One month ago today** I heard you for the first time. I was shaking, frightened, and drugged – lying on the operating room table – and there you were. I heard you before I saw you. I heard you cry, calling out with a shout that you had arrived at last. I heard you cry and something in me was forever changed. I heard you cry and I knew, I knew. I knew you were mine. Your cry, your voice, sounded like the voice of someone I had known long ago, loved long ago. Your voice pierced through me like a thousand arrows. I wept instantly. I wept, knowing that you were here, knowing that you were mine, knowing that my heart and soul knew you by your voice alone. In that moment, time stopped, my life stopped, my heart stopped – everything stopped. And when it started again, everything was different, everything was new. Because in that moment I became your Mama.
I can hardly believe it has been a month already. And I can hardly believe it has only been a month. I feel so new at this, you feel so new to me - but also? It feels as if I have known you all my life, as if you have been with me all my life. And maybe I have, and maybe you have. I don’t know how these things work.
I tell your dad that I think you chose us. You chose us as your parents. He doesn’t quite know what to think about that since it involves all sorts of beliefs about who we are and where we are and if we exist before we are born here. Big stuff. And I don’t fully know what I believe about all those things either. But I still think you chose us (and perhaps God chose you for us). And to say I am grateful for that would be the understatement of the century.
I want to say thank you. Thank you not only for choosing us, but thank you for being so gentle with us, for teaching us and for having patience with us when it takes us a few tries to “get it”. Sometimes I feel I am living with a wise and kind little teacher instead of the brand-new baby that you are. You are the most peaceful and content baby I have ever seen. Your smile is breathtaking. You really hardly cry at all. (Although, when particularly hungry, you have been heard to growl) I have tried hard to listen and to meet your needs before you needed to cry. But still. Thank you.
Of course, just so you know, even if you cried the whole night through, even if you screamed relentlessly – I would still love you. I would sweat and cry and wonder what I could do. I would hold you and comfort you and tell you I am here for you always. I would pace the floor and I would not sleep. But I would still love you. With everything in me, I would still love you.
“When you have a baby, every day counts. Every week matters. Every month is a revelation, a collection of milestones so vast it’s easy to forget that they have even happened.” – Rebecca Woolf, Rockabye
This was a month full of firsts: your first smile, your first cry, your first night home, your first nap in our bed, your first bath (my how you love your baths!), your first kiss (from mama, of course!), your first time in a sling (you love being “worn”), your first massage (you fell asleep in the first five minutes), your first “push up” (you are mighty strong, little one), your first trip to the park, your first doggy kiss, your first thumb sucking, your first attempt at rolling over (you really shouldn’t be doing this already, you are giving Mama a heart attack), and today? Today you gave us your first laugh.
It was a small little baby laugh but truly and distinctly - a laugh. Your laugh. Your dad and I were chatting with you as he held you up in the sunlight streaming through the window. A smile spread across your face, your mouth opened wide and out came the sound: a few short syllables of laughter, “heh, heh, heh!” We cracked up laughing with you and fought back our tears. A simple laugh. Might as well have been angels singing as far as we were concerned. Later you repeated this miracle twice more. Once as I strapped you into your car seat and again later while you were sleeping (!) of all things. Each time as heart-stopping and surprising as the first.
The month began with the sound of your first cry, a cry that called me into motherhood. The month is ending with the sound of your laughter. My ears, my heart, my soul were made to hear these sounds. I hope I never stop listening. I hope I never stop listening for your voice, never stop responding to your calls, never resist being carried away in your laughter.
* I am blatantly borrowing this "monthly newsletter" concept from this famous blogger.
** I did actually write this on February 21st, Zane's one month birthday but then had to do some editing because the original version was three pages long! I sure do love writing about this guy.