Dear Norah Joy,
I remember the day we found out we were having you. We cried with tears of joy, and now you are here. I remember the look on your Dad’s face when he saw those two lines. I remember the gasp in his breath and our screams of joy in the air. You were loved, even when you were just forming and beginning as a new life. Even in those first few weeks. We loved you. Even then.
I remember the first couple of months as my body made a home for you. I stayed in bed all day and could hardly eat a thing. But I did, because I knew you were there and needed me. I didn’t know it then, but I needed you too. Even before I could see you or feel you inside of me. Even then.
I remember wondering what you would look like, or if you were a boy or a girl. When your little toes and fingers were webbed together and your eyelids tightly sealed, you were still my beautiful girl. The same beautiful girl you are today. Even though I didn’t know what you were or the person you would become, you were you. The same you, just as real and beautiful as today. Even then.
I remember feeling my belly begin to pitter-pat. You were only 17 weeks, and already starting to kick your feet and tickle me with your fingers. I hold you in my arms today and remember the days when your movements were so small inside of me. Those small feet and fingers were practicing for the days ahead when they would do mighty things. Even as small as you were then, you were mighty in strength. Even then.
I remember waddling around with my big belly. Even though you were so small, I felt so big. Your little body was growing and preparing for the day when we both would meet face to face. And your little heart that was beating within me, it was beating for a reason. It was beating a sound of life. It seems more real now that I can watch your chest rise and fall with each breath you take. But even before I could see you inside of my big belly, your heart was still beating life and your chest would still rise and fall. Even then.
I remember the day when you began your journey out of my womb. You were ready to breathe on your own. You were excited to meet us, but didn’t want to come too soon. We were excited too. The pain lasted for days, but I knew that every pain was one step closer to holding you in my arms. We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew your life would change our lives forever. But even before you were born, you had changed our lives already. Even then.
When you entered the world and we saw your precious face, Mommy and Daddy cried. We cried just like on the day we found out you were inside of me. We didn’t cry because you were here, for you had been here all along. We cried because you were more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. We cried because we finally got to open the package of our precious gift. We cried because we could finally see your eyes, oh those precious eyes. We cried because we loved you, and will love you for the rest of our lives.
Psalm 139: 13-16 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.