My daughter weighed 1lb 13oz (822 grams) when she was born.

This week we celebrated her 16th birthday. For my daughter it is a significant milestone. She can now get a learner’s permit to drive!

For her parents it means that and so much more. She doesn’t have any memory of what it was like sixteen years ago, at the Women & Children’s Hospital maternity ward, her father and I grasping hands as the doctor told us I would be prepped for surgery immediately. I was barely five months pregnant.

My medical team had done everything for two weeks to get the baby prepared for the open air world outside the womb. I had been on bed rest the whole time, not even allowed to take a shower. My unborn distressed baby and I were monitored, poked, turned and injected twenty-four hours a day. We could only hope that it all made a difference.

I was prepped, given an epidural and wheeled into the operating room for what was basically a routine cesarean section. With the screen up at my waist, blocking the view of my doctor opening me up to take my daughter out, I depended on my husband to tell me what was going on. Then I heard a sound like the mewing of a kitten. “It’s a girl!” the nurse said. And best of all, she was breathing on her own.

Still inert on the gurney, I waited for the nurse to clean my new born daughter, then hold her up, level to my face so that I could see her. My baby fit in the nurse’s palm, her tiny face not bigger than a small potato. And she was crying.

The sound of her crying, the little kitten mew, was like a direct message from God. She was going to be OK. Our doctors had assured us, but now we believed. She was going to be OK.

Sixteen years later, she’s more than OK. My daughter is fantastic! She is five feet, two inches of awesomeness. Tough, sweet, smart, confident, more than I could ever hope for.

Much of this story I shared in an article I wrote a few years ago, Three Tips if You are Pregnant & Have Chronic Illness.  Right now all I want to say is, dreams do come true.

Happy Birthday, Baby! I love you!