At this moment last year, I was on my knees in the room off the kitchen, howling like a woman possessed. I was, as the midwife had instructed me, screaming the baby out.
It was a very different birth to that of your sister.
For starters, it was at home. There were no wires connecting me to machines, no tubes of artificial hormones and antibiotics steadily drip, drip, dripping into my arm.
There was no midwife I'd never met before laughing at my desire for a natural birth or bullying me into making choices based on fear and exhaustion.
There was no epidural, no missing the force that drove through me like a train, letting me know that my baby wanted out and she wanted out NOW!
There was no efficient squeak of rubber soled shoes signalling the arrival of yet another random stranger popping in to check on things.
There was simply me, your daddy and our midwife, the same midwife who had visited me for the last nine months and who knew me and my history and my wishes (within reason) for this birth. Your sister was hanging out in the sitting room with nanny and grandad.
With each contraction, your father pressed the hot water bottle deep into the base of my spine as I focussed on the pain that was bringing you closer to this world.
I lost track of time and space, and then, at the very end, lost control of myself as you took matters into your own hands and emerged red and screaming. Mouth open, arms flailing.
I remember your daddy crying, "We have another daughter," as I leaned against the side of the bed, exhausted and shocked by what had just occured.
I won't lie. It hurt like hell and I was more then a little stunned by the force of it all. I stayed there for a moment or so, breathing deeply, wondering if I'd ever have the strength to climb onto the bed and hold you.
And then they handed you to me and I forgot about everything else as I stared at you, this wonderful little person I'd shared the last nine months with but had never actually met.
It was love at first sight.
I remember the feel of your little mouth as you latched on for the first time and the way your body curled into mine.
I remember our first night together, my arms wrapped around you as we slept, exhausted after what we'd been through together.
And now, a year has passed.
I don't know where the time has gone or how the tiny baby from that night became the big, strong girl who is sleeping in our bedroom upstairs.
You amaze me.
Happy Birthday Little One.
I love you so much.
Love mama x