One year ago today, I sat in a hospital shower willing the warm water to calm what I thought were round ligament pains so I could sleep. A resident came to check on me at about exactly this time and she told me she saw your feet. On the way to the operating room, I silently wept.
One year ago today, your father looked at me with loving brown eyes and said that you were out. With the silence of mice, they rushed you through an adjacent door to begin their labor of keeping you alive. He noted you were born at 6:20 AM. I thought to myself, “That cannot be. She is not due until December.”
One year ago today, while they put the pieces of me back together and counted surgical instruments, a kind neonatologist brought you on a warming bed, nestled in a pink baby hat to me and said, “Congratulations, here is your beautiful daughter. She breathed on her own.” I then breathed with you.
One year ago today, your father and I, me on a gurney, your father on foot, visited the NICU for the first time. We learned how we needed to take off our wedding rings and scrub up to our elbows. We learned how easily we could open the port of the incubator and touch your sweet limbs. Your nurse told us to hold you firmly, that soft touch was distressing. I held your tiny foot. You were perfect.
One year ago today, I took one of my nightly walks to your NICU bay to bring love and milk. My first walk post surgery alone, one of many. Yet another neonatologist, more an apparition of an angel, turned to me and said, “I was there when she was born. She cried at birth. It shows how strong she is.” I cried too.
One year ago today, you entered our world and you filled us with love, light, hope, and a will to live everyday searching for the good in the world. We now carry your light and love with us wherever we go.