This blog started out as a look at one year in my daughter Georgia's life, 365 days. But how could I stop there? We get to repeat those 525,600 minutes again year after year, and this blog will continue to follow our changes, challenges, laughter and tears. You'll see it all through the eyes of a somewhat hectic, somewhat flustered but always in love mommy with a camera forever in my hands.
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Georgia's Birth Story
The timing of Georgia's birth, in a way, came out of a journey to death. I'd like to think with every death comes new life, and for me, Georgia is that life. She is my saving grace and has kept me breathing when my lungs were screaming to stop, screaming to drown in my own self-pity.
My husband and I decided to try for Georgia just a few months after our walk down the aisle. You see, my mom had been diagnosed with incurable Ovarian Cancer, so I wanted a baby soon. I wanted a baby while there was still time to have my mother there as I brought a new being into the world, to see my mother hold her granddaughter, to ask my mom which of my baby features my daughter bore, to lean on my mother when I had those "new mom" questions and for so many other moments I had played out in my thoughts over and over again through the years.
My husband and I were thrilled to soon find out our little Georgia was growing inside of me, rounding out my belly day by day, pushing tiny feet into my sides, entertaining us with a neverending chorus of hiccups. We went to the doctor's appointments, the baby classes, took the hospital tour and had everything ready for the day we brought our darling home in Omaha, Nebraska.
It's funny though, life seems to fight our planning and always chooses its own course - and so it did. When my belly was just shy of 38 weeks round, the day came. After a 52-year-long life, which was as bright as they come, my mother faded away. She died on Sunday, October 11, 2009.
Early Monday morning, with my doctor's permission, my husband and I got on a plane to fly home to Georgia for my mom's funeral. We got off the plane in Atlanta around 3 p.m. Twelve hours later, at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, I was sleeping at my parents' house. As I lay in the home where my mom had been just days before, that journey toward life took a leap. My water broke and the contractions started coming within minutes. We were more than a thousand miles away from our doctor, our hospital and our house.
So off to the local hospital we went in the dark of night, my husband driving my mom's SUV and not having a clue where he was going. I had to give him directions between contractions. We arrived at the hospital and didn't even know what entrance to go to. We found locked doors twice before finding the right entrance, and yeah, I floundered up to both locked doors!
We checked in and by the time we got to a room, I turned around and there were my sister, brother and cousin in the room with my husband and I and my other sister and father were on the way. We had thought we'd be delivering in Omaha with just my husband and I and the calming classical CD's I'd burned. I guess my mom had other ideas.
So there we were, in the hospital where two years earlier they had cut cancer from my mother, in the hospital where my two nieces were born, in the hospital where my delivery nurse had also been my sister's bridesmaid - there surrounded by those who love me most and the memory of one who just couldn't stay long enough to make it. I delivered Georgia Katherine at 10:46 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs. and 8 ounces.
We left the hospital on Wednesday with a borrowed car seat, a bag full of borrowed baby clothes, a lot of flowers and hearts bursting with every emotion you can possibly imagine. We arrived at my parents' house to a borrowed crib, borrowed baby supplies and relatives arriving in town with funeral clothes and baby gifts packed in their suitcases. On Friday, my daughter and I looked down on my mother in her casket, and on Saturday we buried her. It's the only time my daughter every saw her grandmother.
My mother fought hard to live long enough to meet her granddaughter and in the end, she missed the date by two days. But life doesn't stop, and it's the beauty of my daughter's life that keeps me smiling. And oh how her life makes me smile. I like to believe whenever I'm holding my daughter and she's starring off into the distance, over my shoulder, that she's seeing my mom - a guardian angel for both of us - and that they are already the best of friends.