I thought I knew what love was. Then everything changed.

Me and My Girl

There is a girl who has captured my heart. I love her completely and without condition. From the moment I first laid eyes on her, nothing has ever been the same. My daughter, my sweet pea, my Dolores has changed my life. I could not be happier.

It's been a little over a year since the day that I found out I was going to be a mom. I remember that night well; I must have cried (happy tears) for a solid thirty minutes before I had the composure to call my parents to share the good news. I was on Cloud Nine.

I got the greatest Valentine's Day present of all time last year, but it came three days late. I had my first ultrasound on Friday, February 17, 2012. I remember anxiously awaiting the appointment, scared to death that something would or could be wrong, but everything was perfect. The ultrasound tech pointed out what appeared to be a tiny bean on the screen. She looked at me and asked if I knew what the tiny, blinking spot was in the center of that bean.

I knew. She didn't have to tell me.

The Greatest Day of My Life

It was my baby's heart, beating strong: 154 beats per minute. The sound of that heartbeat carried me through the next months, through morning sickness, strange food cravings (fruit roll-ups and hot sauce, anyone?), and more worry. I couldn't wait for my monthly prenatal check-ups--just to hear that heartbeat. That sound, to me, was love.

As the months passed, Dolly grew bigger. The butterflies I felt turned into little kicks, strong kicks, and feet that eventually felt as if they'd never wedge themselves from under my rib cage. I used to watch her move, in awe of the love I felt at each wiggle.

She made her way into my world on a sunny Sunday in September. She was born via C-section, which although stressful and painful was mercifully fast. I'll spare you the gory details, but the moment the OB held her over that surgical curtain was... it was...

There aren't any words.

Just love. Deep, profound love--the kind that makes you feel like your heart is in danger of exploding or falling out your butt. The day she was born was and will be, without question, the happiest day of my life.

It doesn't get any better than this: taking a nap on my tummy.

That love has sustained me through sleepless nights, frantic phone calls to the pediatrician (God Bless you and your staff, Dr. Phillips, for never making me feel like the OCD freakshow we both know I am), and a thousand diaper changes. I love my daughter more every day. She coos and sings to me, and when she reaches up her tiny arms for me to hold her, all is right in the world.

I have to stop writing now because I am bawling, and I did not wear waterproof eyeliner today. Let me say this: she is my baby; I am her Mommy, and good Lord, do I love that child--today, tomorrow, and for ever. I'll end this post with "our" song, the lullaby I sing to her every night.

Happy Valentine's Day!