when i first met her
all i could think was that i didn’t know anyone came in a size that tiny.
i saw one picture of her beforehand
but pictures lie.
she is far more petite (and robust) and darling than I expected.
we prepared in a hurry, with less than a day’s notice
for “medically fragile” –
a baby born weeks ahead of due date, with prenatal challenges
but in the hours before my arrival she weaned herself off the accessories
and when i met her she was eating and breathing and warming herself
i was permitted a joy i never anticipated – not only the care of a newborn
but the precious new-mommy days
sharing a room in the hospital where she was born.
they gave me private quarters and brought me my meals and taught me
her tiny-baby-care, how to pace her eating and read her cues.
i spent two days and a night there doing nothing but love on her full-time
(their word for it is “nesting mom”)
and they released her to us, two weeks old.
she is the cutest thing we’ve ever seen
and we treasure the days and all the times until
she can transition to a birth family member, sooner rather than later.
we know what we are setting ourselves up for
(no illusions left that it won’t hurt like dying)
but we also know she’s here by divine appointment for this time, an
and i forgot how sweet baby days could be
especially when my body feels so good
not hormonal or sore or postpartum.
she smells like all the angels of heaven –
and the miracle of being allowed to be the ones
to love on this child until her time of need is spent
to love her like our own
while the life-giving cord from another mother falls into my hand
this is a cost
and a privilege
i cannot measure.
i love her.