In two weeks you will be one year old. Today you are walking and have a handful of words in your vocabulary.

A year ago I was on bedrest, and still worried you might be born too early. You have always been in a bit of a hurry, even before you were born. I went into labor the first time with you nearly 7 weeks early. It took a week in the hospital and the intervention of a crew of doctors and nurses. They gave us steroids to strengthen your lungs and another drug to slow the contractions, and it worked. You still showed up 18 days early, but by then the interventions had strengthened your lungs and you had gained enough weight to thrive on your own. You made your arrival perfectly healthy, and strong, and beautiful.

Genevieve - CoffeeJitters.Net

Your physical development has been fun to watch and can be tracked through the many photos we’ve taken this past year, but it’s the development of your character that is most amazing to me. You are so curious. You want to learn and explore everything. You don’t just quickly glance at a new item, you study it, turning it over and over in your hand upside-down, sideways, inside-out.

Last night you spent hours with Daddy’s keys. Sure you spent a little time shaking them and enjoying the jangle, but most of that time was spent examining each individual key; turning it over and over, feeling the smooth edge and the rough edge, tasting it (yuck). There was a spiral notebook near you and each key as it was examined was tried in each of the slots along the binding of the spiral note book. Every single key. Not only are you curious and studious, you are almost scientific in your methodology.

baby on a swing - CoffeeJitters.Net


Every day I marvel at how lucky I am that I get to be your Mommy; that I get to spend every day watching you grow and learn, and that I’m on the receiving end of all those smiles and hugs and kisses.

We got some really scary news last week. Mommy has breast cancer. But I’m going to fight this. You’re going to watch me kick cancer’s butt. And at the same time, I’m going to make sure that you get all the attention and hugs and kisses and learning opportunities that you need to grow up strong and confident and healthy. We’ll get through this baby girl; you and me and Daddy.

Your smiles and giggles are the best medicine for me.

I love you


Read more Letters to Gem.

You can learn more about my cancer story here:

my cancer story | Judy Schwartz Haley


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Judy Schwartz Haley


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