Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Letter To My Daughter

Dear Audrey Bear,

Mommy will be going back to work in a few weeks; my maternity leave will be over soon.
This means that the days that you have become used to will change a bit. I won't be able to spend as much time with you.

So here is what I need you to know.

By the time 5:01 am on September 21st rolled around, I had already been in the hospital for almost a week. During that week, every single action I did was for you. For making you healthy and helping you grow. I had lots of shots, which you've unfortunately already learned about. I had tubes in my arms and lots of different liquids going through my veins. All of these liquids were for you, my sunshine. 

In the early morning of that Sunday, it was very quiet. Your daddy snored on the pull-out sofa, your grandmother read in a chair, your grandfather silently paced the hall. The IV machines clicked away and then, it was time. It was your time. And we rushed down the hall to the bright, hot OR. I looked over at your daddy in his blue scrubs, his eyes were huge, and I knew he couldn't wait either. Couldn't wait to see you.

Twenty minutes later, they laid you on top of my stomach and oh. oh. oh. I looked you all over, at your beautiful toes and fingers. You were so small but so perfect. And then you were gone, because you needed a special machine to help you breathe. 

You lived in a special crib in a special room for 27 days and we visited you every day. I held you every day for hours, even when there were so many tubes and wires attached to you that it was like untangling spaghetti. 

I felt a lot of things during those days. I felt so much love and so much guilt. I worried that I hadn't done enough for you, that I hadn't done the right things, that I wasn't a good mommy. But when I told your smart daddy these things, he told me I was wrong. That my love love love was great enough for you to be just fine. And he was right. Because now you are fine. More than fine. You are the everything.

People ask if I feel guilty going back to work and not spending all my time with you. But, I don't. At least not right now. Because, honey, I want so bad for you to learn that you can do anything in this world. You can be anything you want to be on the power of your own will. And I have to teach you that; I have to show you that. 

I will miss these drowsy days I've spent with you, watching Maury's paternity tests and Ellen's goofy dancing. Taking walks and changing countless diapers. Holding you as you sleep, singing soft songs, smelling your baby smell. Oh, my turnip. It's been a joy.

So things will change a bit in January. But the one thing that will not change is how much I love love love you. You are the everything.

I will still hold you for hours,

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