Stella

Me, my wife, my daughter.

I never would have imagined.

For most of the nine months we waited for her, we were nearly certain there was a boy in there.  We never wanted to know for sure, but everyone had a theory, and most of them were not pointing in this direction.  In the months before her birth, I had this recurring thought that I wouldn’t be lucky enough to get a girl.  There was no way.  I’d seen friends posting pictures of their little girls, absolutely adorable, and I fell in love with the idea, tempered by the popular opinion that this was unlikely.

The exact moment a child enters this world is a stunning experience that defies words.  To call it a miracle is not inappropriate.  It’s not the bump you’ve been looking at for nine months.  In an instant, it’s a person; even at 6lb 12oz, much larger and more defined than you could have ever expected.  Stunning.  You don’t even know what to say, even as the doctor asks you to announce the gender.  So she does it for you.

In those days recovering at the hospital, holding Stella, feeling this incredible love for something you’ve never felt before.  It holds the two of you together like a magnet trying to pull its way out of your chest.  As hard as it ever gets, it is always tempered by the moments of peace, looking into those eyes; the reflection of both of us and what her mother accomplished to get her here.

I held up well until the final day; walking that last time through the halls of the maternity ward, I lost it.  The flood of emotion stemming from nervous hours of labor, remaining composed in the wake of concern, gritting through exhaustion, these halcyon days as the three of us quietly recover.  None of it would ever happen again.

The time when all of your focus was wasted ruminating on your own problems and dwelling on your feelings of underachievement is over.  She replaces everything.  For everything bad that ever was, none of it matters anymore because she is beautiful, and she is ours.  I have spent my entire life looking for this.

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