This weekend is my littlest baby’s birthday.

She is TEN! Can you believe it? It’s been ten years since I survived hyperemesis gravidarum to bring her into the world (remember my bootiful lil illustrated zine about it?)

Mermaid Daughter #2 is the most radiant, bouncy, excitable, gorgeous soul. I feel SO ridiculously blessed that I followed that midnight vision that another soul needed me to be her mama. She has been such a huge gift to all of us.

I don’t share photos of my family online anymore (I shared more about why here), but picture her as a lanky strawberry blonde fairy who looks a lot like her mama but is 100% herself!

Last night I was feeling all the feelings of her birthday, and I laid down in the shower, and my body remembered everything we underwent to bring her here. I placed my hand on my heart to say a prayer:

Thank you for making that sacrifice, 30 year old Leonie. You went through all that pain and suffering and misery. And you did it to bring this being of light and joy into the world. She is a gift to all of us – to me, to Chris, to Mermaid Daughter #1. We honour you, we love you. Thank you thank you thank you.

It made me teary, and it made me whole all at once. Inside me is the warrior who went through hell to bring her beloved daughter into the world. I want to honour her for giving us a gift that blesses us every single day.

It was hard. It was worth it. I am grateful.

I know you too have made huge sacrifices for love and the ones you love.

I know how courageous you have been. How you have been the living incarnation of Guadalupe, Guan Yin, Gaia. The sleep you have lost, the tears you have shed, the hands you have held. Your care and compassion is the fuel that has moved mountains, made planets spin in their orbit.

The angels thank you for your service and your sacrifice. And they want you to know that you too are held in the palm of their hand. How fervently they wish for good things, and care, and softness to be received by you too.

May we continue to gently and lovingly tend to ourselves and our own precious bodies as we do to so many others.

I am with you in solidarity, my loves,

Big hugs,