Matilda has been keeping me busy - very busy. Watching her grow into her own person is breathtaking. I remember those long days in the hospital, when each time I would hold her butterflies would swarm my belly and my breath would instantly be taken away.

Matilda loves to explore, especially when her brother is absent. She goes through his things so quietly and carefully, examining every detail with curiosity. She stretches while reaching for the good stuff he stashes up on shelves or on the window sill. She is ready for mischief.

Free standing is no longer a novelty, she does it on her own accord and as often as she can. Walking is not far away. She zooms across the room with the help of a push wagon, the look of pride clearly written all over her face. She is ready to run.

The sweet sound of Matilda's voice fills what used to be the quiet moments in our home. She sings, letting her voice rise and fall while playing around with pitch. She does her best to communicate and is sure to sneak in a few cheeky smiles as she screams, shouts, and whispers all the new sounds her voice can make. She is ready to speak.

A year ago today, I held my daughter and I cried. I cried because I was so scared that I might not be able to watch her grow into a person all her own. I cried because my butterflies and unending love were not enough to keep her alive. And the thought of losing her took my breath away.

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