Letters to My Daughter

When I first found out I was pregnant, I began writing in a Baby Book to document my journey into motherhood. I actually used this narrative as a basis for a class paper for my Ph.D. coursework, and felt compelled to share it with you all. It is a raw look into pending motherhood…perhaps more of a look into the many emotions that first-time mothers face. The overwhelming anxiety, happiness, sadness, and everything in between. I hope you enjoy this raw look into life for the past year or so. I’ve still got some entries to type up so there will be more to come…

First Trimester

February 2nd, 2020

The “two-week wait” is over, and the pregnancy test has finally given me a big fat POSITIVE! I showed your dad the test this morning while he was still in bed and he gave me the biggest smile I have ever seen. I am so incredibly happy and excited, but so scared. I really hope I get to meet you. Last July we had an early miscarriage, and I feel like I will jinx it. Please, please stick with me baby.

February 6th, 2020

I’m sitting in my hotel room in San Antonio, Texas thinking about you. Who you might be. Wondering if you’re still okay in there. I brought 4 pregnancy tests with me on the plane so I can make sure you’re still there. I know, it’s silly, but it makes me feel better. I really don’t want to be traveling right now, but I have to for my research assistantship. I should be excited to be here, but I just want to be home. It is so hard to hide this news from everyone. I’ll probably skip out on the happy hour and dinners so I can just relax.

I took one of the tests tonight and the positive line is so much darker, which means you’re growing.

March 4th, 2020

I finally got to see you today! The doctor had me come in to do an early scan to make sure everything looks good. I think she could sense my anxiety through the phone. You look like a little gummy bear with a halo. I still can’t believe you’re there. And you have such a strong heartbeat! It’s finally starting to sink in that you will be staying with me. We told both sets of your grandparents today—they are so very excited to meet you!

March 11th, 2020

Please, please, please just be ok. I knew I should not have traveled again. This time I’m in Atlanta for a swine conference for my assistantship. I should feel so lucky to be here, but I hate being here right now. You dad is so far away, and I have no one here to help me. As soon as I get to Denver tomorrow, I’m heading straight to the doctor to get another ultrasound. Just stay with me. I hate this.

March 12th, 2020

You are okay and you are still with me, and I got to see you again. The doctor said sometimes there is a little blood when you get rid of your yolk sack, and connect to my placenta. Last night was the worst night of my life. I cried on the phone to your dad for hours. He was so scared. I called your grandma too. I barely slept and of course I couldn’t find a flight back any earlier. I even took an Uber to the airport 4 hours before I was supposed to—I couldn’t sit in my hotel room any longer. I’ve never felt so helpless and alone. Getting through the airport and the plane ride back to Colorado felt like an eternity. People were wearing masks and there’s a bunch of talk about some kind of virus. The world feels really weird right now, but I keep looking at your sonogram and I feel so fortunate. They say the risk of miscarriage is super low now. I’m going to will you into existence.

March 27th, 2020

We just had a big appointment for you yesterday. We even got to see you move around like crazy in mommy’s tummy! You are quite the wiggle worm. We will know if you are a boy or girl in about a week! We decided to do the early testing because we can’t wait to find out. Daddy and I cannot wait to find out. We announced you to the world last night. It was so exciting and such a relief to not keep you a secret anymore.

So far mommy has just been super exhausted and nauseous. CSU closed campus because of what they are calling the coronavirus, so I get to work from home and take my classes online. It has been very nice to be able to stay at home especially with this morning sickness. You must really like waffles, because that’s what I’ve been craving and basically the only thing I can eat. Today you are the size of a lime…I can’t believe I’m almost out of the first trimester already. Mommy’s pants are starting to get very tight (it could be from all of the waffles, too). Daddy has been taking good care of us and he is so excited to meet you.

April 8th, 2020

Wow! We finally found out that you are our BABY GIRL! The doctor called yesterday with the results. Cassidy Rose Bonser, we are so happy that God chose us to be your Mommy and Daddy. I still can’t believe you are growing so fast in my tummy.

Mommy has been feeling a lot better with not as much nausea and a better appetite. I don’t think I will eat waffles for a very long time! I’m almost out of the first trimester and hoping to increase my exercise and keep eating better foods to keep us both healthy.

It is a strange time in the world right now, as COVID-19 or “coronavirus” has us all under quarantine. Daddy has been working normally, and mommy gets to stay home for the rest of the semester. It is honestly a relief. With our scare in Atlanta, I’ve been so nervous to travel anywhere, even to campus. Mommy is hoping to finish her PhD in another couple of years so we can buy you lots of animals. We can’t wait for you to be here so you can meet our puppies, kitties, horses, goats, and piggies! In the meantime, stay safe and happy in mommy’s tummy. Daddy wrote me a note before he left this morning and told me to “take care of my beautiful daughter” and it made me love him and you even more!

Second Trimester

April 23rd, 2020

We are already one week into the second trimester my baby girl! You are growing so very fast and my tummy seems to get bigger each passing day. The nausea has stuck around a bit longer, but not nearly as bad as the first trimester. You must already have a taste for sweets because it’s all Mommy craves now!

The COVID-19 quarantine sounds like its slowly starting to wind down, and I really hope so, because mommy wants the world to go back to normal. Daddy is still working hard, and I’m beginning to wrap up the semester. Mommy is so ready for the nice weather so we can play outside in the sun and plant flowers together.

We have our next doctor appointment next week and I hope I get to sneak another peek at you.

May 28th, 2020

Mommy and daddy got to see your beautiful face yesterday at your 20-week anatomy scan. You are SO beautiful and you’re growing just as you should be—perfectly. You were wiggling around again and liked to be cuddled up in a little ball. Both me and Daddy fall more in love with you every day.

So far Mommy has felt pretty good this trimester, with a little more energy (though I get tired very quickly). You are growing so fast! I know I keep saying that, but it is so crazy to wake up each morning with a bigger tummy. It seems so real now since my tummy is bigger. People notice now (especially walking through the grocery store). It’s really weird because now we have to wear masks to go into the grocery store. I hope this doesn’t last too much longer.

I think I’ve been feeling you move around, but it’s hard to know because I have an anterior placenta. So when you move, it’s harder for me to feel, because my placenta is covering the front of my belly. I can’t wait until I can actually see you move around from the outside of my tummy and know for sure it’s you!

We love you so much already Cassidy!

June 9th, 2020

Baby girl, you are growing so much and I can feel you moving around in there more and more each day! Mommy has been busy buying you so many clothes, and I can’t wait for you to be here and have you snuggling in all of your new outfits.

We’ve also started getting things for your nursery. We ordered your crib, and your grandma, aunts, uncle and grandpa sent a bassinet, car seat and lots of other goodies already.

I’m 22 weeks today and you are the size of a coconut. Mommy’s belly is so round now. I almost can’t see my toes.

I love you so much already.

June 22nd, 2020

Cassidy! We have our 24-week appointment with you this Wednesday. We can’t wait to see how you’re doing. You’ve been moving and squirming and kicking mommy a lot and I absolutely love it when you do!

Right now mommy is planning your baby shower next month. I can’t wait to celebrate you with family and friends. It seems like the COVID restrictions are easing up a little, so the country club in Eaton said it was okay to host it there. Of course, we are going to have it farm girl themed-so lots of cows, pigs, horses and pink!

Your daddy is so excited for you to arrive and we have already started putting your nursery together.

We love you so much!

July 7th, 2020

We are 26 weeks today! Time has been absolutely flying by with you baby girl, and we are slowly getting to the 3rd trimester. Mommy has been getting so big and the heat is making me very sleepy and tired.

We are busy getting ready to head to Michigan this week for your Aunt Shelby’s baby shower. Can you believe you will only be a month apart from your cousin? Aunt Shelby and Uncle Wade are waiting to find out if your cousin is a boy or a girl until after they are born. We are so excited to find out too!

Your grammy and mommy are busy planning your baby shower. Mommy is probably going a little overboard with the decorations, but I just can’t help it. Plus, I can use them for your 1st birthday. It feels so exciting to be thinking of the future with you.

Third Trimester

July 27th, 2020

We will be 29 weeks tomorrow and we’ve been in the third and final trimester for about a week now baby girl!

Aunt Shelby’s baby shower and our trip to Michigan a few weeks ago was wonderful but very hot. The road trip was a lot (20 hours) and mommy felt very swollen. The car ride seemed to lull  you to sleep more, so I didn’t feel you move as often, which I did not like. I’m glad we are home now and I can just focus on you.

Your baby shower was last weekend, and we were showered with so much love! You’re going to be styling with all of your new outfits, boots, headbands, and toys. It was so nice to see everyone and it was the first time in a long time that the world felt normal. It sounds like the virus isn’t going anywhere soon. I’m glad we were at least able to get everyone together to celebrate you.

Mommy and daddy have been working on your nursery the last couple of days and we finally have your crib set up! I can’t believe we will get to meet you in just a couple of months.

We love you so much and I think about you almost every minute of every day.

September 11th, 2020

Mommy has been slacking writing in this book! I’ve been so very tired. Concentrating for school and work is very hard at this point. Last week we got to take a peek at you again on the ultrasound and you are so beautiful and perfect! We got such a good picture of your little face and your very chubby cheeks.

The docs wanted to check on you to make sure you weren’t going to be a BIG baby because mommy is measuring 3 weeks ahead of schedule. But, you are right where you should be! It was a nice excuse to get to check on you again. Mommy has such relief when she sees you on the screen with your strong heartbeat.

Your cousin, Maxwell Eugene, was born yesterday! I can’t wait for you both to grow up together. Seeing pictures of Max makes me even more excited to meet you Cassidy! You have no idea how much your daddy and I love you already.

We are just about finished with your nursery. Mommy has been nesting and cleaning and organizing the whole house to make sure everything is perfect for when you arrive.

Daddy and I have also been getting ready for Bertha to give birth to her first litter of piglets. You are going to have so much fun with all of your animals!

Mommy has been feeling very tired and my belly is gigantic. You have been moving around so much and that feeling never gets old. I love knowing that there are two hearts beating inside of me! Not too much longer until we meet you baby.

I’m 35 weeks, 3 days today. By 37 weeks, you will be considered full term. Stay in for as long as you need though.

September 16th, 2020

Today is your mommy and daddy’s fourth wedding anniversary! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. And to think, if we had never met back in 2014, you wouldn’t be in mommy’s tummy right now. It’s funny how life works sometimes—it’s all in God’s plan.

I’m actually sitting in the barn right now. Bertha’s piglets are due any day now, and since I’m still working remotely, I have been able to keep an eye on things at home. It’s really hot today, like 90 degrees. My tummy is gigantic at this point. I brought a lawn chair in the pen with me and I’ve got my feet propped up on the fence next to the goats. They keep coming up and sniffing my belly—I think they know you are in there! I think you’ll like Penelope and Billybob, they are cute little goats.

We are now less than a month away from your due date of October 13th. I wonder when you might come? It’s definitely getting very uncomfortable to move, and I can’t believe how big my tummy is. Your dad thinks you’ll be early and be a September baby. I secretly hope you’ll be born in October and have the same birthday month as me. We will see. I can’t wait for you to be here!

September 19th, 2020

Today was not a good day. Bertha went into labor early this morning, around 4:30 am. Your dad and I were so excited. Bertha was our first gilt that we bred to Wilbur (who, is a very large boar that you will likely meet at some point). Anyways, today was our first farrowing experience, which means birthing in pig terms. The good news is that we were able to save 7 healthy piglets. The bad news is that Bertha didn’t make it. Our hearts are so broken. The vet said she had an abnormally small birth canal, which was unfortunately ripped when she was pushing the babies out. It was one of those horrible things that just sometimes happen when you raise animals, and there was no way for us to prepare for it or prevent it. So now, we have these 7 beautiful piglets that don’t have a momma. My heart hurts so much. I don’t know if it’s a mixture of these pregnancy hormones, the heat, and the lack of sleep, but I don’t feel prepared for you to be here yet. I feel like I somehow failed Bertha and I don’t want to fail you. Farming isn’t for the faint of heart and I have a feeling having a human baby isn’t either.

We have to hand/bottle feed these 7 piglets every 2 hours. Luckily, our friend who has been helping us with our pig business had a bunch of goat milk we have been able to use. The piglets have been very difficult to bottle feed so far—they are so small and squirmy. I think they miss their mom already. I can barely reach down to pick one up to feed because of my belly. I just want them to know I’m here to take care of them.

September 22nd, 2020

Baby, I am so exhausted. I don’t think I have every been this tired in my life. Your dad and I have been up feeding the piglets every 2 hours, around the clock. Dad has taken the night shift so I’m able to rest. This heat is something else. I feel like a bloated whale, but it’s all worth it to have you. I also smell like sour milk all the time now. I’m basically covered in goat milk all day. The piglets have been taking to the bottle a lot better now at least. It’s so funny, because at night when they hear us walking up to the barn, they start squealing and running around because they know what happens next! I still think they miss their mom though. My heart is still heavy every time I feed them. I secretly give them all kisses when your Dad isn’t looking. They are just so cute. We told ourselves that we wouldn’t name them, but they all have names at this point (well kinda). The runt of the litter we call Moo-Moo because he’s spotted like a cow. He is so tiny that we have to keep him separated from the others. There is Dog, who sits like a dog. BlueBee, who is a blue-butt (he’s my favorite). BlackHead and Spot (I know, real original). The largest one we call Donkey because he is kind of an ass! And finally, The Other White One. I must remind you that we are very sleep deprived!

I’m feeling so sluggish but I’m looking forward to tomorrow because it’s our 37-week appointment! It’s the only appointment that your Dad won’t be able to leave work for. I joked with him that this will be the appointment where I go into labor. Highly unlikely but your Dad is still kind of worried since he won’t be there. Technically you are fully-formed this week but I think you should stay in for a bit longer.

September 23rd, 2020

Wow, we almost jinxed it! I had very high blood pressure at our appointment today. The doctor sent me over to the hospital for monitoring for a while. Your Dad was freaking out a little. They think that everything that happened with the pigs was maybe too much on me, plus the lack of sleep and bending down to pick up the piglets to feed them. I definitely haven’t felt good today at all. Anyways, my blood pressure stabilized, and the hospital sent me home. However, the one nurse said she would probably see me tomorrow? So, maybe they know something I don’t. I’ll be heading back to the doctor’s tomorrow morning to make sure my blood pressure is still alright. While the thought of you coming is so exciting, I still have so much to do to get the house ready! We do have our hospital and diaper bag packed, and we’ve got the car seat installed last weekend. Just in case.

Birth

September 30th, 2020

Cassidy Rose, you are here! Well, you arrived on Saturday, September 26th at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. 6lbs, 8oz, 20 inches of pure love. So, I’ve got a lot to dump on these pages to get caught up. Bear with me, as the past two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind and I’m still severely sleep deprived since you’ve arrived. You are so beautiful in every single way. I honestly can’t believe I’m actually writing right now.

First off, when I went back to the doctor on the 24th, my blood pressure was HIGHER than the day before. So, they patted me on the back and said it was time to be induced. Your Dad was at work still, so I had to drive to the hospital by myself, knowing I was about to have you! I’m glad the doctor office was close to the hospital, because I had about a million things running through my head. I called your Dad and made him leave work to go feed the piglets (they were due for their next bottles, and I obviously couldn’t drive back home). He didn’t want to but I made him. Luckily, your Uncle Tyler was able to meet Dad at home and learned how to take care of all the animals so Dad could be with me (and you!) in the hospital. It was a weird feeling for me to walk into the hospital and tell them I was there to have a baby. They looked at me like I was crazy!

Anyways, I walked up to Labor and Delivery as nervous as all get out. I couldn’t believe that you would be in my arms soon. I still stunk like sour goat milk, even though I changed my clothes before I went to the doctors. The nurses got me all settled into my suite and hooked me up to about four different monitors. I had to wear these weird leg compressors to make sure I didn’t get any blood clots (I’ve had them before). My veins were being picky because I was slightly dehydrated so it took then nurses about 5 tries to get my IV in. It was after the fifth poke that I began my descent into the madness that would ensue for the next 5 days!

They started me on Cytotec the first night into the next day in order to soften my cervix. The first day and a half in the hospital was alright, really. Your Dad was already getting restless being cooped up. We couldn’t get up and walk around the hospital because of COVID, so we were stuck inside the room. It was so surreal laying in the hospital bed with all of the monitors hooked up to me and hearing your heartbeat constantly. You weren’t really ready to come out yet, but the doctors wanted to be on the safe side. Meanwhile, your Grandpa and Grandma Metheny were flying out from Michigan to get the house ready for us. We didn’t have a chance to deep clean the house or put together your bassinet, so they were working overtime trying to get it all ready. Your Uncle Tyler was also staying at the house to take care of everyone on the Funny Farm.

By Friday, I had not progressed much, so they put in a cervical balloon. Let me just tell you, it was horrible! Your poor Dad had to hold the puke bag for most of the day because it hurt so bad. That’s the first time I’ve ever actually puked from pain. I barely got any sleep that night. Dr. Hayes came to check on me at 5 am on Saturday and I was only 5 cm dilated. She was beginning to get a little more worried because she thought I would have progressed more in the past two days, though she did warn me that induction can take a long time. She then started me on Pitocin, which stimulates labor contractions. And boy did they come hard and fast. The nurses wanted me to wait for the epidural because they were worried I might not progress quickly. However, I assured them that it seemed like things were progressing VERY quickly and basically demanded that I would not wait any longer. By this time baby, I was done! The nurses seemed to understand where I was at, and sent for the anesthesiologist.

Getting the epidural wasn’t bad. Honestly, the nasal COVID test was probably the worst part (outside of the contractions). Once I got the epidural, I felt a million times better. In fact, it was the first time my body was able to relax in about 2 weeks! It was about noon on Saturday the 26th at this point. Your Grandma and Grandpa Metheny came to the hospital to visit. Because of COVID restrictions, only two support people could be in the room with me at one time, so they took turns coming up to see me (and you!). At about 2:15 pm, Dr. Hayes checked and said I was fully dilated and ready to go. Your Dad wasn’t even in the room because your Grandma and Grandpa were both in the room. Your Grandpa rushed downstairs to go grab your Dad, and your Grandma waited with me. By the time your Dad got back upstairs, the doctors and nurses had me all set up to deliver you. At this point, you were ready to come out! I only pushed for about a half hour, and by 2:45 pm, you were born!

It was so surreal seeing you for the first time. It was like I had known you for the past nine months, but never met you. When you looked up at me for the first time, I felt like I would explode! The nurses got you all cleaned up with Daddy, while Dr. Hayes made sure I was taken care of. This might be gross, but she held up the placenta and showed me all of the parts of it. It’s so crazy that I GREW that organ so you could grow! In that moment, it was even more surreal that you were born. For the nurses and doctors, this was just an ordinary Saturday. But for me and your Dad, our whole worlds changed forever.

October 30th, 2020

Cassidy, you are already a month and a few days old! I haven’t been able to write for a while…well, because this first month with you has been a whirlwind! It’s hard to believe it’s been a month with you outside of my belly. Daddy was able to take the first two weeks off to stay home and help us—but I’ve been on my own the past couple of weeks. I think me and you are finally getting into some kind of a routine. Breastfeeding and pumping constantly has been something difficult to get the hang of! It is so much work, but so worth it. I love being with you all day. I’m so thankful to have maternity leave and I can just focus on you. Your Grandma Metheny and Aunt Maddo are flying out tomorrow to spend a week with us! I am so excited. We all have matching Snoopy Halloween leggings to wear together tomorrow, and I have the cutest little Halloween outfit for you. One thing you will learn is that Mommy loves to decorate and celebrate all holidays. I love having days to look forward to. Christmas is going to be so special with you! Anyways, you have been a dream of a newborn. You aren’t sleeping through the night yet, but all of my baby books said in the next month or so, you will be able to sleep 6-8 hours straight. The sleep deprivation is the toughest thing to handle right now. Mommy likes to sleep and getting up every 2-3 hours is a lot. However, I cannot believe how much I’ve learned patience in the past month. It has come so naturally (maybe not so much for your Dad). Reaching this month mark, I just feel so thankful for you. And I feel so proud of myself for being your Mommy. I normally don’t talk about myself like this, but I am just so proud that you are my daughter, and that I know I’m doing everything I can to be a good mom.

November 26th, 2020

Two months old!! Just wow. We had a great visit last month with Grandma Metheny and Aunt Maddo. We get to see them again next month for Christmas! I’m already feeling anxious about the long car ride to Michigan. You are finally sleeping through the night—or most of it! It has been amazing. Getting caught up on sleep has made Mommy feel soooo much better. Especially because I had to resume classes and teaching for the rest of the semester on November 9th.  I was dreading the day so much! However, I am spoiled in the fact that classes and teaching are still remote, so I still get to be home with you. At the same time, I was kind of looking forward to that day because I was finally able to stop the shot injections into my stomach! They hurt so much. I had to have Dad give me a shot in my belly every day since the day you were born—it was a blood thinner medication. The doctors were worried since I’ve had a history of blood clots before. Luckily, Mommy’s all good and healthy!

 Today is Thanksgiving and we are heading over to your Grandpa Moore’s house with all of your aunts and uncles. They adore you! You are a lot more alert now and love being able to see everyone’s faces. Did I mention that I am just so thankful for you baby? I can’t believe you’re mine and Daddy’s.

December 30th, 2020

Christmas in Michigan was SO magical with you. You finally got to meet your cousin Max, and the two of you together was so cute. We also were able to get you and Max baptized together at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Fair Haven, Michigan and on December 23rd. You got to wear the same dress that your Mommy was baptized in! It was such a special morning. I thank God every day that you are my baby. The church was decorated so beautifully for Christmas, with a giant Christmas tree and bows everywhere. The sunlight was beaming through the stained-glass window the whole time, it felt like such a magical moment with all of us there. We spent Christmas Eve at Aunt Shelby’s and you got to wear your pretty Christmas dress and headband. Christmas morning was at Grandma and Grandpa Metheny’s house and you were overwhelmed with the lights and presents. Your Dad and I wore matching pajamas to match yours and we had Momma and Poppa Bear slippers on. It was everything I had imagined! It was so special that you were able to meet your great-Grandma and Grandpa Chrzanowski and they loved being able to hold you.

You did so great in the car ride to Michigan and back home to Colorado. You slept a lot, and Mom was able to pump in the car and feed you without having to stop and nurse. By the time we got to Michigan, I was a pro at pumping in the car and cleaning the parts at the next stop. Your Dad and I cracked up every time we stopped at a hotel for the night on the drive, because you had SO much stuff for such a small baby!

January 22nd, 2021

I can’t believe it’s NOT 2020 anymore. It’s hard to get used to. 2020 was such a crazy year in the world and in our world. I wonder what this year has in store for us? Hopefully, some positive things (though, your arrival has been the absolute best thing to ever happen!). Your 4-month doctor appointment was yesterday, and it went great. You actually rolled over for the first time in front of the doctor! That was so fun to see, and Dr. Hannifan was so impressed. Pretty soon we will be able to start you on some baby food purees. I cannot believe you’re almost ready for that. You have grown so much in 4 months! You are developing such a sweet little personality, and you are so sweet to anyone you see (even strangers!). You are such a good baby.

Our other sow Minnie is due for her piglets soon. I’m already so anxious about it! I don’t think I can handle anything bad happening. However, she is a seasoned momma and knows what to do.

February 16th, 2021

It seems like SO much has happened since I last wrote you. Minnie gave birth to only 4 piglets on February 13th—two alive, and two stillborn, unfortunately. There were really no big complications—sometimes older sows have smaller litters. I was sad for the stillborn piglets, and I felt a lot of emotions come flooding back from Bertha. The piglets arrived super early in the morning—about 4 AM. It was so cold, in the negatives! Luckily, we had Minnie in Daddy’s heated garage—so it was about 75 degrees in there. It was actually warmer than it was in the house! You woke up that morning about 7 AM and after I fed you, I took you out to the garage to see the piglets. You absolutely squealed and let out the biggest laugh we’ve heard so far! It was so cute. You loved watching them run around and oink. Both babies and Minnie are doing great.

I bought you the cutest outfit to wear for Valentine’s Day—a little onesie that says “Daddy is My Valentine” with adorable bell bottom pants with red lips all over them. You even wore your red cowgirl boots. I surprised Daddy with it and he loved it! 

You had another big milestone—you ate your first solid food yesterday! We gave you oatmeal and you loved it! I think you liked the experience of eating the best. All you wanted to do was play with the spoon. It was so darn cute!

Life with you has been so magical. Mommy’s been feeling a lot better and stronger. I’m hoping to be able to ride the horses soon. It’s hard to believe how long it takes the body to recover from childbirth.

The semester is just underway, and boy, has it been challenging! I knew it would be hard to balance full-time mommin’ and school and work…but underestimated the amount of time that I have to devote. You are certainly a full-time job Boogie! Oh yeah, that is your nickname. I don’t know why or how it came to be—but that’s what we call you.

Anyways, at least this is my last semester of classes forever. Hard to believe this journey I’ve been on these past few years. The best thing I’ve ever done, for sure!

March 14th, 2021

Oh Boogie, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write in this book. Remember how I was hoping that 2021 would bring some positive things?? So far, it hasn’t (outside of you, baby girl). A week ago, I finally was feeling strong enough to ride Luna. I was nervous all weekend, but I kept telling myself I just needed to rip the band aid off and swing my leg over her. She hadn’t been ridden since last May when she got back from the trainers, but when I was lunging her, she seemed to be relaxed and listening. And well, she did for the most part. I rode her in the round pen for a half hour and we were doing awesome together. For not being ridden in almost a year, she was listening well. And mind you, this was the first time EVER that I had ridden her. She is very young—she will turn 3 next month. She had only about 40 rides on her when I got on her. But still, she did great! We walked, trotted, turned, and stopped. Her steering definitely needs some work still. You and Daddy were outside of the arena watching us. I had him come out just in case something happened—I said this jokingly but still put on my helmet. As I asked Luna to lope, she took off into the middle of the pen, and I flew off her backwards. I landed extremely hard on back and the back of my head hit the dirt hard. I knew something was wrong immediately. You see, I’ve fallen off a lot in my life, but I’ve always been able to get back up within a minute. I couldn’t move. I was wiggling my hands and my toes okay though, so I knew I wasn’t paralyzed. But, something was still wrong. I remember yelling out for your Dad, and he came running with you. Luna was still running around the round pen, and I was afraid she might trample me on the ground. Your Dad grabbed her and set you down next to me in the sand. You smiled at me and played in the sand next to me, not knowing anything was wrong. Dad untacked Luna and moved her and came running back. He really wanted to call an ambulance, but I couldn’t bear the embarrassment of having an ambulance come pick me up off the ground. Looking back, if the roles were reversed though, I would have had your Dad in an ambulance in a second! I hope you don’t develop my stubbornness! Anyways, after 25 minutes, I was able to crawl on all fours to the round pen panel, lift myself up with your Dad’s help, and was able to walk to the car. Then I had your Dad get your diaper bag and everything I thought we would need. The ride to the hospital in Greeley was horrible. Every bump hurt so much! By the time we got there, I was in a lot of pain. I was covered in horse poop and dirt, and my hair was matted from the helmet. Because of stupid COVID, you and Dad couldn’t come into the hospital with me, so I had to head in alone. Long story short, after a CT scan, they found that I had broken my L1 vertebrae from the fall. I don’t know why I was so shocked when they told me, because deep down, I knew something was wrong. But they told me I couldn’t ride, run, or lift anything—including YOU—for the next three months. The ER doctor left the room and I felt so alone and devastated. I was fortunate to not need surgery or anything, but the thought of not being able to pick you up was like getting gut punched. I texted your Dad from the hospital room and he couldn’t believe it either. He was in the parking lot of the hospital feeding you a bottle. By the time they wheeled me out of the ER, you were peacefully sleeping, unaware of anything that had happened.

This past week has been horrible—both physical and mental pain-wise. Luckily, your grandma has been able to help us, but it’s so difficult to let go and trust someone else to care for you. Even though I’m right there, it’s so hard. My milk had begun to dry up too…I have had to wait 5 hours in between nursing you in order for my medicine to be out of my system. It’s difficult to hold and nurse you, too. I’ve cried just about every night knowing that I won’t be able to nurse you for much longer. I never realized how much it would hurt to let that part go. Why is it so emotional?? You are the only thing getting me through this right now. Your smile and giggles. I love you!

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