Emerson Winter (Baby Em, Emmie)
Born May 12, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.
7 lbs 14.5 oz
21 inches long
My sweet baby girl entered the world with one tiny cry and an obvious aura of peace about her. I am amazed by how right on I was about her personality before she was born—the connection between mother and child during gestation is certainly powerful and mysterious. Baby E is sweet, curious, strong, determined, and gentle. She has been incredibly alert from the first moment she opened her eyes, always studying the faces in front of her in a way that pulls at your heart and creates an instant bond—it's impossible not to love her (but, perhaps I'm a little biased).
Emmie will be one week old tomorrow, and I am just now able to detach her from my body for short spurts of time, although I still cannot be in a separate room from her. I knew I'd be pretty attached to my baby when she arrived, but the overwhelming need to feel her tiny body against mine, to smell her skin, to continue to feel intertwined and one with her, is a phenomenon I couldn't have imagined before. For the first few days I even felt conflicted in that I was so ecstatic to finally have her here, to be able to see her face and hold her, but at the same time part of me wanted to tuck her back in my belly and not let her go.
Even more incredible than my attachment to Em, though, is her attachment to me. Nothing could've prepared me for the love my daughter has for her mama. It's still hard for me to accept how important I am, how much she needs me and craves me. The night she was born, my husband and I slept with her in between us in bed, each of us holding one of her hands, all three of our faces pressed together. The next night Em scooted herself a little bit closer to me, the night after she was pressed up against my chest, and the night after that she was on top of me….where she remains today. She has a need for constant body contact, which I love, but it has certainly changed my life. Alex and I live in fear of the times I need to get up to use the bathroom, because the minute I exit the room she knows and loses her calm composure. The radar she has is unbelievable. Alex can hold her in bed with me sitting right next to her and she'll be fine, but she knows if I am not in bed.
The animal instincts of babies just blow my mind. For example, the way they rely on their sense of smell is unreal. Em learned the smell of her amniotic fluid in utero which is the same smell my breast milk has, so she can keep track of me, whether she is asleep or awake, based on whether or not she smells me in the room. It's crazy to see her react from across the room when there is a boob out in the open. She can sniff that milk out like a bloodhound. What breaks my heart is the look on her face when she knows I'm not there—her eyebrows are so incredibly expressive and you can tell, without a doubt, that she is truly worried, like a dog who fears his owner will never come back every time he is left.
So, this is my life right now—nursing non-stop, cuddling, not sleeping, and strategizing about how to sneak out of the room to use the bathroom (aka, the only 5 minutes I get to myself now that Em is on the scene). Parenthood is just as everyone explains it: crazy and chaotic, wonderful and life-altering, exhausting and the source of so much love, appreciation and heart-melting goodness.
The birth story is coming soon. I'm hoping to begin posting the series on Monday! Yes, it will take more than one post to tell this epic—in fact, it will take several.