I lift my daughter from her crib, small limbs draping over my arms. Tiny no longer, though. She's a big girl. Six months have passed since she was wrenched forcibly from the wet protection of my body into the cold, harsh light of the OR. She is almost 2 1/2 times what she weighed at birth. She is 6 3/4" longer than she emerged.
She doesn't really want to be awake now; arms and legs somnolently limp, then pudgy little hands rub at her eyes in confusion. Where is Pink Kitty? The binky? Is it time to eat maybe? I know this smell. If I turn just so, the light isn't so bright.
My heart clenches, trite though it may be, at the blinking eyes, the small face burrowing into my bicep. Hostage to the eternal connection of parent to child, the invisible strands that connect the generation.
I am struck by the feeling that pervades my emotional room. She will never know, she cannot possibly know, until she is a parent herself, how very much I love her. How the frustrated and furious anger that emerges at a screaming juncture dissipates like the residue of her powdered formula under the faucet when I see her face, slack and peaceful in sleep. How my heart screams for joy and pain at the sight of her smile, as she jumps with joyful abandon in the dining room doorway, the clanking of the spring reinforcing the clanking of my heart.
And I hope that I, at the very least, can follow the essence of the doctor's creed. I hope that I can preserve the hopes and dreams and future of this small creature, this burden, this blessing. At the very least, do no harm.