Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter: I Wasn't Ready for You

Sweet Eden,

I tried to prepare for you as well as I could, baby girl, but I failed.  I read the books, took the classes, and talked to other mommies, but there are so many things I didn't learn.  I heard it would be hard, that having a newborn was work and that it could be months or years before I felt like myself again.  I read about so many things that could go wrong and heard the phrase, "It'll be okay if natural birth/nursing doesn't work out," dozens of times, but I just wasn't ready for you. There are so many things I didn't know.

I didn't know how perfectly your little body would fit in the bend of my arm, the back of your fuzzy head in my other palm the first time you opened your mouth to eat without needing to be shown how. No one warned me my heart would swell ten times its size in that moment, or that, despite feeling like I would die right there from joy, I could go on living and giving my body to you like that day after day. 

I wasn't prepared to want to stay awake just to listen to you breathe and watch your dark eyelashes flutter, to be okay without sleep.  I didn't know how wonderful your little belly rising and falling against my own would feel or how delicious the top of your head would smell--both are better than anything I could possibly dream about. No one told me your cry would both break my heart and move me to fix whatever was hurting you simultaneously, that I'd feel an overwhelming need to take your pain.

I didn't know the moment you smiled at me for the first time would feel like all the life I needed to live, that my purpose would be realized in the form of a toothless, squinty-eyed grin. 

I didn't know you would make me feel more like myself by making me forget to worry about myself entirely, that living to love and nurture you would be more fulfilling than anything else I've ever done or hoped to do.

I didn't know, baby girl.  I wasn't ready, but I can't say I'm sorry. You've been the sweetest surprise since we first found out about you.

I love you, Edie Faye.


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