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Happy 20th!

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I officially became a mom. I am writing this so that my daughter can remember how she truly is a special part of my life.

I can still remember the time I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Oh no, it was not a planned pregnancy. It was full of drama in fact.

I was very sick, had a few x-rays taken and was under a lot of medication for my gastro-intestinal issues. One day, I was rushed to the emergency room and had to be admitted to the hospital because I was totally dehydrated. Of course as standard procedure, they always take pregnancy test at the hospital. So to my surprise (and my parents), there I was pregnant at 24!

The news went from “Congratulations, you’re having a baby” to “Sorry, but we have to terminate the pregnancy!” My doctor told me that since I’ve taken all sorts of medicine and a few x-rays, they need to terminate the pregnancy because there’s a high probability that my child will have mental and physical disabilities and so on and so forth!

So you can imagine the emotions that poured that day. I didn’t know what to do. Didn’t I have a say in this matter?

I was young, very sick, excited and scared all at the same time. And then as God always finds ways to work His magic, a certain OB/GYN gave me options! Whew, Dr. Gary Kaye has been my OB/GYN ever since! Without him, I wouldn’t have had a clear mind proceeding with the pregnancy.

So there I was, 95 pounds and pregnant with my first child. I wanted to do everything right and perfect. I have to take care of this child. So, I literally took the saying “eating for two” because by the 9th month, I was 170 pounds!

I was almost 25 years old and I didn’t even know my water broke! I thought I just had a BIG accident after one of my loud sneezes. My parents, brothers and I just got back from church and we were watching a movie when I finally asked my mom, “I've been going to the bathroom a lot. Is that normal?”. So mom asked a few questions and then she told me that my water broke. That was sometime in the afternoon of May 28th.

I then called my OB/GYN and he told me to proceed to the hospital.

There was no way I was going to the hospital without taking a shower. ( What was I thinking?). My mom was hurrying me up but I was taking my time. (Maybe subconsciously I was afraid of this whole birthing process?). When we finally got to the hospital, my doctor asked what took so long. I figured I was two weeks early, I have all the time, right?

My daughter’s godmother, Chiqui, was with me the whole time. Between labor pains, I paused and asked her to go ask my mom if the baby has to be circumcised as soon as he’s born. Everyone thought I was having a boy because of the way I was carrying I guess?

Around 5:29am on May 29, 1989, I can still remember the time I had to squeeze Chiqui’s hands so tight (sorry, Chiq) and naturally push (I guess I wasn’t thinking?) my 7 pounds, 8 ounces baby.

As soon as I heard her cry, I asked, “Is she healthy? Does she have a cleft palate? Is she normal?”

And everyone said, “She’s beautiful!”

She’s 20 and starting her own life. A scholar, going into her 3rd year in college and in a happy relationship with her boyfriend of 2 years, my daughter will always be my little princess. ( I can't believe I was her age when I first arrived in this country 25 years ago)

Every year that we celebrate her birthday, I can’t help but remember the first day I found out I was pregnant and the first day she was born. I’ve seen her grow into this beautiful, smart, hardworking and caring person. Every day I thank God for having her.

My dearest child, I am so proud of you and I love you dearly. Happy 20th to both of us!

(As a family tradition, we all wake up the celebrant first thing in the morning to sing her/him a Happy Birthday with candles all lit ready for her/hm to make a birthday wish; )


  1. That was beautiful, Jen... thanks for sharing and a Happy 20th to both you and Nicole! - bianca

  2. That was such a beautiful tribute to your gorgeous daughter!! Isn't God amazing? Man says one thing, but God has the final say!!!!!

    Happy Birthday to your daughter!


  4. That was beautiful. Happy 20th to the both of you!!

  5. How sweet, sweet, sweet! Your daughter is beautiful! Happy birthday to your daughter!

  6. Very beautiful thoughts Jen.

    Happy Birthday to Nicole!

    Love, Randi

  7. What beautiful photos of you and your daughter. One of the biggest joys of motherhood is watching our kids grow into wonderful adults, isn't it? I cherished my son's younger years when he was home with me, but am also taking pride in watching him grow into adulthood. Thanks for your post -- it was fun to learn more about you!

  8. How sweet is that! Thanks for a lovely story, Jen!

  9. What a beautiful post, Jenjen. Happy 20th to both you and your daughter!

    (Do drop by my blog and grab your award. I had you in mind even before I saw this post, but this post just made it even more apt!)

  10. They grow up so fast. I can't believe my oldest son is 18 years old and graduating high school on Sunday.

    Your daughter is absolutely stunning. She looks just like you.

    Have a great weekend.

  11. This was incredibly sweet and beautiful. Just like the both of you.
    Happy 20th birthday!

    p.s. You totally look like sisters.

  12. That picture of the two of you where her fist is up by her face? Absolutely precious.

  13. JenJen--

    this is beautiful. She is beautiful. Congratulations are raising such a great girl.

    Question? What is a blog award? and How do I "pick one up"


  14. That was an awesome post. My daughters are going to be 2 in June and 4 in July. Every year on their birthday I think the same thing. I remember where I was and the day I found out I was pregnant with both of them. Their birthday is always a special day in our home too. You have a very beautiful family and happy 20th to both of you;)


  15. Dear friends, thank you all so much for the birthday wishes and compliments!

    My daughter and I enjoyed reading your comments and truly was a great day!

    Have a great week!

  16. Jen,
    That was such a beautiful story.
    I enjoyed the pictures also.
    Happy 20th to you and Nicole.

    My daughter was born on May 31st,
    21 years ago, and she's sweet also.
    My son was born on Feb. 5th, 17
    years ago, thanks to a very
    attentive doctor.

  17. Our little girls are the best! I wake my girls up the same way on their bdays. Every day I thank God for giving me the greatest kiddos ever. Thank you for sharing.


  18. @Anita and @Lori, thank you for the bday greetings...and the blessings!


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