My dearest Savanna,
Exactly a year ago today, Daddy and I drove to the hospital in the morning for the scheduled c-section. It was a grey, cloudy day. Other commuters on the road were all going about their own business like usual. Don’t they get it? It was the big day! It was the day I get to meet my girl! I felt like the world should pause because you were about to arrive.
When you finally came out, the doctor lifted you over the blue curtain so I could see your face. Your eyes were puffy and closed, and you started to cry. My life was changed forever in that moment. Once they placed you in my trembling arms, tears rolled down my cheeks when I laid my eyes on you. My little girl, you were finally here. I felt like I’ve waited so long to meet you and to hold you. The 9 months of pregnancy and crazy work hours were behind us, and we were finally going to spend the next year together as a family.
You are so precious to me, because I begged God for you. He must have heard my prayers and answered with a “yes”. Since they day I found out I was pregnant with you, I thanked Him everyday for you.
I remember many hours of nursing you at night, sitting in semi darkness, and staring at your beautiful face. I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to have you in my arms. Daddy and I turned the den into your nursery, and I loved having you near. I loved hearing you breathe and stir in your sleep. Every little sound you made reminded me how precious life is.
You spent a lot of your early days in the Ergo carrier with me. Because even though you were too young to play, your brother needed to get out of the house everyday and spend time at the park. All winter, we went out every morning and every afternoon–you in the Ergo strapped to my chest and mostly asleep, your brother bouncing all over the place on his own, and Sam on leash trailing behind us. While your brother dug in the sandpit and got dirty, I got to stare at your sleeping face. I loved having your head rest so snuggly on me. I was always tempted to munch on your cheeks.
You traveled like a pro. We spent a week in Whistler, a week in LA, and three weeks in Asia, all before you were 7 months old. Somehow everything with you seems easy. You slept well, you ate well, you didn’t fuss on the flights. You just fit right in everywhere we went.
When you were 3 months old, you decided to quit drinking formula and bottles. When we started giving you solid food, you decided that fruits are your all-time favorite. You love bananas and grapes. You are not a big meat eater. Although, when I made osso buco for Daddy’s birthday, you chowed down on that like there is no tomorrow. I made you cupcakes for your birthday party, and you plunked your face right into the white chocolate icing.
You took your first step 5 days ago. I think in a matter for weeks, you’ll start walking. Your first word was “dada”. Then it was “up”. Then it was “down”. Then it was “da” for dance. I’d really like you to say “mama” soon.
I love it when I pick you up from your crib in the morning, you kick your little legs with happiness. Before I put you down at night, you always put your head on my shoulder and grip my shirt, as if to say “Don’t put me down!” I love it when I say “kiss mommy”, you lean in close with your mouth wide open and slobber all over my face. I love it that you tilt your head back and invite me to tickle your neck. I love your giggles. I love that you swing side to side when I say “dance”.
Your brother calls you “mei-mei”. Daddy and I call you “little girl”. Sometimes I call you “Vanna”.
You have given me a chance to re-evaluate my life, and spend time on what I think matter the most. You have inspired me to be better, to be kind, and to be true to myself.
Daddy and I came up with your name back in 2009. We were in Tanzania on a safari. One day, while standing on top of a hill and looking down at the savanna below us, my heart was filled with emotion. The Serengeti was just so full of life, so wild and so unpretentious. I turned around and said to Daddy, if we ever have a girl one day, let’s name her Savanna. He said ok. That’s how we named you. Savanna without the h.
Thank you for picking me to be your mommy. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I look forward to being amazed by you even more. I wish you all the adventures and discoveries and happiness in the world.