You nursed for the last time this morning. I cradled your fuzzy head. I stroked your soft bare feet. I wrapped my hand around your belly and felt your tiny ribcage expand and contract. I listened to you breathe. We snuggled in silence, and I wanted it to last forever. Our sacred time together.
I’m so proud of us. We made it an entire year, my sweet love. An entire year of nursing daily. How you’ve grown since our first nursing session. It took us a while to find our groove, but how we found it. We found each other in a new way...and now we’re losing it. This is not the first “last,” but it’s the saddest.
You are one year old today.
One year ago today, I heard you cry for the first time. It was the most joyful of bells, a cry I had waited not 2.5 hours, but about three years to hear.
I wanted to write you a special letter, but I had no idea where to begin, so I began there: with us.
I watched you walk around the apartment this morning, holding your helium Happy Birthday balloon and a rainbow gift bag with pom-poms. One year after your birth, I still can’t believe your ours. If anything, I believe less and less as you grow more and more miraculous.
In the first letter I wrote to you when I was 25 weeks pregnant, I ended with this line: You are my inspiration, my wisdom, my strength.
You still are, and I imagine you always will be.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
I’ve tried desperately to preserve our precious first year together, to collect ribbons of what was our daily experience, to share what I saw in you. I hope you experience that by reading the letters together someday.
Now I’m not sure where to end.
You are the sun, my Emmylou, my Lulu, my beautiful, passionate, curious, brilliant, affectionate, feisty, strong, independent, playful, goofy, creative mover and shaker of a daughter, and, in the wise words of Emily Dickinson:
I’ll tell how the sun rose—one ribbon at a time.
I love you forever, my beloved spirit baby. I'm so glad you found your way to us.
Love, Your Mama