When I first got pregnant with my oldest child I just KNEW that baby was a girl. I chose girl names and bought a couple of pink outfits. Nine months later, 2 weeks ahead of my due date I had A BOY. I remember the doctor asking me what his name was and I really didn't know what to say to her. He REALLY didn't look like an Alyson Elizabeth. By the time I held him, all swaddled in blankets with a tiny beanie on his sweet little head I knew his name was Christopher Allen and I was head over heels in love.
My sister had already given birth to my nephew 15 months earlier so it seemed perfect that they were both boys and would grow up to be the best of friends. And they are! We had wonderful, play-in-the-dirt, little boys and life was good.
About 15 months after Chris was born, Tracey found out she was pregnant again. The whole family hinted (sometimes strongly) that a girl baby would be nice. Of course a healthy baby of either sex was what we prayed for but we were kinda bored with the blue stuff and we were anxious to shop for pink ruffles and bows. Tracey had the feeling that this little miracle would also be a boy and chose William for his name. We had every necessity imaginable for a boy and didn't buy much of anything. When she went into labor and delivered a healthy baby girl our family was overjoyed. She named her Elizabeth Michelle. Our mom, basking in the glow of our new little addition decided that she just didn't look like an Elizabeth and that couldn't possibly be her name. She looked like a Kaitlyn (spelled exactly like that). So Kaitlyn Michelle took up residency in our family.
In my heart, she took up more than residency. She wrapped me around the perfect little finger of her tiny dimpled hand. Her amazing blonde hair with the tiny tuft standing straight up reminded me of a cockatoo and I started calling her Katie Bird. I also may have said that she looked like a baby troll but I was totally kidding...sorta. I loved her as if she came straight from my body. I let her mama love her too, especially when it was time to change her diaper and such. She's held such a huge piece of my heart that I really do have to remind myself that she's not my daughter. I've watched her become the most amazing young woman. She's overcome unimaginable hurdles (that's not my story to tell) but she lives as if she is unscathed. She is beautiful and confident. She has fragile feelings (just like me) but she is so strong. We have a bond that goes far beyond her being just my niece. I would move heaven and earth for her. She is part of me that lives outside of my body.
In 1996, I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son. I knew he would be my last baby and I was okay with a happy and healthy baby boy. I already had a son who I knew would be the best big brother and I already had My Girl.