It’s my youngest daughter’s birthday today. Emma is 17. Unlike her sister who arrived 3 months early, Emma was late. And a whole lot bigger. For all you pregnant ladies out there for the first time, trust me when I tell you that there is a huge difference between 2 pounds and 8. If your child is anywhere over two pounds when you go into labor, take the pain medicine. All of it. I mistakenly thought all childbirth was the same. I remembered how the contractions felt (horrible, but survivable) and figured that I wouldn’t need an epidural. I didn’t have one with Brianna, so I needed nothing the second time. Silly, unsuspecting me. Once I realized my mistake and told the nurse I had changed my mind and would like that epidural after all, please. She said, “Oh honey, it’s too late.” Yup, Emma about killed me. Or at least that’s how it felt at the time. Child birth is kind of like when you’re at the top of the highest peak on a roller coaster ride and you look down knowing it’s going to make you sick so you start to panic and you think to yourself I want off! I want off! but that’s impossible. You must endure it til it stops. Only afterwards when you’re walking away all jelly-legged and laughing with relief do you realize it wasn’t so bad. And now I have this grown up version of my baby girl. All sassy and sarcastic like me. But super smart and beautiful and kind-hearted. With easy laughter and spontaneous hugs. Strong spirited, stubborn, accepting. I’m so lucky to have her in my life and today I’m thankful to be her mom.