I met a very special man on Christmas Eve 2014. He had more gray hair in real life than was revealed in his picture, and he was shorter than I’d imagined as he stood in my doorway. We drank the last of a bottle of awful sweet liqueur and chatted until 4 a.m.
By our second date, he’d stolen my heart over a game of Yahtzee.
By August of 2015, I was pregnant. I was on a silent meditation retreat when it occurred to me I was late. I strolled the woods between meditation sessions knowing that no matter what, this child was meant to be in our lives.
And then she arrived on a sunny spring morning, after three grueling days of “false labor” and 10 hours of induced labor. They laid her slimy little body on my chest, and she looked up at me with her beady, newborn eyes as if to say, “So, that’s what you look like.”
She’s one month old tomorrow, and it will go down as the longest one month of my life. Not because it’s been hell (although at moments it has been), but because I’ve learned so much since then. I knew parenting would change me, but you can never be fully prepared for how it really feels to celebrate your child’s first gooey pooh.
She’s a spirited child so far. She squirms endlessly, just like she did in my belly. She goes from silent to high-pitched squealing with no in-between warning signals. I read this morning that new parents should not look at those first months of parenting as draining, but as giving energy to a being that will benefit for the rest of her life.
And just as they told me, I love her more than I had ever imagined.
Welcome to this world, my darling.