You joined us just twelve days ago. Already I cannot imagine life without you and never could have anticipated the depth of love I have for you and the amount of emotion you stir up in me. I have been in awe of you since the moment your daddy put you on my chest. I’ve never seen such joyful tears as I saw on his face then. And I hear my face was unforgettable in that moment – I can only imagine. Because I was processing the relief of such an incredible amount of pain in the same moment I was meeting my reward – you. You were the prize at the end of that battle I waged. You were worth it.
I couldn’t have been prepared to meet you. How could I? But you made perfect sense to me right away. It was you who had been in there, you! It was you all along. Your essence upon arrival is burned into my mind’s eye. That face, those eyes, your squishy little body laying on your side, looking up at me, reaching up to me, making your first cries and then locking eyes with me quietly…
I don’t ever want to forget you just the way you are right now:
Your tinyness just kills me. Everything is so minute, so small and precious. Your coloring shocked me – your light blonde hair and blonder-than-blonde eyebrows and lashes. Your forehead wrinkles to kingdom-come when you scrunch up your eyebrows. Your half-moon shaped eyes when they are closed. Your nose that is a replica of mine. Your big, full lips that make all sorts of different shapes while you sleep… you purse them, squish them together, push out your upper lip, make half-smiles, wide silly grins, oh-shapes, sometimes they just fall apart and stay open. I nearly die every time you sigh. Hearing your sweet little voice behind your breath like that is just the sweetest thing I could imagine. You have fuzzy hair up the sides of your ears. For the first day I thought it was the hair on your head just pushing up behind your ears, but upon further investigation, nope – it is fur on your ears. You have the length of my fingers and toes, but they are shaped exactly like your daddy’s. You are still all folded up like you were inside me and you return to that position all the time. I will miss it when you start unfolding and becoming long and straight. Sometimes in the midst of deep sleep you will suddenly straighten your legs out and your daddy and I laugh together because that’s exactly what you did in my belly. We would be sitting on the couch or laying in bed and I would show him – feel right here, it’s like he’s stretching out his legs, they feel like they are going to poke right through my skin! I was pretty certain it was your heels we had been feeling, and now seeing you do this in person, it’s exactly what I thought you were doing in there!
The first morning we had you home, I was holding you in your room just after changing your diaper and was talking with my mom, your CeCe. We were just admiring your sleeping face. You opened your eyes and looked up at me and I couldn’t stop my tears. You were looking at me, listening to me talk, and I just couldn’t believe you were finally here and oh so sweet and beautiful, Milo. When you look at me, I come undone.
The morning after that, I was rocking you in your chair in front of the window in your nursery. I stripped you down to just your diaper to let you get some natural light for your slight jaundice and was holding you close, rocking you, feeding you. I hadn’t been able to just look you over from head to toe yet, you’d always had clothes on, and I marveled over your squishy skin, wrinkles in funny places, and fell in love with the baby fuzz you still have all over your arms and back. I noticed that you have your daddy’s broad, strong shoulders. Underneath that baby fuzz I can already see pieces of the strong man you are going to become. It’s quite sobering.
Learning to feed you has been difficult because it hurts! But I don’t want to give up, don’t want to stop, because that time with you is so special. I try to memorize your face, I hold your little hands, rub your back, your miniature legs, and touch your hilarious feet and tiny toes (we’ve named those feets your “froggies” because they are like little frog-kickers, especially on the end of your still folded-up legs). You drink so fast and hard that I can hear your little voice behind your gulps, which just melts me all over again. Sometimes you drink until you can’t catch your breath, then you stop for a minute and gasp for air and sigh… then go back to eating. Oh my. Just two days ago you started looking up at me out of the corner of your eyes when you eat sometimes. I love that. When you fall asleep too quickly when eating I rub your little hands to try to keep you awake.
Your doggy brothers are very interested in you. They get worried when you cry and settle when you do. They always want to see what we are doing with you and follow us room to room. They have been our babies for years, and we are proud of them for the way they are welcoming you home. We so look forward to watching you play with them and seeing them follow you around the backyard and play imaginary things in your fort on the hill. They will be right there with you, loving you and protecting you.
When you cry, it honestly hurts my heart and I do whatever I can as fast as I can to help soothe you. Right now you are so tiny and I want to revel in the fact that, at least for now, I have the answers to the things you need – food, a clean diaper, or snuggles. I wish that were all you ever needed, but I know that will change. And sooner than I’m ready for I know you will need to learn to self soothe. And I want that for you. But for now… now, I am letting myself hold you, snuggle you, let you sleep on my chest, and burrow in close as often as you like. It makes my heart overflow to be able to hold you close and calm your cries. You and I have been so closely connected for 9 months and it’s foreign to me to feel separated from you just yet.
I’m writing this to you on a Saturday night while your daddy holds you and plays Call of Duty on the xbox. You have been having lots of bonding time this way. J Your daddy has to go back to work on Monday and I’m missing him already. These 2 weeks with him home after your arrival have been really wonderful... and we are tired! You eat every 2 hours and poop just as often, so in the little in-between stretches, we have watched movies and our favorite tv shows, relaxed with you and your doggy brothers, and primarily oogled and awed over your amazing cuteness. We have been learning all about you together, figuring out what it’s like to be a mom and a dad. It would feel weird if it were for anyone but you. It all makes sense with you, Milo Bear. We are learning together.
My little love, this is going to be the first of many letters to you. I want to remember as much as I can. Everyone says this time goes really fast, way too fast, and to hold onto it and enjoy it. So I’m really, really trying to let myself do that and not rush things, not look forward to the next thing and just enjoy this very moment. You are a delight to enjoy, I’m soaking you in and reveling in your newness. We are incredibly thankful for you. We pray for you incessantly. Welcome to the world, little soldier. I love being your mama.