It was Riley's Birthday last month... don't worry, pics of the cup cakes and butterflies are still to come. I have been thinking so much about when she was born and then we had a conversation the other day that I knew I needed to write down.
On my mission I had a few reoccurring dreams. One was a Nightmare, and the other was wonderful. In the Wonderful Dream, I would be playing with this little girl. She was about 8 I would guess. She looked like my oldest niece but with dark hair. I really loved this little girl. There were always some younger kids around her, but I only specifically remember talking with her. Every time I was about to wake up I would tell this little girl that it was time for me to go. She would start to cry and hold me. I would be so confused Why this little girl was so upset with me leaving her? I would ask what is wrong and she would say "We just MISS you SO MUCH" Right then I would look at the other little children that were near her and realize that I was their mom! The thought would suddenly occur to me that we had known each other for a very long time. Right when I would realize it, I would wake up. And I would miss her deeply.
Since I am very prone to Nightmares, I have tried to not pay attention to my dreams. And I usually find myself saying "It was JUST a dream, it was JUST a dream" In this case I knew it was more and looked forward to the next time that I would have that dream. (I think it happened 3 times total on my mission)
I guess I always knew that my oldest would be this little girl.
When I had the ultrasound that told me that Riley was a girl, I cried. I was terrified that she would turn out Just Like ME! I worried that she would face my trials, and make my same choices. I worried at how hard I knew her life might be. The only reassurance that I found was in that dream.
Finally, on September 18 (8 days late) She was born. As I was pushing (not very effectively due to the VERY HEAVY epidural I had with her, making it impossible to know if I was even pushing at all) the doctor told me she could feel her hair! I was so shocked (since Nelson's don't tend to have babies with much hair) and so excited. I told JT that if she was a brunette we could name her Riley. (since it seemed like a Brunette name to me, and would fit the girl in the dream) When they finally handed her to me (after many attempts by the nurse who was thwarted by an obscene amount of Maconium) I felt like I recognized her. I felt overwhelmed with love. And Comforted that she was no longer missing me.
Well, last week, as were driving in the car Riley began to ask me about when I got married. She asked if She was IN my TUMMY when we got married. Of course, I told her she was NOT. (thank goodness,because the Temple frowns on that) She asked if Blake or Macie was in my tummy. I said no, and explained that she was with Heavenly Father. She got very serious, even sad, and told me. "Yeah, I was crying." I said "no, Riley, you were with Heavenly Father, you were very happy" She then told me more sternly "No, Mommy, I WAS CRYING. I MISSED you SO MUCH. And then Blake started to cry and I hugged him. And then Macie started to cry, so I hugged her too."
I could feel the Spirit so strong. I even started to tear up driving my car! It was so tender to hear her sweet voice, it was almost like hearing it in my mission dream again. There are a lot of things I don't know about this life, the life before, and the next life to come-- but one thing that I KNOW is that the Family is EVERYTHING in all three. I am not sure how it works. I am just grateful for the tiny glimpses into Heaven that we are given.
Riley is so special to me.
Growing up I realized how my mom has a different relationship with each of her children. Now that I have a third I see that this is unavoidable (even necessary) because each child is so different. It doesn't mean that I love Blake or Macie any less. Not at all. It just means that we will have unique experiences with each of our children.
Riley is my sweetest little friend and shadow. I love the fun we have to together. I love her laugh. And her desire to see others laugh. I love her tender heart that is always aware of her younger siblings. I love her excitement and passion for life. I love her little brain that seems to always be going and going. And how much she loves learning. I love her fashion sense! I love her pretty blue eyes. I love that she sneaks in my bed at night. Especially the nights that JT is not there. I love that she wants me to sing Mary's Lullaby every night before she goes to bed. I love that she loves to bake with me and wants to go jogging with me. I love how she says her name "Wiyey Kate". I love how she jumps into my arms beaming when she has done something right. I love that she can pick up Giant Beetles without screaming. I love that she wants to wear my make up.
I love that she is all mine.