22 years ago today, February 5th , my baby girl Ashley was born. Ashley was as beautiful as any baby could be. You see, most babies come out with their heads looking a bit odd shaped and their faces a little swollen, but not Ashley. That’s because while I was in labor giving birth to her, after what felt like a ridiculous amount of time, the nurse came into the room to check how far I’d dilated and as she was checking me she announced, “This is way too squishy to be a head.” I immediately began to panic – what did she mean?? Did my baby girl not have a skull?? They rushed in with an ultrasound machine and discovered that baby Ashley had somehow flipped herself around and was now positioned to come out bum first rather than head first – that was clearly a problem! Within minutes the room was filled with doctors and nurses telling me they were prepping me for a C-section. My thought was “Are you kidding me?! I’ve been here in labor for what feels like forever eating nothing but ice chips and you all could have done a C-section when I first arrived! After all the pain I’ve already gone through no way am I have a c-section now! I’m gonna push this baby out!!!” After much discussion the doctors agreed they would give me the chance to try but they insisted I get numbed up for a c-section just in case. The next few hours of pushing were brutal. I remember being so exhausted I could barely stay awake, but finally I heard that sweet sound of a baby crying and I knew that my little girl was finally here.
When I first laid eyes on her I was amazed at how perfectly beautiful she was. Because she had come out bum first her head wasn’t misshaped at all. It was perfectly round and gorgeous. She was drop dead beautiful from the moment she came into this world. And she has remained drop dead gorgeous ever since. But I’m not talking about just being gorgeous on the outside, she is just as beautiful on the inside. She is courageous and strong and she doesn’t let anything stop her from accomplishing the things she sets out to. She looks for ways to serve and she is always an advocate for the underdog. She has lived her life as an example to others. She is cheerful and happy and her smile could literally light up an entire city block. She is amazing.
It’s hard for me to believe that my little baby girl is 22 years old today. It’s even harder for me to believe that this same baby girl is engaged to get married in just a few months! Where did the time go??
It’s been said that the things that take the most effort in our lives are the things that mean the very most to us, and that is so true. Without a doubt that little baby girl that took so much effort to bring into this world 22 years ago today means everything in this world to me. I’m grateful that I was the one lucky enough to be her Mom.
Happy 22nd birthday Ashley…I love you to the moon and back! Love Always, Mom.
~Amy Rees Anderson