{Celebration} – Happy “Sweet 16” Pepper!

Sweet 16

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When SuperDad and I got married we knew we wanted children right away. My younger brother already had 2 boys and I desperately wanted a little girl {although I would have been happy with a son as well}. I remember being told about this book that helped you “try” for one gender or another during conception. So, I found the book, read it, and, since we were already using the “rhythm method” it was easy to follow the “directions” the book gave us. Low and behold, it worked {or at least the odds were in our favor for both Pepper and Jake since we used it for both} and we were pregnant with our first child only 3 months into our marriage!

Now, I LOVED being pregnant. I have always loved being pregnant. The fact that I had this living being moving inside my tummy just amazed me. I could grow people and make milk… superpowers I had never known. But, I also did not know some of the risks that pregnancy can have. I was as cautious as could be and SuperDad and my mom did not allow me to do much. Even so, since I was in my third trimester straight through a hot, Texas summer, my mom and I decided to take my nephews swimming one afternoon. I noticed some cramps while we were at the pool but thought nothing of it. Later that evening they got worse and I had SuperDad call my doctor. {Ummm… yeah… I had him calling the doctor quite often with that first pregnancy. My poor doctor! She would always tell him to put me on the phone – I was scared – and then have me take 2 Tylenol and a warm bath and call her in the morning. Yep, it always worked out fine!} I noticed that the cramps were a bit more than the Braxton Hicks I had felt before and we were instructed to come to Labor & Delivery. I was immediately given a stress test to check on the baby and it was then that they realized I was in pre-term labor. I was only 26 weeks and scared to death for my baby’s sake!

It was a rough night, as it was a full moon and every other mom on that floor was delivering a baby, and I heard screams of pain like I had never heard before and I was a bit freaked out! The nurse assured me all was fine and I was given some meds to stop my contractions. Fortunately they worked rather quickly and I was able to move to a room where there was no screaming. That next day I saw babies going back and forth from their mother’s rooms to the nursery, and although I was grateful we were able to stop my contractions, I became even more ready to see my baby.

After leaving the hospital I was sent home to a continue treatments with an at-home nurse. I had to wear an IV in my arm at all times and SuperDad was put in charge of my meds when the nurse was not there. The doctors ran test after test from then until delivery to see what caused my pre-term labor because it had weakened my kidneys. I was on a myriad of medications and put on bed rest. It was miserable! Nevertheless, it did give me more time to spend talking and singing to my baby. I wrote her several letters and was able to get everything ready for her months in advance.

When it came time to have her the doctor decided to induce me on my due date since my kidneys were not handling the pregnancy well. I had been given 5 sonograms to check my kidneys, as well as the baby, during the last few months of carrying her. We knew for sure she was a girl and I had her name picked out since the 7th grade! I was ready! We arrived at the hospital early, were escorted to our room, and started the Pitocin. Now, I knew it could be tough, but I did not know the term “back labor.” Three failed epidurals later, I simply had to endure the tremendous back pain I was having. My baby was coming out looking up rather than down {I always tell her she simply had to see what was going on just like she does now} and the back labor was almost unbearable. My doctor was able to turn the baby just before she made the final descent down the birth canal, but Pepper, being the stubborn Princess she is, turned back around at the last moment and came out looking up.

After 18 hours of labor, SuperDad started to cry when he saw his daughter for the first time and I was flooded with emotions. It was one of the most magical moments in my life. I had become a mommy for the first time and I could not have been happier!

Today that baby is 16 years old! I cannot believe how fast the time goes. I am so proud of my baby girl. She has been working since she was 13 years old and has become quite good at managing her finances herself. She walks through a devotional every morning on her own accord, helps around the house {usually} without much persuasion, and has chosen to accelerate her Jr/Sr year so that she can graduate in May and move onto college. She knows exactly what she wants to do with her life and I enjoy knowing that about her. Although I see a lot of myself in her, I believe she is beyond beautiful and has a good head on her shoulders. Since I have homeschooled her for over 9 years, we are very good friends. We both know when the time is appropriate for me to be mom, but she respects that and I appreciate her friendship. It warms my heart to have a teenage daughter that will still talk to me, assist me in finding the right clothes, and just be there for me when I need her to. Pepper and I have been through an awful lot together and I could not ask for more from her. I remind her often that she is my “guinea pig” in the area of motherhood. She and I are going through all these “firsts” together and we have to be able to give each other grace as we walk the journey together!

My "Pepper"
Happy “Sweet 16!”

In my daughter’s eyes, I can see the future.
A reflection of who I am,
And what will be.
An’ though she’ ll grow and, some day, leave:
Maybe raise a family,
When I’m gone, I hope you’ ll see,
How happy she made me,
For I’ ll be there, in my daughter’s eyes.
~Martina McBride

365 Days of Gratitude

2 thoughts on “{Celebration} – Happy “Sweet 16” Pepper!”

  1. I was there and it was one of the best days of my life, getting to see my first grand daughter born…. a feeling that I can never replace!! Love you both!!! Momma/Mamaw

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