The birth day.

28 years ago my Mom and dad became parents. I don’t know how this happened (ok, well I do…..but you get the point). I’ve wondered many things about this day, especially over the last 6 months as we are preparing for our little one to come into the world. I never took the chance to ask her. Did your water break? We’re you scared? Did you use drugs (or did they even have any back then). When did you first feel the baby kick? Did you know I was a girl and how scary was labor? You see, I’m not the kind of person that ever brought up pregnancy with my Mom. I ALWAYS knew that I would be one someday, but I’ve never been sentimental about it. I never thought to ask her about how long they tried to conceive or how she told my dad they were expecting. We’re they excited or scared and how did her 9 months go!? Was it fun or did she have complications? We just never talked about it (and perhaps it was the fact that I was only 23, not thinking about kids and in denial of her death during her battle with cancer, but that’s a whole different story for another day).

Ive heard things from my aunties and I kinda sorta remember stories that maybe her or my Dad mentioned while I was growing up. Something about how she only pushed for a mere 16 minutes and my Dad only had a chance to pour a cup of coffee before then the nurse came out to explain that he was a Daddy to a little girl.

I just can’t stop my mind from wondering these things. Am I “carrying” the baby like she did? Will my labor be the same or will I have similar parenting styles? I can’t tell you how many times during this pregnancy I’ve wanted to call mom and ask her why I crave ice cream almost every night, is it “normal” that my ankles are gigantic and why does my butt feel like its grown just as big as my belly? Or how did you deal with your roller coaster emotions and did Dad handle you as well as Aaron is dealing with crazy old me sometimes!? It’s these things that, on this specific day, seem to matter far more to me than any other thing…and as we wait a mere 13 weeks until this baby comes I’m trying to wrap my mind around how similar or different we probably were/are during this time.

Through all the questions, wonders and ¬†worries, ultimately though, I look in the mirror, take a deep breath and know that it will all be ok. After all, I hear it all the time…we talk the same, write the same, probably eat the same and defiantly look the same! So, after all…..all it takes is a good look in the mirror to know that I am my mothers daughter! I looked up to her for so many reasons, from the way she parented to the fact that she was able to balance a family, her job and her creativity together. I know I can do it because she labored and came out with a healthy baby. I know I can do it because she was able to raise a confident, strong and creatively driven girl. And I know I can do it simply because she did. I wish like hell that when the time comes and we are rushing to the hospital that I could make that phone call to Mom and Dad and exclaim that “it’s time, it’s time” (here come the tears)….but I also know that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without having endured what I have. Perseverance and strength follow me everywhere; despite the “fairness” in life there is joy and happiness and so much hope in every new day….and I can only imagine how much stronger I will believe that when we hold our baby for the first time. And because of who my Mom was to me, I know that “the” day will come and go and we will end up with a beautiful, amazing little baby that we are so excited to share with the world! :)

So happy birth day Mom. And happy birthday to me.
Oh–and it only seemed appropriate that last night I (finally) finished the sweater that I’ve been working on for our baby. It won’t fit for at least a year, but I’m still quite proud of it. For those who want to know, it’s the Duffle Coat pattern from Debbie bliss made out of Rowan true life organic cotton. I pretty much love it and can’t wait to see our little one waddling around with it on! :)

Debbie Bliss dufflcoat pattern, Emily Steffen, Emily steffen textiles, knittingDebbie Bliss dufflcoat pattern, Emily Steffen, Emily steffen textiles, knittingDebbie Bliss dufflcoat pattern, Emily Steffen, Emily steffen textiles, knitting

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:26 am

    Aimee - beautiful Emily. The sweater AND your words.

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Lisa - oh my goodness,Em. I had to stop reading, twice, to wipe away tears. You are already such an amazing mom with so much to offer this little one! Your mom is guiding you all along and is there with you each day and I know you see that in everything, everyday.

    Happy Birthday to YOU dear girl! It’s going to be one AMAZING year!!!

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:43 am

    Emma Freeman - Absolutely beautiful post, Emily. This made me cry! I know you’re going to be an incredible mom. And that sweater, it’s so flippin’ adorable, I want to wear it myself! :)

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:44 am

    Gina - Emily, it is so darling! I think I need to make it for H:) Happy, happy birth day! Thanks for sharing your amazing and beautiful heart today:)

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:45 am

    Heidi Eiffert - Um, Emily that sweater is amazing! Can I put my order in for one?!?! As if you don’t have enough on your plate, right? Hope all is well and you’re feeling great! Miss U!

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:45 am

    vickey weiss - xoxo – Happy birthday sweet girl

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:46 am

    Dani - Happy birthday Emily! This is such a heartfelt post. I can only imagine how you must miss your mother during this time.

  • March 16, 2012 - 9:49 am

    Kerry - You never cease to impress, Emily. Your folks done real good in their part of making you who you are. Major kudos to The Man Upstairs, too :) To God be the glory!

  • March 16, 2012 - 10:06 am

    Krystle - Loved your thoughts! Isnt it crazy that you crave ice cream at night, I did the same thing and I never liked ice cream (the only thing was that it HAD to be Rocky Road and that is it). Best of luck to you, you will be a great mom and I cant wait to see the pictures :)

  • March 16, 2012 - 10:59 am

    syd - oh Em! My heart is so full for you today – like so many others, I had to stop a couple times to compose myself as I read here at the office… without a doubt in my mind, you will be the best Mom ever – because you had the best one! I never knew her, but I do know in my heart she has a smile as big as the sun today. Literally! Your Mom and Dad are truly shining on you today, dear friend. endless xoxo.

  • March 16, 2012 - 11:00 am

    leah - Beautiful thoughts Emily. What a testament to your mom. You must make her proud daily. You can and will do it.

  • March 16, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Becky - You are beautiful and loved dear Emily. Your mom and dad would be SO proud of who you’ve become, and are becoming! I’m sure your mom was just as cute as you are when she was prego! :) And I’m sure your dad was such a proud daddy! I’m sure they are looking down on you now and smiling HUGE SMILES!! Love you! Happy birthday!

  • March 16, 2012 - 11:34 am

    athena p - I am so happy to know you – soo soooo blessed by you, Emily. And that baby of yours – is going to know so much love. So extreme amazing, world-changing, life-affirming, wrap-you-up-in-a-warm-blanket-even-when-you’re-miles-away amounts of love.

    You are going to be an amazing mother. Stressed and crazy and emotional and everything that mothers are. But full of grace, and love, and one of the most amazing souls I’ve ever known.

    You had me crying right along with you and I wish I could run up and give you a giant squealing squeeze right now. Because you’re right – it’s going to be okay.
    Because you do have your mom with you.
    And you always will.

    Love you, friend. Happiest of birthdays. Enjoy this last one – swollen ankles and “giant” booty and all – before baby comes.

    The end of an era – and the beginning of the most amazing new chapter of your beautiful life.


  • March 16, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    Amy - Taking a deep breath! You are such an amazing person I can’t even begin to describe!! I know you are going to be the best mother to your little baby! Lots of hugs to you!

  • March 16, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    shauna - Like everyone else, it brought me to tears. I know your parents will be right there with you, they won’t even the call! :) And the sweater, ADORABLE!

  • March 16, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    Brittany R - How beautifully said, Emily! It is amazing to hear what you gleamed from your Mom. Many of those things I didn’t figure out until I held Matt in my arms a few months ago. Your baby is a lucky one, indeed, to be a part of that lineage. I hope you have a fabulously wonderful birthday!

  • March 16, 2012 - 1:52 pm

    Katie - I pretty much love you! I am so confident that you are going to be an amazing mama, and you will raise a strong, confident, beautiful little one, just like yourself! Through life’s many ups and downs it has made you who you are and I am so proud and so blessed to have you as one of my dearest friends! What an inspiration you are!!
    Happy birth day Jill! And happy birthday to you my dear Emily! Here’s to year 28, it will be great!!
    Lot of love!!!!!

  • March 16, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    MayBart - It never entered my mind to ask my mom any of those questions when I got pregnant. I just remember her saying her doctor told her they could drive a truck up her. (I guess she dilated very easily.) Your mom will be with you, Emily, when you have that baby. And she will be proud of who you have become. And you will make it through and have a beautiful baby. You will be the kind of mom she was. You got good genes.

  • March 16, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    Liz - Your words are so beautiful.
    Your heart equally so.
    I can imagine your mom blowing you kisses today from heaven. She is so proud of you!
    love you, friend!

  • March 17, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    Rachel - Happy Birthday, Emily! Great post. I don’t know you very well, but what I do know, is that you seem like a strong, caring and wonderful person. And, therefore, you will be a wonderful mom! :) Your parents are looking down on you – so proud – and smiling from ear to ear! HUGS!

  • March 18, 2012 - 3:15 pm

    Char - I think we have only met once–I am Erin Bystrom’s MIL–such a beautiful attribute you have shared–made me think about those questions too-even though I still have my Mom–I never asked her about a lot of things–some things were not talked about in those days!! You will both enjoy being parents, it is the most wonderful and special time in life. And what a cool sweater!

  • March 18, 2012 - 8:37 pm

    Erin - beautiful words…my mother-in-law called and told me I had to read this…so glad I did..I was moved by your thoughts…can’t wait to hear about the new little one…don’t forget to let CA know :)

  • March 19, 2012 - 6:52 am

    Jane - Oh Emily! I didn’t know you had lost your mother! I have a cousin who is practically a sister… she lost her mother to lung cancer a few years ago and she is due with her first in about 8 weeks. She has been going through all the same longings and aches. My heart breaks for y’all.
    On a side note: the sweater is so incredibly fabulous!!

  • March 19, 2012 - 5:51 pm

    Alicia Hamilton - Hi Emily,

    I am just a fellow reader- I admire your work and love the way you photograph weddings. I wish I would had been a bit more diligent in my search for a photographer, because then maybe our paths would have crossed a bit sooner.

    I really appreciate your post about your birthday, the birth of your little one, and your Mom. I lost my Mom 6 months before I was married, about 2 1/2 years ago. I don’t know if it has ever gotten easier. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself the same questions you do, or dial her number on my phone, or find something in my day that I want to share with her. But as you also note, the ‘fairness’ of life plays out in its own way, and I would not be who I am without those experiences, and without her influence in how I was raised.

    God bless you as you hit the home stretch of your pregnancy. I hope that you continue to be healthy and happy, but my real hope is that you continue to strengthen your connection with your momma by sharing her life with your new little girl. Maybe she will be her spitting image, too. I can only imagine how cool she was, as reflected in you- and I only know you through your blog : ) All the best.

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