Monday, November 25, 2013

it's almost been a year

i'm already thinking about nyla's first birthday.
not about a party or gifts, but of all the emotions that were encompassed in that week - almost a year ago - the week of her birth.
the day she was born - december 16, 2012 - i didn't even know she existed in this world,
that thought alone is enough to bowl me over and lose it.
i know some families miss so much more than a child's birth and first week of life - weeks, even years, but for us, the hours that fit into less than six full days felt long, so long.

our girl was born on a sunday and we came to know her on a wednesday.
we came to love her on that wednesday too.
not because we could see her, or smell her milk breath or touch her feather-soft black baby curls,
but because someone on the other end of the phone told us she was ours if we wanted her -

and oh - we wanted her.

from that moment on wednesday morning until the moment we first laid eyes on this tiny girl in a big carseat, dressed in red velvet and a white headband - we were obsessed with her.

that's the only way i can describe it. obsessed.

every thought i thought for the next three days was about her. what she was doing, how she looked, how much she would weigh in my arms.

i'm not exaggerating when i tell you that between wednesday morning's phone call and saturday morning i couldn't stomach more than a bite of food at every meal, more than a sip of coffee before nervous, excited, anxious jitters would consume my appetite, my mind, my entire body really.

sleeping pills were the only thing that helped me sleep those three nights when all i could do was stare at the one picture we'd been given of her - a closeup shot of her little face, fast asleep with a baby hat on.

but now, when i look at her, i don't see that baby everyday - i honestly don't even think about that week all that much anymore - now all i see is my daughter - my feisty, spunky, cuddly, emotional, stubborn beautiful daughter.

my brown-haired, brown-eyed, brown-skinned beauty and i barely remember the fact that i wasn't there on the day she was born, or on the day she was released from the hospital or there to rock her on her first night home, or to give her her first bottle.

i don't think about it much anymore, but today i do.

today, i remember and thank God for the firsts we do share. our first time hearing her name and seeing her picture on my phone. the first time we laid eyes on her in the flesh and the first time they handed her to me.

the first bottle i gave her in a columbus barnes and noble

and the first night she slept in our room.

there is so much to be thankful for amidst the loss that's also mingled with our gain. and it's thanksgiving week so now is as good a time as any to start remembering, right?

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