My beloved Estelle.
You are one month and one week old. It’s amazing how much you have grown in the last month; you’ve gained 2 pounds since birth! Holy moly, roly poly…born at nearly eight pounds, you already feel much bigger. Your cheeks are plumper, your tummy rounder and your arms hint at the near arrival of kissable rolls. You have strong little legs that you straighten and use to push off my stomach when you don’t want to burp after nursing. You are so aware of your surroundings and can already keep your neck up as you try to soak in everything in sight. You are constantly looking around at the bright colors and tracking the very many noises in our home. I love when I get to see a dimple peek out when you give me one of your smiles. (Oh, baby, if that dimple remains…your daddy and I are in a world of trouble!)
I have reached another level of purpose, frustration, joy, exhaustion and love all bundled together in sleepy hazed exclamations of oh my goodness my heart! So cute! I love her! Look at her! while being with you these last weeks. Your daddy is more than happy to gaze at you during these times of mushiness and declare his undying devotion for you over and over again. We are quite in love with you, beautiful one. You have stretched and taught us more than you’ll know in this first month of your life. Our hearts have grown and molded to contain all this love and delight we have for you and your brother. And though there are moments when we can’t help comparing you two, you are your own little lady and have made us very aware that we have entered a new ball game of parenthood with you.
As much as things have seemed so familiar this first month, you have brought so much new into our home — from how we feed you to how we bathe you, from how we entertain you to how we put you down for naps, from how we change your diapers to how we carry you. New. All of it. You are teaching me every day, and while sometimes it’s hard and tiring, I love being the one you get to teach. The thing is, Estelle, I like being your mom. I like being the one who knows you the best and the one who was entrusted to protect you, to care for you, to adore you. I like being the face you smile up at when you wake in the morning and the one whose neck you snuggle against when you’re tired at night.
Your daddy and brother? Cuddlers. Absolute cuddle monsters to the core. They could wrestle and roll around with each other all the live long day. They could lounge and laze against me every waking hour if I let them. But so far I had been able to hold my ground and draw boundaries for personal space. But you? You…oh, you, sweet girl…you. You have something magical about you that gets past my defenses and all I want to do is snuggle you. I want to hold you as close as possible and feel your tiny body against mine. I want to feel your little breath on my shoulder and have your head nuzzled at the crook of my neck. You’ve turned me into an unapologetic cuddler, Estelle. (Your daddy and brother will thank you for that one day.)
I once upon a time fell in love with your daddy and thought it would never happen again. And then your brother came around and I lost my heart to him. No way I had thought can I love another like him. And then I heard your first, fierce cry on this earth and I saw your squishy face and met your steady newborn gaze…and, well, you have my heart, Estelle. And I so look forward to showing you and telling you how and why I love you. I look forward to sharing with you the great love story of our family and pointing you to Abba’s boundless grace in our lives. I look forward to watching you experience His deep deep love in our home. I look forward to watching you grow, to cheering you on as we experience all the firsts and the news of your life.