For months I eagerly anticipated meeting the little one, and true to her nickname, Sprout — our darling Gemma Lumen — arrived on March 20, the first day of spring, after almost 16 hours of labor. It was long and grueling, but the gush of relief I felt with that final push sent a surge of endorphins through my body that I’ll never forget.
Despite the drawn-out wait, Gemma’s entrance into the world was one of calmness and curiosity. She was wide-eyed and alert immediately after birth, and it took a few days for it to really sink in that this tiny creature was actually mine, that I grew those little toes and that delicate nose inside my body from what was once a mass of cells. Pregnancy and birth is a wild and wonderful miracle, and one that I would put as one of life’s pinnacle experiences. For the female body to serve as a vessel for such a monumental achievement is nothing short of mind-boggling.
Even more mind-boggling, as I think back to the days leading to her birth, was the fact that just a mere 10 hours before I went into labor, I was high on a cliff on a coastal hike with Will. I get sentimental now that I know it was her last adventure in utero, and a fitting one for our Pisces baby.
Though I’ve only known Gemma for a short two weeks, I already see slivers of myself and of Will in her temperament. She’s such an easy and happy baby, and has made this initial period at home surprisingly peaceful. She eats well and sleeps well, and loves tummy time and skin-on-skin time. Though the round-the-clock nursing is hard, and my hormones are taking me for quite an emotional and physical ride right now, her little coos and spontaneous smiles simply make me melt. I seesaw between moments of intense bliss and then of utter tiredness. Parenthood has already proven itself to be a crazy, can’t-believe-we’re-in-charge-of-this-new-life-and-get-to-keep-her thing. But we’re still in the newborn honeymoon phase, and I just adore her at this age.
Will has been a phenomenal help around the house and is fully in charge of diaper duty, as well as pug duty, chicken duty, garden duty, kitchen duty… He has truly exceeded my expectations as a husband and father, and there’s nothing sweeter than seeing your partner hold his child in his arms. How something so pure and vulnerable can have such a profound and beautiful impact on our relationship is a fact I’m still trying to wrap my mind around.
We’re slowly but surely settling into a new routine at home, and I’m trying to remind myself to take it easy and enjoy all these ephemeral moments.
Welcome home, sweet girl, I’m so glad you’re ours.