Brooke Lauren

I wish I could elaborate on the details of Brooke’s birth. The truth is that I remember being induced on February 14th unexpectedly, I remember laboring without success for close to 26 hours and then my water suddenly breaking, I remember giving birth to her without drugs, though I don’t remember the pain really. I remember the live-in nurse and the grim illness that followed. I hate that her sweet birthday is marked by my heart failure. We’d tried and tried to have another baby. I’d finally given up and sold all the baby things I had bought. A week later my grandma Francis passed away and stressed by that, I failed to recognize my missed period. A week later we bought a pregnancy test and then laughed hysterically in the bathroom over the urine covered pink line. I phoned the 1-800 number on the back of the pregnancy test box to “verify” that two lines DID mean I was pregnant. We were thrilled. I didn’t know her birth would nearly kill me, but I’m certain that I’d do it all over again, because this child is amazing. Brooke is me. I mean, she’s her, but she’s me in so many ways. She’s hyper and giggly and insecure and overwhelmed and silly and ditzy and concerned with her “appearance.” She’s also her own person – she loves music and to dance, wants to teach when she grows up and still carries her ladybug blanket with her around the house. She loves the guitar and drums and to sing, even if it’s out of tune.
We wanted to name her Megan Brooke, but at birth it became clear that she was Brooke Lauren. But she goes by Brookella, Ella, and Lauren most of the time…rarely ever just Brooke. If ever a child needed a name like “sparkle” or “princess” it was when Brooke was born. She’s truly the center of attention – she demands it.
The first two weeks of her life are a blur to me. I remember being home alone with her one afternoon – Therman had gone back to work from paternity leave and Brittani was at school. I knew my heart was seriously failing and I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even stand but I held her in my arms and promised her that if she’d just stay calm with me, I’d get through my personal saga. I couldn’t wait till Therman got home, I needed to be at the hospital. To pass the time, I sang babyface’s “Everytime I close my eyes” to her.
“Girl, it’s been a long time coming, but I, I know that it’s been worth the wait. It feels like Spring time in the winter, it feels like Christmas in June. It feels like Heaven has opened up its gates for me and you. And every time I close my eyes I thank the Lord that, I’ve got you – and you’ve got me too. And every time I think of it I pinch myself cause, I can’t believe it’s true that someone like you loves me too”
That’s been the song I’ve sang to her every single time she’s asked me to sing to her since. I wish I had more memories of her the first two weeks of life, but I was far too sick and far too selfish. Brooke is an amazing little girl. When I look back, I can’t believe we gave up on having another child. I can’t imagine our lives without this joke telling, smile bringing, ornery little diva. I just seriously can’t see how the world would spin without her existence.
Today, February 15th, Brooke Lauren Lee was born at 9:57PM. Seven years later as I type this to you, she is in her bed singing “down by the bay” and snorting and giggling at herself. I put her to bed 45 minutes ago. This little girl is my world. Happy Seventh Birthday Brookella. Momma is pretty fond of you.

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