Then a story, a sweet memory flooded my brain. A conversation we had once that with always fill my eyes with tears and penetrate my soul. It was when Ken became a dad, and I became a mom.
No, this is not the day we found out we were pregnant with Avery and this isn't even the day she was born. It was a couple days after, when I was recovering in the hospital from an unexpected cesarean birth and I had just been taken off this medicine that was rough for me to handle. I had just moved myself out of bed into the chair next to it. These details are probably too much, but I was in that bed for 3 days straight, literally. I had just started using the restroom again and I was incredibly sore.
But there was this tiny baby that needed me, but I needed so much that I had very little to give her. I was confused and scared. She was beautiful and healthy, but really hungry. I was dazed and broken. Not being able to give birth to her the way I imagined it crushed me. I know people say, a healthy baby is what matters. I get that, I honestly do. But I so desired a natural birth. The medicine that was flowing through my body to keep me from getting sick made nursing really challenging, and come to find out, I'm not one of those woman who flows milk once the baby comes to her. It is work for my body to produce, and when I do produce, it's minimal. Everything was delayed due to the meds and I didn't understand it. The lactation class did not say this would happen.
Ken had left because we had a lot of family in town and took a shower, only to immediately come back to be with me. He saw that I had gotten out of bed. I was holding this little human bundle, who thankfully was sleeping and I was just crying. There were so many things in that moment that I was confused about. What do I do with this baby? Why did I have preclampsia? Why am I not making milk for her? What's wrong with my body?
Ken sat on the bed, and held my legs together at my knees. He looked me straight in my tearful eyes and spoke truth; truth that I needed to hear, truth that I wasn't believing.
He said to me... "This little girl needs you. You did nothing wrong, you worked so hard to bring her here and now she's here. She is our daughter and she is healthy and strong. You carried her for 9 months, babe and I am so proud of you. But now, Mel, we need to figure out how we do this. We are parents now. We are doing all of this together. You are going to be this little girl's hero. In fact, you already are."
After that, I looked down at Avery's sleeping face and I kissed her head while breathing all of her in. Ken leaned in and kissed me and hugged me as I held our child. I had never felt more safe. I had never felt so perfectly placed in this world than in that moment with my little family.
In the journey of parenthood, this day, or moment rather was when we became parents. It's amazing how I haven't thought about this since today. But how sweet that when I thought about Ken on his birthday, it came to mind.
I love you, babe. You make my world beautiful.