When you first came into the world, I looked at you and saw a fetus stranded outside of the womb. A foiled miscarriage, ready to perish at the slightest shift in conditions. I was mortified at the idea of touching you. I didn't dare hold you or tend to you with my untrained hands while you were so frail. At that time, there was no room to feel anything but wounded love and a resentment toward whatever gatekeeper of fortune caused your early birth. Whenever I looked into the future, it seemed murky and bleak. At your lightest, you were 1 pound 1 ounce.
Now, I look at you and see something very different. A healthy baby that needs a little extra help with her lungs. I relish the opportunity now to touch and hold you. I change your diapers and take your temperature and don't feel as though I lack the proper training, because you are so big. Now, there is no room to feel anything but warmth and pride and I'm grateful that your unexpected extra time outside of the womb has been so easy for you. Whenever I look into the future, it is clear and promising. Now, you are more than three times your lowest weight: 3 pounds 10 ounces.
You were born only 9 weeks ago but it already seems as though you've been with us for years. When I look at you now and then think back to you as that scrawny little tent of bones, it feels like I've watched an entire phase of your life go by: like baby to toddler or teenager to adult. In two short months, you've transformed in such a way that you have become unrecognizable from before.
I feel like I've transformed, too. I'm not afraid to express how I feel anymore. Or perhaps more fundamentally, I'm just not afraid to feel.