· ·

For Mabel

It’s funny, because this time last year, I tried to sit down and write this post. A post just for Mabel that fleshed out all of my heart and emotions surrounding my pregnancy and her (at the time, upcoming) birth. I had edited pictures and thought through what I wanted to say…and then a certain little girl burst onto the scene two weeks early and that post was never finished. There it sat in my draft folder for an entire year until today, when I have finally had enough time and thoughts to put it together.

I still can remember and feel the disbelief at seeing that positive pregnancy test. I simply just could not believe it. After 3+ years of only ever seeing, one line. one line. one line. one line. When two popped up, it was simply surreal.

I didn’t cry. I didn’t jump for joy. I had experienced loss and heartbreak and hurt and I couldn’t even believe that what was happening could be real.

I’ll never forget the feeling when I talked to my nurse over the phone and my HCG levels had more than tripled in 48 hours. I remember the roaring in my ears that drowned out everything she was saying, because she had just confirmed that not only was there a baby actually growing- but that it was growing incredibly well.


My first ultrasound- lol. The one to “confirm placement”. It didn’t show me anything to calm my anxious and reserved heart, but it didn’t cause me worry either. Things looked as wonderful as they could at that time and the excitement kept building, could this really be happening?

And, I will never forget. Shortly after this ultrasound, perhaps that very day. I had been working so hard to guard my heart from being broken. So hard to keep from getting my hopes up. So hard from being too excited. But then- I was standing in our master bedroom folding an enormous pile of laundry and I had Pandora playing. And on came Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too
For I can’t help falling in love with you

And I cried. I wept over that laundry. Because I realized that I had completely and 100% absolutely fallen in love with my baby. And no amount of trying to protect my heart was going to stop that.

We had our 8 week ultrasound to hear a heartbeat and see the baby and I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the screen. I was so nervous and terrified that they would pull up the image and my uterus would be empty. It was my worst nightmare. But instead, there was a little baby with arms and legs and a fluttering heartbeat. My littlest love.
And so it grew.
We found out we were expecting another sweet baby girl and I was in absolute shock! I never had a good idea of who was in there before and once we found out it was a she, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a boy.  But, at the same time, I also couldn’t imagine it being anyone else. Of course it was our second daughter! We mulled over our name choices again and again, but finally had to settle on Mabel because with a name like “loving and dear” we just couldn’t choose any other for our girl.
And then she was born. She showed up in three and a half hours from start to finish- I usually explain it as feeling like a freight train. I once read someone describing their birth as a t-shirt cannon, and I kind of resonate with that description as well. It was fast and furious and kind of scary at times, but then she was here.
On May 16th at 6:37pm.
This picture has always been one of my favorites from her birthday. Jim always asks me why, because it’s a little blurry and you can’t even see her. And obviously, I look…furrowed. But, what I see and remember by looking at this photo is over three years of waiting culminating in a little girl that I can’t even believe is in my arms. The emotion I see and feel every time that I look at this picture overwhelms me.
And so, here we are. An entire year later.

I can say with confidence, that it has been the fastest year of my life so far.

I know I cherished every single second that I possibly could and yet it still went by incredibly way, way, way too fast.

Miss Mabel Elizabeth,You are one! I have so many things that I want to tell you about this first year of your life. How special it was. How precious you were. How we spent every single day together. How you grew. But something really important that I want you to know is this.IMG_1199-(ZF-4931-53406-1-046)
That your little life, your beautiful, special, and wonderful life, was so worth the wait. I would go through every day, every test, every cycle, every hurt, if it meant that it would lead me to you. Because you are so precious.
And you need to know, that your little life changed me. The wait for you has made me a better person, a better friend, and a better Mother. I’m so thankful that the Mama you get to have has been through what I have, because your first year wouldn’t have looked the same if I hadn’t.
Nothing is ever taken for granted with you, my sweet girl. Because for so long, I didn’t think I would ever even have it.Every snuggle. Every wrap. Every nursing session. Every laugh. Every kiss. Every story. Every sign. They are all countless, infinite gifts reminding me over and over again of how many prayers were prayed for you.
So many people wanted you here Mabel. Not just your Mommy! Your Daddy and your sister. Every single one of your grandparents, great’s included! Your aunts and uncles, your church family, and all of our friends. We all prayed and waited and waited for you.
And now here you are! One entire year you have been with us. Showering us with your smiles, your waves, and your laid back, happy go lucky, chill baby attitude. We couldn’t adore you more.
So, on this day, your 1st birthday, I want you to know how endlessly thankful we are for you, Mabel E. You are our second priceless gift, an absolute treasure, and we love you so, so much.
Happy 1st Birthday, little girl.


Similar Posts


  1. What a special tribute to your sweet Mabel. It’s surely amazing how fast 365 days can go, isn’t it?

    PS My parents have that rocking chair from when my sister & I were little. 🙂

  2. Isn’t it amazing how, looking back, the hard times seem so worth it… because they lead you to something better than you could have ever imagined? Obviously not the same situation, but I feel that way about my husband. I’d do all of the heartbreaks over again, if it meant that I would end up with him. I’m so, so happy for you and your family. Mabel looks like SUCH a big girl in that rocking chair! Happy Birthday, little darling!

  3. Oh this is so beautiful! And so is miss Mabel! Those photos are just gorgeous! Please give her extra birthday hugs from me and Hallie!

  4. You have me in tears over here. She is too sweet (and I love that dress!). We always wonder what God’s plan is, and this right here is such a great example of it. I still can’t believe she’s 1!

  5. I love this post with every fiber of my being. And just like your wait for Mabel was so worth it, I think this post sitting in drafts for the year made it even better once you hit publish. The sweetest reflection on both Mabel’s first year, as well as the time leading up to her arrival. I just love it. And her! Presh girl looks so stinking sweet in those photos!!!:)

  6. Happy Birthday Mabel! Oh how these moments are even more precious when you wait so long and try so hard for them!

  7. oh gracious. i cannot even handle all this without getting teary!! looking at the journey so far is just too beautiful. i am so happy for your sweet fam. happy birthday to that mabel girl of yours! she is beyond precious!

  8. Legit bawling. Can’t make it stop.
    Courtney, this is the sweetest, most raw, perfect post.
    Happiest of Birthdays to Mabel!!

  9. What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to a darling little girl. It’s been quite a journey and I’m so happy this little nugget is in your family. And those little whisps of hair… I can’t believe how big she’s looking. Time slow down 🙂

  10. Is it weird that I started tearing up before even reading a word?!??! AHHHH. Bless that sweet angel Mabel girl. Ohhh my heart. One year!!! Goodness gracious….!

  11. And now I’m crying!!! What a gift to your family Mabel is! I seriously love how happy & smiley she is. And I swear she is destined for my little Finn! I can hope!

  12. oh for petes sake, sobbing like a fool over here. happy belated birthday to Mabel. i love how much you love your girls. i know everyone loves their kids, but seriously. it just radiates out of you. love it. that sounds corny but it just makes me want to squeeze everybody.

  13. I am in tears reading this sweet post!! Mabel is one loved little gal! Happy first birthday precious doll!

  14. LOVED this and can relate to cherishing every minute of the blessing because of the wait and longing for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *