To Fiona from A.
The day you were born was so incredible, and it changed my life and Daddy’s in such a profound and wonderful way. I wanted to write you a letter to tell you what happened on the day we welcomed you into the world.
I labored for a long time (25 hours) before you decided to leave the warm, cozy womb where you had been growing for 39 weeks. I felt strong and healthy, and I was determined to give you the best possible start in life. I wanted to try to avoid taking any pain medications which I thought might dull the experience of your birth or affect your first encounter with life outside the womb.
In a new and empowering way, I felt a heightened focus on my body as I experienced the beginning of labor. I so looked forward to meeting you! Daddy was close by my side throughout, and he supported me with his words and presence.
It was a beautiful spring day. The dogwoods were in bloom; the tulips were pushing their way up; and the birds were readying their nests in much the same way I had been preparing for your arrival. It was a perfect day to have a baby. Daddy and I held hands, and we walked around the neighborhood to try to speed labor along. With each contraction, I would stop, put my arms around Daddy’s neck and breathe slowly and deeply until it had subsided.
After we arrived at the hospital, we walked the halls over and over again, just as we had done outside in our neighborhood. When the time for your birth approached, Daddy and I got into the shower together. The warm water eased the pain of labor and helped me to relax. Daddy held me in his arms, rubbed my back, and whispered softly spoken words of love and encouragement.
When the time came to push you out, I harnessed all of my inner resources and strength. I pushed for over two hours, but never lost faith or determination. Then, in the very early morning of April 20, 2008, you arrived into the world with a vigorous cry. Right away, the doctor placed you on my chest. Daddy and I were amazed by your tiny, rose-pink body, your beautiful little face, and your strawberry blonde hair. At first, your eyes were just barely open, but you were alert and attentive to your new surroundings.
I talked to you and told you how much I loved you. Even though you were very tired from the long labor, when I spoke, you opened wide your deep blue eyes; you recognized the voice you had heard for so many months when I had talked and sung lullabies to you.
When Daddy first saw you, his eyes filled with tears of joy and love. He cut the umbilical cord that had been your lifeline, joining us to one another. Daddy held you securely in his arms, close to his heart, and he talked gently to you. At the sound of his voice, you forced your eyes open to see his face looking down tenderly at you.
Our love had created you, and now our love for you filled and warmed the birth room. You had finally joined your family, and we were so blessed to welcome you to the world and to call you our own baby girl Fiona.
With all my love, always,