Penelope Jane came into the world at 41 weeks and 6 days, 7 pounds and 3 ounces, 20 inches long, on October 5, 2009 and stole my entire heart:

Her birth happened in ways we never planned for nor anticipated, but it was joyful and amazing. We were in the hospital because my amniotic fluid was dangerously low and her heart was beginning to suffer; in the hospital I was sure that an epidural and c-section would be our fate, but once my waters were broken it took only (only?) four hours of labor before she was born, natural and free and into my arms, beautiful and perfect and calm. I still can’t believe that I did it, and that I made it through to the other side. Now that we are just a week and a half into this journey, and I’m consumed with things like nursing, sleeping, diapers, and oh my gosh look at how adorable her tiny shoulder is right this very second, it’s hard to think back to the long time of waiting we spent, when it seemed labor would never start. It did start, it started life right up again, and we’re in the middle of it, in love, and loving every moment of it. Welcome to the world, little Penny Jane, our sweetest joy, our littlest love, our best thing.