It's me and you, babe. Me and You. I trust you. Please, trust me.
I have never meant any words more than the fourteen I silently and repeatedly recited to myself as I labored on the eve of your birth.
Beyond what unfolded in that delivery room being nothing short of spectacular, my labor and your birth answered so many big questions I had about life-- the main one being how much can I handle?-- and proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that we do, in fact, possess the ability to heal our own wounds by simply facing our fears.
Before I had you, Edie, I wondered if I had enough love in my being to be a mother of two. It seemed impossible to love anyone else as much as I loved Mo. I feared failing because you're supposed to have enough love and, surely, you aren't supposed to think that you're going to be terrible at this.
I also feared facing another battle, this time with a toddler who would likely remember it and without my family. I feared resenting you because I knew how hard it was to not resent Mo for what I went through before, even though it wasn't her fault and wouldn't have been yours' either. I feared the toll that another baby would take on me mentally. I feared depression and anxiety. I feared hemorrhaging. I feared the slow recovery. I feared the unknown. I feared feeling lost again when I had worked so hard to find pieces of myself that had been left behind.
I feared the guilt.
I doubted myself and questioned why anyone would trust me with not just one kid, but TWO. So many more patient, more maternal, more kind, more everything women wanted babies so desperately and yet I seemed to be given one every time Joe and I stood in the ocean together. It seemed like someone-- the universe or whomever is in control of matters such as these up there-- made a horrible mistake and checked the wrong box beside my name.
*Christine Fadel: Fertile Myrtle, ill-equipped, and up for the challenge*
After twelve hours of labor, one attempt to sit in a barely-filled bath tub all for you to decide that it was go-time, one hundred f-bombs, and one push later, I pulled you onto my chest as you wailed, so full of life, feeling a high I've never experienced before*.
In that buzzing birthing room, on Wednesday, April 29th, 2016, only two things existed to me: your face and hope.
As many women told me it would, it became clear that the love I have to give isn't a finite thing; rather, the more I love, the more love I have to give. The second I saw you, you were no longer just my leap of faith, but you were the destination of a journey ruled by a deeply scarred version of myself. You proved that there was something greater waiting for me: YOU.
You were waiting for me.
Edie Bee, you not only trusted me to be your mom, but you taught me how to trust myself again. I love you and the light you've brought to our family so much it hurts.
Happy birthday, baby girl.
To the moon but so very much further.
(And trust me, I've done the work to test this theory before I had kids. No synthetic or *cough, cough* natural high compares to the pure, unadulterated rush of oxytocin your body delivers to you with after giving birth. I swear to Gloria Steinem it was an out of body experience, one I'd pay an obscene amount of money to feel even a tiny fraction of again.)