Happy First Birthday Angelina!





















Stephany’s Choice: Dress: Free People || Shoes : Topshop

Michael’s Choice: Suit : Similar here || Shirt: Similar here || Shoes: Similar here || Black tie: Similar here

Annabelle’s Choice: Jacket : H&M || Dress : Similar here || Pink shoes: TARGET

Alexander’s Choice: Blazer : Similar here || Shirt: GAP || Pants: Similar here || Shoes: GAP

Angelina’s Choice: Crown: ETSY || Outfit : ETSY || Boots: Similar here

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Angel, Angelina Luella Bowman! I cannot believe how quickly this year went by. Two nights ago we went Trick-or-Treating and it brought so many memories back from last year. I was heavily pregnant (obviously) and had such a busy day. My mom was in town to help with the baby preparations and we were buzzing around town trying to get everything perfect for Halloween night. We thought we had 5 more days since I was signed up for a scheduled C-section. What we didn’t plan for was later that night I would have terrible pain. Shooting cramps. We called the hospital several times but all they said was “take a bath” or “it’s just cramps”. Finally at around 9 am after a terrible night of pain and stress, and a lot of lost blood: Panic starts to set in. I’m thinking the worst. My mom threw a bathrobe on me and basically pushed Michael and me out the door. I’m so lucky she was able to stay with Bella and Xander so we could rush to the hospital’s emergency room.

It was Sunday morning post Halloween night and the streets were sober and empty. I remember being terrified and just sobbing the whole car ride. Had we waited too long? What were we thinking? Why didn’t we just go to the hospital for a check-up instead of just waiting and waiting at home. I mean, I was 9 months pregnant and scheduled for birth days later?! I’m really happy that everything went smoothly because there was a moment in that car where I questioned everything. Time froze and all I could do was pray and hope. When we arrived to the ER moments later and I was an absolute mess. In tears, exhausted (bloody?!) and in full hysterical panic mode. All I wanted to hear was my baby’s heartbeat and all I wanted to see was my babies face.

Thankfully, the nurse did a quick ultrasound and we could hear the heartbeat, strong, steady. Beautiful. Michael had a flight to Canada that afternoon and so he was on the phone trying to cancel all his reservations. I can’t believe how nonchalant we were. Playing around with nature’s time lines. We weren’t ready for baby but baby was ready for us. So, just like that, they pushed us to the top of the emergency C-section list. We would be the first ones to have a baby in the surgery room that morning. 

Before you know it, I am being wheeled into the the sterile, cold room where my child will be born. Shots, tubes, epidural, lights, masks, gowns, gloves… Curtain goes up, husband by my side, hand squeezes, tears of joy, tears of humbleness. And then, the most beautiful sound in the world. Her. Her little, tiny, precious, strong, little voice. The anesthesiologist whispers under his breath, “it’s a girl”, and the nurse announces “It’s a beautiful little girl of a strawberry blonde complexion”. Weight. Height. Then finally in my arms.

She was beautiful, she was perfect, here she is, and she was mine, and I was hers. She had her daddy’s nose, and my eyes. She was small but strong. She had a little crease at the top of her nose and little ears. Wispy hair, and long fingers. Soft buttery skin. I fell in love at first sight. 

After we arrived to our room she nursed like a dream. Then for hours and days, nurse, water, sleep. Repeat. Michael sent a message to my mom at home, she must have been so worried!! “We have a beautiful little girl!!” It was such a wonderful surprise, we thought that it was going to be a boy the whole time. Not that we knew for sure, we decided to keep it a surprise this time and it sure was. The kids arrived a little later that day, Annabelle seemed concerned that it was a girl at first. Possibly a little worried about the competition( you should see how much they adore each other now!!). Alexander loved her right away. He told my mom on the way home that “Angelina is my best friend”!! So sweet.

We didn’t have any baby girl names picked out. We did have a short list of boy names that we had to throw out the window! We didn’t want to choose an “A” name just so it could match. We wanted to choose something we loved. We did feel, however, that it had to have the same weight and feeling of the other two. So we went back to the list of names that we could remember that we liked when we were picking out Annabelle’s name. Suddenly out of the blue Michael says, ” what about Angelina?” And it was perfect. Mom rushed out to the store with Annabelle to find some girly baby clothes, and show Michael which stroller and carseat we had been looking at. After a couple of days I was strong enough to take a shower and move around the room a little. Angelina never left my side, not for one single moment. She was a great feeder and loved to be tucked into my arms. I slept with her on my chest and she was my only focus. The kids came to visit after school for a couple of hours each time.

At the end of my hospital stay I was back on my feet and ready to come home again. We strapped her in her car seat, and brought her home. I can’t imagine my life without her. She wakes up with a huge smile every single day. She gives big hugs and laughs easily. She can walk a few steps and reaches her little arms out like she wants to give you a hug!! She walks with a look of pure concentration and determination on her face, ending up with a giant smile. She can say “mama”, high five with her daddy, eat popcorn, play blocks with her big brother, and dolls with her sissy. She still has no hair but her head feels like a warm fuzzy little peach. I love you so much my sweet baby, I am so blessed that I get to be your mom on this amazing adventure together. 

Photography: theretropenguin.com

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