At eight minutes to midday,
On a sterile, cold operating table
Happiness was born.
She weighed eight pounds four ounces.
She was strong,
But her mother was saggy, deflated.
My breasts throbbed with the heaviness of milk
Ready for the taking.
They sewed me back together,
But alas, they knew
They couldn’t fix me.
I curled around my newborn cherub
Like a lizard around her precious eggs,
Sneaking peeks at the round blue eyes
And the perfectly pink skin.
Nothing made me so frightened
Than my beautiful, breakable china doll.
I’d broken so many cups, glasses, plates –
But this was something that really mattered.
How I wished I could bubble-wrap you,
Shield you from my imperfections,
Preserve you as you were.
And all that time spent worrying –
Baby talk and weaning all a blur –
And for what? To prove myself? Ha!
All that matters is that you love me
And that I truly believe I am good enough.
Worthy of the princess
Whose hand feels so soft on my cheek,
Who strokes my eyebrow when she is worried,
Who pulls me so close after her bedtime story
That our breaths fuse in the half-darkness
I know people watch us, comment and stare
And shake their heads, but honestly, my darling
I don’t care.
They tried to destroy what we had and now
I say no more, enough.
I wasn’t put on earth to prove them wrong
But rather to love you,
And as every year goes by, be assured
That I love you more than life itself,
Than all the stars and oceans,
Even more than chocolate.
What a beautiful tribute to a very special birthday girl.