Seven years ago this month, I suffered my third miscarriage. After my d&c, a very nice nurse came in with a little box, which held a small ring and a little book, as a keepsake. She squeezed my hand and I took the box and turned away from her and cried. Again.
I went home to my five year old Katie and told her we weren't having a baby afterall.
Then, in May, on Mother's Day, I threw up my breakfast and took a pregnancy test. Positive. I cried, again.
I wore the medal of St. Gerard around my neck for the next nine months and took a pill every day for sixteen weeks and prayed and prayed and prayed that this baby would make it. And when she kicked my ribs and had a case of the hiccups for days on end, I thanked God and modern medicine. Then she was here, in my arms, perfect and lovely and slightly pissed off.
She cried. She screamed. She was happy only in my arms, preferably latched on. When she started walking, she threw herself across the room like she desperately needed to go somewhere. When she started talking, she talked loud and fast and with the opinion that everything she said was right.
"I know that," she would say, "I know everything about that!"
She is right, most of the time. She wins, most of the time. She is loud and loving and strong and spirited, all of the time. She is the most self assured person I have ever met, and with good reason.
Yet for all of her bossiness and aggressiveness and loudness, she is also this tiny little girl who loves nothing more than to fold herself up in your lap and love you. She will rub my cheek and give me a thousand gentle kisses and tell me she loves me over and over. She is kind and generous and fun and sweet.
She is perfect. She is my Julia. Happy birthday, firecracker.