1976 - Being maternal and all I was worried about having another baby. I couldn't believe how much I had loved another human being as I did FAVORITE FIRST CHILD, from here on out referred to as FD1. To be real honest, I was afraid that I wouldn't or couldn't love another baby as much as I loved my FD1. She was such an easy child. Well mannered, smart, and beautiful. Our life had been almost complete it seemed. But I always knew I never wanted an only child so there were no choices to make. Little did I know how much we had been missing. How could I have ever doubted what joy that little gorgeous brunette could bring us. Ash.....AshieBoo.....Baby Ashley......Hornet........ When Ashley entered the world on that Thursday night so long ago ( well 30 years is a long time ago! ) no one was ready! I still had much to do to get ready for her. Her daddy was still at work. My FD1 and I had had a busy week at our church's VBS. I was trying to finish my Vacation Bible School awards for the next day. Even Dr. B was inconvenienced. He said he had just sat down to a fried chicken dinner. Nothing stopped her then and nothing has stopped her since. She arrived on the scene in about 4 hours with those big brown eyes wide open. Her dark eyelashes drooped almost on her cheeks. I gasped. I knew I was a goner. She had dark olive skin and jet black hair. She had a very fine downy covering of baby hair on her shoulders that soon went away but at first I called her my little monkey. I'm not lying or bragging but I make beautiful babies. Ashley was no exception to FD1. She was beautiful and her big sister adored her. Years passed so quickly and FD2 learned everything in one try. She followed right behind her sister and never missed a beat. They were buds for sure. FD2 started out early exhibiting her one of a kind personality, temper, humor, expressions and talents. Rarely, could we get mad at her because she, even at 18 months, knew how to get out of anything with her quick wit and expressions. Nothing has changed in 30 years in that respect! She had an answer for everything. She still does. There were times when we would quarrel that I would tell her that she made me madder than anyone could make me . That was how we loved each other too. More than anyone could! There was always a herd of little girls giggling our house. Ashley never did anything alone. She always had a large following. As she grew, little children were mesmerized by her. She babysat so much she almost had to have a secretary. When she used to cheer at games little girls would sit all around the fence rails and on the ground by her so they could watch her every move and mimic her. She was a wonderful role model.
It wasn't long until the boys started watching too. She hadn't been at college long when we started to hear, "B.A. this and B.A. that." "B.A. is so sweet." Now, B.A. has been in our lives for 10 years. I told him when they got married to make it work because I didn't want her back! I love that boy to pieces. He is a wonderful husband. He is a precious son to us. He is kind, hardworking, compassionate, and sensitive. All qualities that are hard to find in one guy. Big guys do cry. I love that in a man.
Her love for children has never stopped but her journey to being a mother has been a difficult and hard road. Soon after they married they were told that they would be lucky if they could ever conceive. Ashley was diagnosed with a condition called polycystic ovaries and pregnancy was rare. She was heartbroken but decided to pursue all the options she had at the time. Our entire family learned alot about infertility. Actually, more than I ever wanted to know. We learned about drugs you could take, shots you had to have, ovulation, egg follicles, eggs being harvested, invitro, hospitalizations after hospitalizations. She took a beating literally. There were lots of complications to her little body. B.A. stood by her and honored every dream she ever had. Then one day we were ecstatic to learn that she had indeed gotton pregnant. Then we learned it was twins. Then we learned it was boys. Then we learned they were identical. Then at 24 weeks we lost them. They were beautiful and precious little brothers who I will never forget holding. One of the hardest and most traumatizing experiences I have ever had was watching my beautiful daughter lie weeping in the arms of her big, strong, and weeping husband. How do you tell your child it will be okay? You don't. They grieve. You grieve too. And it hurts so deep.
And then God smiled on Ashley and B.A. and all of us. With no magic pills, no harvesting, no egg follicle counts, she was pregnant. At first, we said it quietly almost whispering among ourselves. We kept it very quiet. Careful to not show any excitement or emotion. Cautious. Very cautious. No one mentioned April 2007. No one mentioned maternity clothes to borrow or a nursery to paint. We had done all that before. To use Ashley's own words to me......"Mom, I'm scared. I am scared to be excited. I am scared of sympathy cards and little caskets." I knew she what she meant. 26 weeks have now gone by and we have marked each one off and thanked God everyday. It's a girl. She's healthy. There is a new twinkle in Ashley's big brown eyes and B.A. calls the baby Little Princess. We know we have a ways to go but we are talking paint colors for the walls. We are looking at strollers. Life is good.
It's amazing as a mother to step back and look at your daughters after they are grown. I sometimes stare at them and wonder who they are. And then I remember those little girls. Then I remember......oh yeah. They are my best friends.
***P.S. I tried for hours, honestly, to upload a picture and blogger won't let me. Check back for a picture later.