19 hours of labour.
2 and a half hours of pushing.
All of the nurses on the floor thought it would end up being a section. They were shocked when I only required one stitch. The midwife said your birth renewed her faith in hospital births. When you arrived (at long last) I sobbed and sobbed because finally. And also, oh my god.
If births are in fact indicative of life, then it was only right that my first experience of motherhood was incredibly difficult. Nothing with you has been easy, because it’s all so new to me. Every step, every tear, every skinned knee – it’s my first along with you.
Maybe I was unsure about angels before you, but oh, how could I doubt their existence now? You came, on your own schedule, ready to arrive before I realized I was ready, too. You burst into my heart, shattering every single wall I had ever built, breaking them down. As they fell, a lifetime full of love gushed in. It doesn’t stop, ever. As I watch the world through your pure, beautiful watery blue eyes, my heart fills and overflows with the beauty that surrounds us, always.
I have discovered soft pink satin as we lay together in your bed and you gently rub your blanket across my cheek. I have discovered the joy of finding a worm in a damp pile of dirt. I have discovered the fear of being overwhelmed, the terror of the unknown and the peace of bravery. I have learned so very much from you, my dear child.
My love for you is swaddled in the cliches of motherhood, and only when you are blessed with your own child will you have the slightest chance of understanding the depth of what I feel. And then, maybe not, because you will be preoccupied with your own love, your own life.
You have taught me patience and acceptance. You have given me the gift of appreciation for each day. I watch you sleep and sigh and roll over and I gently stroke your lengthening legs and remember the first time I realized I loved you. I was alone, quietly devouring a book on pregnancy and read that your heart was beating inside of me, already. Almost no one knew of your existence, I had only told one person. I closed my eyes and thought of you and though it was still all too new to seem real, my heart swelled and filled and I knew that despite the fear, despite the timing, we (you and me) were meant to be.
Happy fourth birthday.