*This one is for my amazing, powerful, beautiful baby girl, Kathryn Elizabeth.

Tuesday morning we were given a writing prompt, 'The first time'. Many things went through my mind, but this is what settled, and I'm so glad it did. I shared this Wednesday evening during our NOWM Gallier House cocktail/share around. A friend took video, but my phone acted up and only got the first 40 seconds. I made it through to the last two lines before the tears made it all the way out and I had to pause to get my voice out.

I am so glad I shared.


The first time I saw my daughter, there was fear and shock on the three nurses' faces. Two pounds, 10.1 ounces, angry dark tomato red skin, my fourteen weeks premature girl lay on her back, arms and legs open at her sides-no muscle tone to hold them in, no fat legs or chubby cheeks.

She was only hours old, and the nurse in charge of me had done her best to dissuade me from seeing her yet; but here I was, scrubbed and needing to see my first child.

My eyes locked on the tiny creature upon the warming table. My heart felt the wariness of the staff. They feared my reaction.

I moved to stand beside her, looked her over. My baby, already too headstrong to follow the rules, wait her turn.

"Can I touch her?" my voice cracked, tentative, breaking the pained silence.

All three nurses nodded.

She was so red, so small, and I had so many questions.

Her tiny hand was open beside her head, that could fit easily in my palm.

I gently placed my left index finger onto her tiny open hand, and my daughter clenched tightly to me. Her grip was fierce.
All five of her fingers clung to me, and I remember still how much room was leftover on my finger-
she didn't take up even the space of the tip of my pointer.

Yet, she filled my heart entirely.
From that first touch, we were united.
She was mine.
I was hers.
From the first touch.


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