in the morning, while you sleep

Ri–

You’re between Daddy and I on a pillow. It’s a position you expect to have – and it’s no surprise, as most nights I fell asleep with you in my belly resting against him. You’d stop your kicking and squirming and push toward his radiating heat then. You do the same now.

There is a chorus of deep breathing between you and Daddy, punctuated by your squeaky inhale and occasional twitter of your vocal sounds. A rustling of sheets as both of you shift in covers and draw closer still to me or one another. I am soothed by these perfectly timed sounds after nearly a week of metallic ticking, alarming beeps, nurse chatter, and mechanical air sucking and blowing in my restless hospital nights without you.

Already, you speak, you laugh, you smile. You, with an amazing alertness watch the household closely, likely determined to place yourself in the center of it all. Brothers and sister cautiously hold you, and scramble to soothe your momentary discontent.

You’ve become an integral part of us in these 16 days. I suspect you’ve been a guiding force for longer, though, as we’ve anticipated your arrival and prepared to welcome you into our lives.

I want to capture this time – to seal the vignettes of our daily activity into my memory vault. I need to preserve each little moment as they quickly rush by.

You, with tossled hair, it’s fine texture no match for naturally forming curls and cow licks. You with the slightly slanted set eyes scouring the room. You with the long, thin fingers reaching out through the air and grasping for the security of a blanket, or more often, flesh. You, whose eyes flicker and peek even in sleep, as though you can’t bare to miss a second of this life. You, with the strength to propel yourself closer to the welcomed warmth of a loved one. You, who accepts kisses and nose rubs with outstretched hands settling on the giver’s cheeks. You, with the scrunched brows and twisted mouth, hands in fists by your ears and body wriggling in a stretch.

You.

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