Though it happened nearly 3.5 years ago, I’m still trying to put words to the feeling I felt after I labored and birthed and held my daughter for the first time. She was dark pink and squirming and why didn’t I tell them not to cut the chord right away? It happened in a messy excruciating blur, my pelvis splitting open to let the world through, one tiny little baby slipping out, great suffering replaced seamlessly with great joy.
I sat up and watched the doctor, whom I’d never met, do what they do–cut the chord and suction her nose and wipe her off. I don’t remember any of it, I’m only saying it happened because I remember how she looked when I took her into my arms for the first time. Her eyes squinting at her first glimpse of light, her hands curled into fists and her whole body riddled with confusion. They say that the trip down the birth canal is the most stress a human being will feel in their lifetime.
While my baby sought to understand what had just happened, my mind focused with crystal clear clarity. All of the pieces came together. The whole nine months I wondered who would emerge from my loins. When I saw her, I knew her already. I recognized her. She made sense. So this is her, I thought.
She is my husband and my mother and my father and my mother-in-law and my father-in-law and all eight of our grandparents, and even my father’s adoptive stepmother. She is me. She is all of us and none of us.
She is Giovanna Faith and she brings out the good and the “bad” in me. She is my daughter, my baby, my girl and I am absolutely terrified by how much I love her.