Last year, around midnight, my body was preparing me to meet my daughter Ephia. She arrived at precisely 6.07 in the morning and in my arms three minutes later. When I first saw her, I said to myself: “Oh, she’s so ugly and tiny!” . I asked my husband if he thinks she is beautiful but he shook his head although he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. I remember looking at her for two hours, trying and forcing myself to make the motherhood feeling come and take over me and see the angel everyone says they see while holding their baby for the first time, but nothing was happening; nothing except a strange feeling of normality, a feeling mostly unknown to me and rarely around me. So I accepted that as being my miracle and tried not to lose it.
The day we brought Ephia home was one of the strangest days of my life. The moment we stepped outside the hospital snow began to fall and stopped in the exact second we arrived home, so we like to think that it was like nature’s welcoming gift for her. D had to work that day, so he drove us home and left us alone for the next eight hours.
She was asleep when we entered the house, so I gently placed her on the kitchen table because I didn’t have any place else to put her (the fact is that I did, but my brain was too busy processing that I am not alone anymore). We realized later in the evening that although everything was prepared for her coming, we weren’t, giving the fact that we slept fully dressed that night and with her in between us, waking up every ten minutes to see if she is still there.
Since that night everything kind of shaped itself in place and one year has passed almost without feeling it. This was probably the hardest year of my life, but not because of the sleepless nights (those didn’t exist) or the pressure of raising a child all by ourselves, but because I had to create beauty out of nothing; I had to rediscover myself so I could discover and create her; I had to put myself to work with my inner child so that I can introduce him to her and make them like each other; I had to relearn how to be proud of myself so that she would one day; I had to rebuild a future for me so that I can pretend to open and create paths for her; I had to remember how to connect with myself so that I can connect with her; I had to reinvent my endless love and trust for D so that she could claim that from someone one day; in few words I had to be my best without complaining, or ask for anything back.
It seems like we have done it for this first year and she certainly isn’t ugly anymore. She is what I am proud to call mini-me with some small parts from her father which come out just in the right moment, although when we least expect it. So, happy birthday Ephia! I wish only that the next year will be at least as entertaining and full of fun mysteries for us to discover like this one was.
(Pictures with the birthday girl later this evening )