Paul Matthew Watkins (Matt) is truly an incredible father and has loved Maggie with all of his heart from Day One.
Thanks for unexpectedly making a baby with me, Matt Watkins. She turned out pretty fabulous.
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Every child changes their parents' lives, and Maggie was no exception. I was at a tough point in my life, twenty years old and experimenting with sex and alcohol, on a pretty steep downward spiral with some depression added on for good measure. Maggie's dad, Matt, was an acquaintance of mine who later became a two-night-stand. We briefly got together, then lost contact for a few weeks.
I was on a trip visiting a friend in Denver when I realized how late my period was - I had taken multiple pregnancy tests in the previous week or so, having a feeling that something might be up, but they were all negative... until that night in my friend's Denver bathroom when I peed on a stick and it changed my life.
I was instantly ecstatic -- probably a strange reaction, but it was my honest first impulse to just be really freaking happy. In a strange way, I wasn't caught that much off guard. I always knew that pregnancy could be a consequence of sex and had somehow mentally come to term with that long ago, despite my continued sexual rebellion. Also, as weird as this probably was, Matt and I had talked during our two impulsive days about "what if"? I knew he would be excited as well, despite the fact that our relationship was nothing.
Our relationship never progressed much, even with some serious effort. It was a miserable time in many ways. There was so much I had never learned about love and I especially was not in a place of being okay with myself. And God definitely had different plans for the whole situation.
The most important part through it all, for both of us, was our baby. We were both excited to be parents, excited beyond the standard reason. Maggie was a turning point for me. I watched ALL the Gilmore Girls episodes I could get my hands on, resolving to be a Lorelai type of mom - to put my child before myself and make good choices happen out of crazy circumstances.
I honestly loved being pregnant and had few tough side effects. I loved getting big and round and would stroke and admire my belly in any mirror I passed. It was amazing having my baby growing inside me. Matt was a champ about being there for all my doctor appointments, doing childbirth class, helping with what he could.
Maggie decided to arrive 6 weeks ahead of schedule. The doctor tried to stop my preterm labor, which was caused by cleaning out the apartment I was leaving to move in with my parents, but the contractions kept going and I felt a complete peace about bringing my baby into the world.
Magnolia Mae Watkins entered the world at 11:51 pm on July 27, 2007,
weighing 4 lbs 9 oz and measuring 18.5 inches long.
She was a little champ from day one. She had a brief stay in the NICU until she got big enough to regulate her body temperature. Then we got to take her home, to my parents' house, and it was amazing and hard and wonderful and we just loved her so much.
We also watched the first three seasons of LOST pretty much straight through. Like, 8 hours a day.
She was so little that preemie clothes were GIGANTIC on her.
In the NICU, they kept her so warm she had a permanent sunburnt look to her skin.
But she was the sweetest.
My kid, through and through.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGNOLIA MAE.