I’ve heard it said that the days of a stay-at-home mom pass slowly, while the years and months pass quickly. I couldn’t agree more. Today is our daughter’s very first birthday, and I have found myself reflecting a great deal about the last year; more specifically, about what I was feeling and experiencing minute-by-minute, 365 days ago. The day we met our daughter.
Since my birth story was a very empowering one for me, I took the liberty of writing a letter to our baby girl, highlighting the details of her arrival into this world. Since today is her birthday, I thought it appropriate to share a portion of her story here.
At 9:12 am, (after 3 or 4 more contractions), you arrived. Janna “caught” you and said, “Brandi, reach down and pull up your baby.” I don’t know if words can describe that moment. Even now as I write about it, I am in awe. I pulled you up onto my chest, sat back on my heels, and studied perfection in my arms – your squinty eyes, full lips, pink cheeks, dark hair, micro-sized fingernails, and shivering little body were absolutely miraculous. Your cry was scared and your gaze foggy. Within seconds of us meeting, Sharyne covered us with a warm blanket, and you and I cuddled for the very first time. Now sitting on the floor, I leaned back into your father’s arms, and we both marvelled at you. We didn’t know if you were a girl or a boy, we simply knew that you were perfect. Once you were calm and no longer shivering, I lifted the blanket to discover you were a girl. Amazing! From that moment onward, I could tell that your tiny little hand held your father’s heart.
While your dad and I got acquainted with you, Grandma Sherry called Papa Zane, and Nana and Grandad. In fact, I am told that your Papa Zane got to hear your very first cry (I didn’t notice because I was busy being enamoured with you).
In addition to us getting acquainted with each other, the next four hours consisted of you and I getting assessed by the midwives: you were weighed (8 pounds 2.5 ounces!) and measured (21” long); your reflexes were tested (they were perfect!). After you were weighed, measured and tested, your dad dressed you. The only articles of clothing we purchased before you were born were 3 kimonos, one of which was to bring you home in. I watched your dad as he delicately pulled your fragile arms through each yellow sleeve, and was careful to not tie the bows too tight. He had never dressed a baby before; it was a special thing for me to observe. After you were dressed, he held you against his chest. In unison, everyone in the room said, “awww.” Your tiny body resting against your father’s broad frame was a sight to see. In that moment, I realized love for him in a new way.
Now at the other end of a full year, it’s incredible to reflect on the growth experienced by our whole family. She’s grown 10″, tripled her birth weight, and has reached developmental milestones well beyond her age (she’s super smart, but I am not biased or anything). And while I’ve learned that I am STILL short-tempered and super impatient when I’m extremely sleep deprived, I do think I am growing into a more well-rounded, gracious person. As for my husband’s growth, it’s as if the softer side of his personality has become personified with the arrival of a girl.
Happy first birthday, baby girl. I look forward to many more “firsts” with you, including how you shape and contribute to our little family.