The nurse insisted that her heartbeat was too slow and so to be sure that my soon-to-be-born little girl arrived in top form, I needed to lie on my right side. I had two IVs (one in the crook of my arm, the other on my knuckles), a belly monitor, a catheter, and an epidural taking up valuable real estate on my body, but girlfriend paid that absolutely no mind. Seventeen hours passed by. She wasn’t ready.
But when that baby decided it was time? Well, it was on. Not a minute after I convinced the nurse to let me lay on my left side “for just a little while,” she practically leaped out of my stomach—three pushes and she was in the hands of the baby catcher standing in for my ob-gyn, who hadn’t a chance to make her way from the scrub room to the maternity ward. You’re slow, you blow.
Lila Elisabeth Chiles works on her own time, and waits for no (wo)man.
That’s my baby—and today, she is seven years old.
Here’s what you should know about my Lila: She is incredibly smart. A leader, definitely not a follower. Hysterically funny. Impatient. Helpful. Messy. A total sugar monster. Beautiful. Girly. And a total tomgirl, too. Sweet. Strong-willed. Sporty. A bit of a rabble-rouser.
The love of my life.
Today, we’ll bake a cake—maybe vanilla with strawberry icing.
And we’ll sing “Happy Birthday” (the Stevie Wonder version, of course).
She’ll wear her orange dress and play secret agent, maybe with her best friend Maggie, and I’ll hug on her and kiss on her and love on her because today is her birthday.
Lila is lucky number seven.
A big girl.
But still my baby.
Until the dolphins fly and parrots swim the sea, I’ll love you always, sweet Lila.