This time six years ago I was contemplating an epidural so my obstetrician could 'relocate' my cervix. I'd been in labour for about 50 hours and I hadn't dilated a single centimetre. In actuality Amy had been pushing forward, not down and so distorted the location of my cervix that it had to be physically moved around her head in order for my waters to be manually broken.
A few hours later both D and I had abandoned our card game (and the score card with the times of my contractions written down one side) and were dozing while we waited in vain for things to right themselves and Amy to get a wriggle on.
A few more hours and we were waiting while the chemically assisted contractions got stronger and stronger. A few more hours and my obstetrician was looking less than relaxed.
Before she headed home for dinner she asked the midwife to sit holding the heart monitor to my belly and call her if Amy's heart rate slowed any further.
The doc didn't even make it home to the next suburb before she had to turn around and come back. The midwife held my hand and said that Amy wasn't doing so well and it was time to get ready for a caesarean. And while she was calm the rest of the room exploded into action and it was obvious that everyone was taking the situation very seriously indeed.
I've posted Amy's birth story before but it's always good to remember it again.
Especially good to recall that shock, that totally overwhelming realisation of what had just happened, of what was coming and of what life was really all about.
Back then it wasn't so much about Amy as it was about 'baby'. Any baby. The new life. The food in food out machine. The welling up of love. The exploding of the world in which she used not to exist.
With the benefit of six years getting to know her, it is now most definitely about her. The incredibly complex little being that she is. Her insight and her observation. Her hopes and fears.
The way she has learned to respond to her dad's tricks and shit stirs, the way she expresses the things that occupy her mind, the way she analyses the things that have happened.
The way she works a problem over, the way she makes up her mind.
The way she sings all the time and with such earnest joy.
It's been a hard year for her this one gone by. There's been a lot of change and some things she's found hard to process. She's aware that she has to share her dad and me with Wil and at times that's felt like a kind of rejection.
The playground at school has demonstrated time and again that people are confusing and not always on your side. The world is less secure and trustworthy.
But through it all she has gotten back on the horse and I so admire that she is out there, even when she feels like that's a really scary place to be. I admire her bottomless energy and desire to be a part of everything that's on offer. Her capacity to articulate what's going on in her head and the way she tries so hard to bring everyone along for the journey. The way she is sweet with her brother and kind to other kids.
And her smarts. Which are considerable.
So today, at home with a baby who is sick and miserable I am walking back through memory lane and reliving a highlights package of the last six years.
And thinking over and over how lucky I feel to have her in my life. How deeply her current runs through me.
Happy birthday my darling girl.