februrary 21, 2005. 7:25 pm
8 inches. 6.2 ounces.

“monday’s child is fair of face…” 

earl is my first daughter, a tiny slip of a thing born too soon.

her delivery was so easy i barely knew it was happening. the epidural separated my brain from my body and a few hours later, watching an old re-run of friends on the hospital television, i felt a slick wetness oozing between my legs. s picked up the sheet and dropped it, his hand flying to his mouth. “it’s our baby,” he said.

we thought we would be frightened. we were, but for reasons we weren’t prepared for. she was beautiful and whole and so small that the length of her torso could rest in the palm of my hand. she so obviously had my ears and s’s gorgeous hands.

wrapped in a cotton blanket she spent the night cradled in my arms. i slept and didn’t worry i would drop her. in the morning we wrote her a letter and said our good-byes. when the nurse came to take her away i couldn’t stop crying. the nurse offered to give us more time with the baby.

no, i said. if you don’t take her away from me, i’m going to take her home. i can barely bring myself to let her go. take her now or don’t take her at all.

my daughter. my first child. the very first person to truly break my heart.

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