It seems like it was just a few days ago that the doctor placed you in my arms, tiny and pink, and crying the most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. When my arms felt your weight, the world around me dropped away, and all I could do was look into your gorgeous blue eyes and tell you “You’re so beautiful. I’m your mommy. I’ve waited so long to meet you!” There were nurses and doctors bustling around, but I don’t remember what they were saying. I don’t even remember what your daddy said. All I remember is you. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. They put you inside my hospital gown so you could have skin-to-skin time with me and I could keep you warm and close and bond with you. I didn’t ever want to let you go.
Of course, I had to, eventually. They took you over with your daddy across the room to get weighed and measured. You were 7 pounds 8 ounces and 20.5 inches of perfection. They cleaned you up and put a diaper and a shirt on you, put a hat on your head, and finally let your daddy hold you. Don’t ever let him tell you any different: you had him wrapped around your finger from the moment he first laid eyes on you. He held you for a while, and then I wanted you back in my arms. We all sat together on the bed, taking each other in.
People came to see you. Grandma and Poppy, Grandpa and Great Grandma, Grammy, Auntie Sarah, and Uncle Tom and Aunt Julie, and even your cousin, Truman. They all wanted a glimpse of you, they all wanted to hold you, and they were all so incredibly happy to meet you. I’d had a long day, though, so they all went home after a while so that we could rest and get to know one another.
That first night in the hospital though, I couldn’t sleep. I kept sitting up to check on you in your little hospital bassinet, wanting to make sure you were swaddled in your blanket, that you were comfortable, that you were safe. You slept perfectly. You only woke up once, wanting a fresh diaper and to eat. Daddy slept through it on his “daddy bed” by the window.
We didn’t get to take you home until the next night, pretty late. Your daddy and I got you dressed together in your cute little going home outfit that I had chosen for you weeks before you were born. You were not happy about getting dressed. You screamed and cried and fussed. You would have been perfectly happy and content to go home in your hospital shirt, but it was too cold outside for that!
We gathered up all of our bags and the flowers and cards people had sent for you. We gathered up your baby book and your footprints,and all of the paperwork. And then we very carefully strapped you into your car seat so that we could take you home. Grandma helped us get everything into the van, but I wouldn’t let anyone touch your car seat. I wanted to put you in the car myself so that I knew you would be safe.
Daddy drove very carefully on the way home. We had you in the car, and you’re precious cargo! You slept the whole way home.
When we made it to the apartment, your first home, daddy and I told you “Briana, look, we’re home! This is where you’re going to live!” But you didn’t open your eyes. We think you were resting up so you could look properly when it was light outside.
Daddy changed your diaper, and then I fed you, sitting in the rocking chair in your bedroom. You didn’t eat for very long. You were more interested in sleeping. Daddy and I swaddled you up in your hospital blanket, and very carefully put you in your bassinet by my side of the bed. All of this was at about midnight, and you slept straight through the night. I only woke up every twenty minutes or so to check on you, too, so I got a bit more sleep than at the hospital.
And now, you’re a whole year old! That’s a whole year of you growing and learning and changing every day! And you may not understand this story now, but I think in a couple of years you will. I hope you enjoy it. It’s the story of our first day together. It’s the best day of my life.
Note: I’m going to either do a book with photos of all of these things and make it a storybook that way, or I’m going to have David draw the pictures that go with it and turn it into a book for her. I’ll probably simplify some of it a little more, but the essence will remain the same. I am also going to print all the blogs that are Briana related (so, not the ones where I’m complaining about being depressed, lol) and have them bound. I’ll give them to her when she’s older. I hope to do this with all of my kids, but life gets crazy, so who knows what will happen?