Sunday, February 2, 2014

Newborn Kung-Fu

Dear Ellie,

You are doing well today, relatively speaking.  This is still, as they say, the "honeymoon" phase where all seems placid and easy.  We've been warned that things will get worse.  Still, I think you can claim a few advantages.  The first is that the circumstances surrounding your early delivery didn’t cause any damage to your organs or your brain.  And second (perhaps just as important), you came into this world as spirited as you had been in your mother’s womb.  You’ve always been that way. 

Even during our very earliest ultrasound, when you were smaller than a strawberry, you tumbled around in your mother’s uterus like a kid in a carnival bounce house.  At first, I thought this was how every little fetus operated, but over time, I began to think otherwise.  During every heart beat doppler and ultrasound, you splendidly incensed the ultra-sound techs and OBGYN’s.  I grinned as their cooes and smiles gave way to growls and scowls.  They sometimes complained, but even when they didn’t, their expressions spoke for them: “Stop bounding around you little pip-squeak.”    

Even seconds after the doctors and nurses carved open your mother and plucked you out, you swatted at their hands indignantly and gurgled in protest.  And that wasn’t the last time you put up a fight.  When we first saw you in your incubator, strapped from head to toe with instruments, your vitals flat-lined because you yanked off the heart monitor that was strapped to your torso.  Needless to say, while there will be a thousand different species of worry in your mother and father’s future, we will never have to worry that our daughter won’t be able to defend herself in a dark alley.    

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