Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dear Mila

Dear Mila,

You'll be two weeks old tomorrow.  This morning I watched you sleeping in my arms in milk-induced drunkenness.  You're little squeaks and sighs and the smiles that fluttered out of the corners of your mouth- I couldn't bring myself to putting you down and carrying on with the other things I knew I needed to get done.  I sat there staring at your perfection and thought of the past nine months that it has taken to bring you here.

How can a mother's love ever be described?  I doubt that there exists anything more difficult to put into words, but I'll try.

It started with a tiny blue plus sign on a little piece of plastic.  My heart soared knowing that you were there- barely a quarter of an inch in size, hardly the size of a lentil.  But you were ours- a product of me and the man I love most in this world.

But, oh, how that tiny little lentil can wreak havoc on a body!  Insomnia, fatigue and nausea, just to name a few.  And somehow that didn't diminish the love I felt for you- not even a little.  It only grew with each day as I fell more and more in love with this tiny little human that I had never met.

A few months later the nausea and insomnia subsided, but were soon followed by hip and nerve pains.  My belly had grown faster than it had with any of your brothers or sisters and I felt like a gimpy, beer-bellied, penguin.  But I had your nudges and kicks- your reminders to me telling me to hang in there, that you'd be here soon.

And then came the night of your debut.  Oh... the pain!  I never knew a body could experience so much pain!  It felt like my body was being turned inside out!  And the wonderful man that you'll call Dad stayed with me the whole time rubbing my back and stroking my hair.  You'll soon discover how lucky you are to have him too.  Right at the end, I was sure I couldn't do it anymore, but then from one second to the next it was all over and you had arrived. Your Dad said he had never seen me happier than the moment I first laid eyes on you.  He said my face, which had just been racked with pain, melted into joy as soon as the doctor held you up for me to see.

I'll remember that moment for the rest of my life.  Just like that, the pain was gone and I was overcome with the most intense feeling of love and affection for this tiny, screaming, flailing little person that had just come out of me.  It was overwhelming and magical, along with every other word in the English language used to describe God's miracles.

But the fun wasn't over yet.  Then came your voracious little appetite and the way you practically eat me alive when you feed.  Good gracious, girl!  You sure know how to make a momma grit her teeth and curl her toes with the strength of that itty bitty little mouth of yours!  But I love those moments where it's just you and me, and the world seems to melt away.  I love watching you watch me, learning the curves of my face, as I learn yours.  These are the moments when mother and child imprint themselves onto each other's hearts forever.

The exhaustion, the crying, the diaper changing, the round-the-clock feedings- all of these things, as difficult as they are, are the things that bind us together with links that can never be broken, and I cherish them.  You'll soon learn that the things that are the most difficult in life are those that we look back on with the greatest fondness, and the people we sacrifice the greatest for are those we love the most.

You are a part of me.  Once literally, now figuratively, and it will always be so.

Thank you for letting me experience motherhood once again.  Thank you for the pains and the tears, for they are what brought me the greatest joy.

My little Mila, I love you.




Juliette said...

Oh Rita, that was beautiful! And so is Mila!

Liz Johnson said...

This is so beautiful. It's making my ovaries leap! Now you're supposed to talk about how having a fifth baby is the easiest thing in the world and how you wish you knew that forever ago and how magical rainbows and unicorns showed up in your yard with a sign that says "we came with the fifth kid." Because my ovaries WANT ONE NOW.

Rita said...

Haha! Liz, if it's any encouragment to have #5, up until now the adjustment hasn't been too bad at all (knock on wood!). I feel like the adjustment to #3 and #4 were much more difficult. Who knows though, I might be singing a different tune as she gets older, but up until now, I've been surprised at the smoothness of the transition. I've heard a lot of mothers with 5 or more children say that as well! :)