Birthday Girl

Dear Lena,

My pregnancy with you was mind numbingly boring. No cravings, no mood swings, no swollen hands or feet.I only gained 16 pounds with a very small frame and a pre-pregnancy weight of 100 something pounds. People showered Mutti with compliments “you look great”, “you couldn’t possibly be that far along”, “i hate you, when I was pregnant…”. In the midst of it all my heart was shattered I had wanted to be pregnant, to feel pregnant, to have a baby of my very own for so long, and now, now, this is a ruse. It must be. I went into labor with you at a little under 36 weeks. Fears of an impossibly small baby (in my head probably no baby at all). Mutti held birth off for 4 more weeks, must buy more time more time. 
You were born the day before your due date. An hour and a half of pushing, vacuumed out like a dust bunny. You reached your grey arms out, grasping the air with furious purple fists. There was only silence. I thought it was such a cruel trick for the universe to play. You lay on my chest, my still baby. While moving the sheets from around my side your still hand fell onto mine and then, when I expected nothing, the world split apart. You wrapped your fingers around mine and never let go.

They left you on my chest for over an hour. Mutti and Vati asked them to weigh you and in complete disbelief Linda announced we had an origami baby. 7 pounds 15 ounces of your beautiful newborn self was crumpled into my now deflated abdomen. I fell hard in love with you. The sloppy love that bubbled and seeped through every aspect of my life, until it took on a whole new hue. I look at you now and I kick myself for the time I lost guarding my heart from you. You are light and joy and love. I hope I’ve made it up to you my Lenaturtle bear, you deserve it.

It is over-said, over-sung, and over-thought, but it is the only idea my mind keeps repeating…1 year seems so long, but it sure flew by. I feel like I blinked and my newborn was replaced by this little child. This child that lights up any room she’s in. This child that speaks not only with her raspy lady voice, but with her eyes. This child that waves and sings and dances.  This child….my child. You.

Thank you for being my daughter. Thank you for (re)joining us. Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for making your Vati a father. Thank you for everything. I owe you the world. Happy 1st Birthday my sweet girl.

Love forever and always,


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