind size wise which is perfect. I am so ready for our tiny little girl.
Wednesday marked 38 weeks and Alex and I met with another Raleigh photographer and spent the hour taking maternity photos. My breath is taken away with her skills and plan to share the gallery as soon as I receive it. The weekend has been busy, we drove down to Charlotte Friday night for Alex to run the Spartan Beast the next day with his brother. And he ended up injuring his knee halfway and my incredible man hobbled his way through the rest of the race (over a half marathon plus obstacles) and through most of the obstacles. His stubborn strength proves the warrior he is but also provides this sense of security knowing he would do anything and everything to finish or accomplish his goals. And I know he would do anything for me and especially our daughter.
Sipping on my Red Raspberry leaf tea hoping to strengthen myself for labor and thinking of all the craziness since I found out about you back in March. Those first few weeks were rough and it had nothing to do with you. I wanted you from the minute I found out and I knew you were going to be a girl. I was still drowning in a world of misery partially of my own creation. and I felt like you were my redemption. You were the spark that lit the fire of change. I remember how I told your daddy about you, we were eating Greek just like I am now. He knew something was on my mind and asked if it was about us. I said yes. And that I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was scary wonderful news, but it was also a total surprise for him. It was a week before my twenty-first birthday and we had gone through so much rockiness the past 4 months in our relationship. I knew he would be your dad and would love you but I was terrified that he would not want me and I never wanted him to feel obligated to be with me. All I knew was that I loved him fiercely and wanted more than anything to build our family together but I couldn't ask that of him. He had to chose it. I have never cried so much than the day I told him because everything was so unknown. Except for the fact I wanted you. Always.
The next week he was tender and kind. We spent the week in Charlotte with Darren for Full Force with Fit to Fight. I didn't know exactly what would happen during the week but I was paranoid of hurting you in any way because the thought of losing you devastated me. Alex was gentle and bought me a warm pack to put over my stomach as I felt crampy and sore. Every night no matter what was said during the day, he would hold my hand across the coffee table. He was on an air mattress and I was on the couch. No one knew we were together or that we were struggling. There were so many tender moments but there were also tense emotional moments where I felt so alone. We managed to avoid having to explain why I wasn't having my celebratory legal drink by leaving after training that Friday. The drive home was honestly miserable with us arguing and emotions tense. Probably my least favorite birthday ever. However, the next morning I woke up and he was kinder and more gentle.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind of emotions and tears, working through things and figuring out a plan. I had just moved into Ashley's house in March but ended up spending all of my time at Alex's over the next three months as we enlisted her as our realtor. It was like a flip had switched in Alex. We were back together. We were committed. and for once in a very long time, I felt myself trust and be happy again. April, we spent telling family and grandparents. The excitement was contagious and everyone was so happy for you and still are! There's not a day that goes by when someone doesn't text me asking for progress and you're still snuggled safely inside. May and June were filled with closing on our townhouse, moving and continuing to rebuild our relationship. Family moved in for August and life was busy, crazy, and time just flew by. I really have no idea where the summer went.
In fact, I can't imagine not waking up happy next to Alex and feeling his commitment and love. That's not to say we don't fight (haha we argued on the way to taking those maternity photos!) but I don't doubt him. I don't doubt he chose me and wants me. I know he always chose you and I know he is going to be an amazing father because he is an amazing man. He is passionate almost to a fault but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to parent with him and teach you about the world. I want you to love your life, love your Savior and love your family. I know you are beautiful but I want you to always believe that you are beautiful. That your size and shape doesn't define you. But your will power to overcome things does. I want you to fan that fighting flame inside you and learn to love pushing yourself harder and conquering your walls and fears.
I'm terrified of the unknown but at the same time I'm excited for this process to start. It's been incredible feeling you move inside me. And yes, its been uncomfortable too. And as ready as I am to hold you, I have cherished the time I have been pregnant with you. You're my first and you have taught me so much. I never knew how protective and loving I could be of someone until you began to grow inside me. And you are about to challenge me again as I deliver you but I trust your daddy and his support and know I am strong enough and ready because I'm your mother and this is what I am suppose to do.