"Dare Alla Luce"

They wheeled her to the nursery so I could get some rest, succumbing at last to the post c-section drugs and nearly 24 hours of labor. I woke up a couple of hours later- confused and slightly panicked- to a quiet room (my section was a little before 8 pm that night), and I began to sob. Jake immediately rolled off the tiny, plastic hospital couch, alarmed.

"I want Ella," I blubbered. "I want to hold my baby." Now, I'm 100% sure that my sudden disintegration was driven entirely by hormones, but at the time, all I knew was that she had been with me for the past 40 weeks and 5 days (because those five extra days were the longest of my life and they sure as hell count). It was the very first time I had made a decision to let her go. Just for a couple of hours. Just so I could sleep. And it knocked the breath out of me, how much I missed someone I had only just met for the first time.

Ever since then, I've been learning to get used to less and less of her.

In Italian, the phrase "give birth to" (dare alla luce ) means,"to give to the light." And I don't think it's relegated simply to the actual act of childbirth, rather it's something that we, as parents- the Givers- continually choose to do, over and over again. Sometimes it's a celebratory milestone, but for me, it's usually a quiet reflection of, "well....that just happened." And I'm still trying to convince myself that the next "round" will feel easier. It doesn't. (As such, Jake will still occasionally find me sobbing, but he's no longer alarmed.)

Preschool. Kindergarten. First game. First tooth. First sleep-over.

....Dare alla luce.

Yes, you can start walking home from school.

....Dare alla luce.

(No, you can't have an Instagram account).

Yes, you can go to sleep-away camp for ten days while I try to act like I'm 100% NOT going to cry as soon as you leave.

....Dare alla luce.

As I tuck her in on the night before her tenth birthday, her dangly legs draped over the bed and the light hitting the curves of her face, I'm in awe of the young lady she's becoming, and yet, I'm still a version of that 27 year-old new mom who pressed the nurse-call button repeatedly because I just want to hold my baby.

Dare alla luce.

My sweet Ella Bug, thank you for teaching me what it means to embrace the light, even when it hurts. Keep shining, dear heart. HAPPY #10!!!

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