I had a strong hunch from day one of taking that pregnancy test that you were a girl. All signs pointed to it. Every single symptom/craving I had was the exact opposite of all of my other pregnancies. But after 6 pregnancies resulting in baby boys, I wouldn’t allow myself to get my hopes up.
I DID come up with your name almost right away. And every time I spoke it out loud I would get a little chill. It was meant to be. On the other hand, a half hour before I pushed you out of my womb I was still grappling with a potential boy name. (Zephyr Phoenix Paradigm….River Phoenix Honor…..???)
Man was this pregnancy a TOUGH one. Horrible morning sickness. Acne. Acid reflux. Constant Braxton hicks contractions. An aversion for all of my favorite foods. (Lord, the very SMELL of peanut butter had me running to throw up.) I craved fatty unhealthy foods. I was extra hormonal, crying at everything and anything all damn day long. I was basically a hot mess.
But then you came out of me, straight through me. A portion of my soul just slipped into this world. And that moment…..well, for the rest of my life I will have it grafted onto my heart. You were perfection from the very first moment. And me……me who had either laughed for joy when each of my kids were born or simply said “Oh my God”…well, I took one look at you as your Daddy announced you were a girl and I bawled. Just broke down like a little girl who lost her doll or something. They wrapped you up, took you into the next room so the NICU team could assess you, and brought you back to me. Placed you in my eager arms and I took one look at you and almost started to cry again. I was overwhelmed. There was no other word for it. Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. My someday daughter was RIGHT HERE in my arms. God was good. Life was marvelous. My world was complete.
I hated our time apart. Me in my lonely room on the 6th floor. You a floor above, in the NICU. I was upstairs as much as possible. Only going back to my room to eat meals or change my pad. I would from time to time say i was going back to my room to grab a couple hours of sleep but it never happened. Every time I drifted off to sleep a nurse would wake me up to check vitals so I gave up. I basically ran on 2 non-consecutive hours of sleep per day for the entire 3 days I was in the hospital. (Keep in mind I also was in labor with you overnight so from Friday morning until Tuesday morning I got approximatly 6 hours of sleep. Total. I would sit in the NICU behind the privacy curtain to nurse you and afterwards I would unwrap you from your swaddle and undo my shirt and lay you bare skin to bare skin on my chest and lean my chair back in a recline and drift off to sleep for a few minutes. God bless the nurses who allowed it.I was able to room-in with your brothers and it killed me that I couldn’t with you. I was so grateful for those moments.
That is love, precious daughter. That is love.
Love is the fact I would nurse you in the NICU through gritted teeth and tears because you were not latching properly and the NICU workers wouldn’t listen to my adament opposition to you getting a binky. I’d cradle you close as you nursed, trying over and over to show you how to latch on. You sucked a blood blister into each of my nipples and still I kept nursing you through the pain. Because that’s love. My stay in the hospital was a fog. I was bone tired. But still I made the trek 8 times a day to your bedside. Because nothing could keep me from you. Nothing. Thats love.
I can’t let you go. It’s unbearably empty when you are not in my arms. At night I tuck you snugly into the crook of my elbow and sleep topless so you can nurse anytime you want/need. Because thats love. I watch you sleep, your eyes fluttering back and forth beneath your eyelids. i trace your body with my fingertip. Your tiny bony knees. Your chunky cheeks. The soft peach fuzz on your back. I want to devour you. Tuck you back in beneath my heartbeat. I can’t get enough of you. you are my drug. I am infatuated. Mesmerized. Addicted. That is love.
I love you with the depth and breadth and wholeness of my very being. I love you for the potential of who I shall be and for the parts of me already in you. I love your ferocious strength. I love your fragility. I love that you have the eyes of a mermaid and the smell of heaven and the sounds of ancient secrets on your tongue. I love how different you are than your brothers. I love how much like myself and your brothers you already look. I love how right at this very moment as I am typing this I look over at you lying beside me in the bed and you are smiling.
You are everything I ever was. Everything I ever hope to be. You are my princess. My warrior princess. My beauty. My power. My tangible awareness of hope and dreams and laughter and life.
I’ll tell you right now, I’m sorry in advance for every time I fail you. Because I will. I’m only human. As much as I want to always be your hero, never falling from that pedestal…..I will. i have been a mother over 13 years now. But I’m still learning. And Lord knows I’ve never raised a girl before. I have plenty of ideas and plans……but life is life and it won’t always flow the way we want it to so please try to understand that i’m just learning right alongside you. But we’ve got this, chick. You and I …we’ve got this. we’ve got the whole damn world at our fingertips. you’ve got the whole world in the palm of your hand…just be careful not to clutch it too tight that you forget to even live it.
Live everyday. Breathe in life. Experience it. Taste it. Don’t be afraid to fall down. As long as you get back up. Face your monsters. Because there will be some. Dance. Dance like a silly fool right in the middle of the grocery store or in your front yard in your pajamas or in the kitchen while dinner is cooking. laugh. A lot. And loudly. Cry. Because it’s okay to. Hug. Hug everyone. Hug hello. Hug goodbye. Never skip a chance to hug a person because you never know when the last time will be that you will hug them. Write love letters. Learn to throw a solid punch. Learn to throw a spiral with a football. Climb trees. Paint your nails. Act like a lady. Be someone the boys will respect. Dye your hair some crazy color. Read the classics. Try new foods. Say I’m sorry. Say I love you. Forgive people. Forgive yourself. Talk to God. Always be honest with Him. He knows your heart anyway.
Most of all, be YOU.
I hope I can teach you some stuff along the way. I hope some of what I cherish and believe in gets passed on to you. But I also hope that you think for yourself. that you question what you are told. That you shine brightly. Like the diamond that you are.
Shine on you crazy diamond! ❤
I love you.