the best valentine's gift

I have expressed in past posts how much I love Valentine's Day, for so many different reasons. But my favorite reason of all is what I'm going to share with you today.

One year ago today -- on February 14, 2022 -- Olivia gave me the best Valentine's Day gift I would ever receive. 
I was 6 months pregnant and I felt her kick for the first time.

I found out I was pregnant in September of 2012. On January 18 of 2013 (one week before my 23rd birthday), we found out we were having a girl! Because I'd had many dreams during my pregnancy about having a girl -- dreams where I saw Olivia as a young girl, 3- 4- or 5-years old playing outside -- I had this deep sense it would be a girl but I don't think I fully believed it was until she was born. I had wanted a baby girl since I was little myself -- I think there is a degree to which every Mom hopes for a girl at some point. One by one, God was giving me the desires of my heart as my pregnancy unfolded.

I didn't begin to show until I was about 6 months pregnant, and because I was small, I hadn't felt any movement even in January when we had found out the gender. I remember watching her move during her ultrasound and couldn't believe how much she loved to wiggle! What was even harder to believe was that I didn't feel any of it! 

January came to a close and February began. I was so anxious to feel movement and her kicking -- I had been looking forward to that my whole pregnancy, knowing it would be a feeling I would never forget. I wondered if something was wrong because I wasn't feeling any movement, but my doctor assured me everything was perfectly fine. 
I would share with Dustin how I was feeling discouraged and he continued to say, 
"Just be patient. You will feel her move at the perfect time."

I woke up on Thursday, February 14, 2022 -- Valentine's Day -- to Olivia's sweet little kicks. Feeling her move and kick for the first time, and on Valentine's Day of all days, melted my heart and made me cry. I believe in my heart of hearts that she was saving her kicks for me to give me that gift on a day that represents LOVE. It was perfect and she is perfect. What a gift it is to have my baby girl to celebrate her 1st Valentine's Day with, exactly one year after I felt her kick for the first time.

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