This time five years ago I was in the middle of a miracle. I was in labour, giving birth naturally to my precious baby girl.
Every birth is a miracle, a moment when heaven and earth stand still in awe that new life has entered the world (and that something so big can emerge from something so small!)
But five years ago for me seemed like... something unbelievable. She wasn't my first baby. But she was my first birth.
This history did not give me any kind of confidence that my body knew what to do when it came to giving birth. I was starting to feel very overwhelmed and depressed near the end, as I faced going overdue again and the very real possibility of not being able to give birth.
Some good friends supported and prayed for me, and one of them said to me she felt that one week from today I would have my baby... One week later, I did.
Here's what I wrote to my daughter in her special book about that night five years ago...
"At 6pm I met my midwife, Irene, at the hospital for her to check on me. She gave me an examination to see what was happening about an hour after we arrived. My pains were very strong and I was sucking on this gas tube to help the pain, but I remember her saying, 'I can feel the bag of waters, See-mone! You're going to have this baby!'
I started to cry with joy! Now the doctors couldn't take over or give me a C-section.
Irene said, 'It's like your body has all of a sudden clicked into what it's supposed to do.' It was amazing...
"Finally you were born at 5.15am on Wednesday 28th July 2004. Apart from one stitch I was in one piece! With no epidurals! You were here!
'I can't believe it! I did it!' I said. I was overwhelmed. I felt like superwoman!
...when your daddy asked if I'd decided on a middle name I knew what it would be: "Grace" because God's grace had helped me do the seemingly impossible...
One week to the day after my friends prayed I was in the hospital giving birth...
I love you so much. You have brought so much into my life just by being born... I hope and pray you will always remember how much you were (and are) wanted and loved and what a precious gift and miracle you are..."
Happy Birthday Princess. Five years old and more precious today than ever. x