Happy Birthday to the only brown eyed girl out of 2 nieces and 7 nephews.

Today, twenty six years ago we were blessed with the only brown eyed girl across 2 nieces, and 7 nephews. Our Dominique is the only brown eyed one in the bunch. If I reach even further out into the gene pool, none of my siblings or parents have brown eyes either. Dominique is on her own. The only one in the crowd. Doing her own thing beautifully and confidently. She started that way, and is still that way now, which is an incredible way to be, as a human being, and especially as a woman.

Dominique, who hates when we say this, although secretly I believe knowing it makes her feel like our “love child” was conceived on our wedding night. She was born nine months minus one day to the day we were wed. Unlike my first pregnancy, I knew I was pregnant literally within days of conception. By the time we were sitting on the plane to go on our honeymoon I had pregnancy symptoms. Friends I felt pregnant, right away. When I told Yannick, he thought it was impossible that I would know that, given my track record of only finding out when I was already 13 weeks along the first time. I have to say I can’t blame him for being skeptical. So I stopped talking about it, that is until weeks later when I did a pregnancy test, and my suspicions were confirmed.

Finding out you’re pregnant once you’re already married, when you already have a beautiful, healthy baby girl is a completely different experience, let me tell you. We were overjoyed when we learned of it. We were prepared for her, and we had already proven that we made fairly decent parents even at our young age with baby number one. We told Brianna, and she too was excited for the upcoming baby, she didn’t utter a jealous word about becoming a big sister. Not one. The entire notion of expanding the family sat very well with her, and we couldn’t believe our blessing to be having another one so close to the other, just the way we had hoped it would happen. My pregnancy with her was also healthy, and easy.

But, the delivery was a very different experience. As I was pushing her out, my doctor yelled at me to stop pushing. Are you kidding me??? You want me to what??? He said it more than once, so I gathered he was not joking around. Although you try doing that when the baby is literally, half out. Not easy, I can assure you of that. There was a flurry of activity where they all were, down below, and they were talking in hushed tones, the doctor was asking for these scissors in a particular size. The nurse rushed to get them. I heard them say, “three times.” I had no idea what they were talking about, something about the cord, and three times.

My mom left the room. My best friend stood, crying (she’d never seen a baby born, why should she have she was only twenty one!!) overcome with emotion at the miracle happening before her eyes, not knowing that there was an emergency. Finally the doctor told me to push on the next contraction, so I did. Out came Dominique, but there was no crying. They pulled her out so quickly, took her to the trolley, or whatever the hell it is called and began working on her.

It felt like forever.

She didn’t make a sound. She was purple. They were all crowded over her, moving quickly, and working as if like in a dance, each knowing where and what the others were doing. I began to cry, “I think my baby is dead”, I thought to myself. I remembered telling my doctor and my mom that she hadn’t been moving for the last week, so he checked me everything was good, baby had a good heart beat. If she does, then why wasn’t she moving? Nobody had an answer for that. Not while she was still inside me they didn’t.

But I guess it all made sense now. The cord had been around her neck. No wonder she couldn’t move, or more like thank God she didn’t try to move, is more like it.

Then it happened. She cried. Thank God.

She cried, and I cried. They continued to work on her, after she cried my mom came rushing back in. I don’t blame her for leaving, what grandmother would want to bear witness to there only daughter deliver a baby who is not alive? I wouldn’t have been able to do that. But she was alive. Thank God.

From the day I was pregnant with you, Dominique I knew you were there. You have a way of leaving your mark on everybody who knows you. Animals, and children are drawn to your innocent energy, you make people feel loved just by hanging around them. I’m so incredibly proud of all the obstacles you’ve already overcome in your life. I’m blown away by your street smarts, the way you just “know” so much. You’re a feeler, and I get that is so painful for you sometimes. I know that you often feel like you give more to the people who are lucky enough to receive your love, than you get in return. And that is magical, and eventually you will be surrounded only by people who honor that love, and then you will get back the love you have so generously given away. And even though loving as beautifully as you do sometimes hurts you, for me, I love the way you love. You love all in. You’re fiercely loyal, and damn smart. And I’m truly proud of you. Happy 26th birthday my brown eyed girl, keep standing out in every single crowd you find yourself in, the world needs you, just the way you are.

I love you, I’m blessed to call you my daughter, I can’t wait to watch and see what you do with this next year of your life.

xoxo Your adoring Mom xoxo