Dear Miss Gabriela Marie,
Well, my love, you had it your way. Eight days ago, you decided it was finally your time. We talked you out of it for six weeks, but in the end, you made your grand entrance into the world on your own time and in your own way. It's sort of your thing - living life your own way. Some say it is important to always remember that your reputation precedes you. In your case, this is exactly how I want it to stay. Because you're a fighter. And a mover. And a total shaker. And the doctors and nurses are in awe of you. For the record, they will have to get in line. So, while I wish I could have convinced you to stay inside a little longer, just know you have me mesmerized. I am so madly and deeply in love with every inch of who you are, and so very, very, very grateful that you are here, safe and sound. So here begins our first of many heart-to-hearts. Brace yourself, sweet baby girl, because this mama has some stuff to say.
The last seven weeks have been what some would call a journey. I remember vividly screaming at the Universe when I thought we were going to lose you, "What exactly am I supposed to learn here?" Apparently a lot. Like a lot-a lot. About perspective. And strength. And humanity. And faith. And about all the places God lives. This is a lot of lessons to be taught by a 2 pound, 9 ounce, 15 inch being. But it is exactly what you have done for me, and I want you to know I listened. I totally listened.
Like how in normal life, we don't often see the value of a single day. We take lots of days for granted. But when you're forced to lie in bed, day after day, because someone's life depends on it, well let me tell you, every single day matters. Even if you claim it doesn't to you, it does to someone else. It doesn't mean the day will be a good one or a fun one or an easy one. But it still matters. It's about perspective, my love. And God knows you gave me a grand ol' dose of just that.
I also didn't know how strong I am. Or how strong your daddy is. And your brothers. And you. I just didn't know that as a unit, we had this tenacity, this ability to pick ourselves up from the very bottom of our bootstraps and persevere. Your brothers have amazed me with how well they adjusted to having me in bed. Your daddy has rocked it, day in and day out, like it's 1999. And I did it. I really did it. I didn't know I could do it. And then you came, and in the last eight days, you have put our combined strength to shame. Your doctor says you act like a 38-week-old baby, not a 28-week-old one. Your nurses tell me you are perfection. You're a pistol, Gabby Marie, and I love it. I'm obsessed with it. Damn, we're strong. You taught us that.
And then there's humanity. And faith. And the places God lives. Perhaps they are all one in the same. Perhaps they manifest themselves differently for different people and different times. Nonetheless, this little journey has brought out the best in people, from their actions to their words. People are so, so good, so much of the time, and these people - this village we have somehow created for ourselves - are waiting for you to come home. They are the very best people I know. And they have never left me. Or you. Not once. Between them and you, my faith has grown - in people and in God. Maybe that's one in the same, too, but we will try and leave the super heavy stuff for a little later. The funny thing is, lots of people right now are talking about this famous TV guy who said some really not-so-nice stuff about groups of people as if they weren't human. And somehow, some people think God lives in his words. I think some people should spend some time in the NICU. Maybe then they will see where God really lives. Just sayin', my girl. Just sayin'. I guess it's about perspective again, huh? Life often comes full circle, sweet pea. It's funny that way.
I love you, Gabby Marie, more than words can express. You are the very best parts of all of us, and I am in awe of you. Of all of you. You have forever changed us, in every way for the better, and are truly a miracle. May you never forget your worth, your strength, and your ability to move mountains. Welcome to the world, sweet baby girl. Welcome.You complete us.