I am stealing a moment to write you a letter while you take a nap. I should be sleeping, too, but I wanted to write you before another moment slipped by.
I have been wanting to write you since I found out you existed—as a tiny seed planted in my belly—back in November of last year. I wanted to tell you how surprised I was that you were coming, but life got in the way. A month into my pregnancy, I probably would have told you how I wasn't doing so well. Your big brother Henry had broken his leg and I felt perpetually sick to my stomach. I may have even asked you to be gentle with me, because I desperately craved some relief.
After I found out you were going to be a girl, I wanted to write to you to say how happy I was. Happy actually doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. I was beside myself with giddiness and awe. I just couldn't believe the news, and although I would start to make plans for you, my dear daughter, I wouldn't fully believe it until the doctor held you before me on the day you were born.
You see, I've been wishing for a little girl of my own since I myself was a little girl. So you, literally, are a dream come true.
I wasn't able to write until now, but please know that it's not for lack of love, not at all. You caught us all by surprise, but you remind me that sometimes the best things in life do. Yes, you are one of the best things in my life. And today, on your one month birthday, I am celebrating that. I am celebrating you.
One month has gone by in a blink of an eye. Our first few days together were spent getting to know each other in a small and sparse hospital room. Right away, I was struck by how calm you were. Sure, babies often are. But there was a grace about you—a quality that was strikingly sweet and feminine that caught me offguard. Even your cries were less like alarms and more like whispers, gently asking for help and attention.
Because you were born by cesarean section, I wasn't able to dive in to caring for you as I would have liked. But your amazing papa, who by now is such a pro, took wonderful care of you while I recovered from the surgery. There were a couple of health hurdles you had to leap. Your blood sugar was low, your billiruben levels were high, and you were losing more weight than the doctors wanted. I knew none of these issues were serious, but my heart was filled with worry. I just couldn't help it. (I don't think of myself as a particularly nervous or worrisome person, but being a mother has changed that. You and your wellbeing are always on my mind.) Thankfully, by the time we left the hospital, you had gained back 7 ounces and the pink was back in your cheeks. I was so proud of you.
On our first day home, we were greeted by Henry and your Lolo waiting patiently on the porch for our arrival. Your Lola was busily making us lunch inside. Above our living room window hung a handmade banner left by your Bubbe, Grandpa, Auntie Lali, and Uncle Erik, who had been visiting all week long. It said, "Welcome Home, Mama, Papa and Maira." That's how I'll remember our first few weeks together: Surrounded by family, showering us with their love, company and care.
Every day, I am learning you, Maira. So far, you have proven to be an excellent sleeper. After a good meal at the breast or bottle, you quickly drift off into slumber. While awake, you are aware and curious, but still very mellow and kind of serious, too. A smile lights up your face every once in a while, but I'm not sure yet if it's just gas or if you're really happy to see me. You are beautiful, of course. Your features are delicate and dainty, and you have a full head of hair. Your cheeks are getting rounder each day, but you're still long and lean. Once in a while I see myself or your papa in your face, but most often you look like a girlier version of Henry. (That's a good thing. He's quite the looker.)
I feel more sure of myself as a mother this time around, but I still don't know what our future brings. Please just know that you have come into a family filled with so much hope and happiness. We know how to have a pretty good time. We laugh and play, sing and dance, read and even sleep together. We go on fun adventures and make beautiful messes here at home. We are not perfect, but we try and try and try again. And we love each other more than anything else in the world.
Welcome to our family, dear Maira. We can't wait to share our lives with you.
All my love,
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