a letter to my first born.

“Motherhood: all love begins and ends there.” —Robert Browning

Dearest Noelani,

No matter what happens next, you will always be the one who made me a mother.  I remember the first day we learned of your existence. I was nearly in tears as I processed the information, neither tears of sadness nor tears of joy… just overwhelmed by sudden emotion, I was completely caught off-guard. I had no idea how to be a mother to you, or to anyone. I had no idea what it would give to me or take from me, no idea how it would change me and grow me. And here we are now, still figuring all those things out on the fly, together.

You who I grew cell-by-cell in my own body and who I nourished skin-to-skin for many months since. You who taught me patience and wonder and innocence. You who makes me fearful to see and hear about what’s going on in the world because I have no control over infinite things and how they might affect you some day, but also you who makes me hopeful that the future will be both good and beautiful because of people with souls like yours.

So I savor these last few days with you as my only child on the outside. I know that soon everything will be different for all of us, but I am excited for this next chapter — excited to be a mother of two, a family of four, but most of all, excited to meet your little sister and see the bond that you two will have. I know that you will be the most amazing big sister… from the way you rock your dolls to sleep and sing them lullabies, to the way you softly tell me with sad eyes when you hear a baby cry when we’re out, to the way that you kiss my belly and say hello to Niara who still grows in there. I am excited for all the things that you will teach me (and her) about love and balance and softness.

I know this is uncharted territory for both of us, so I hope that you will give me grace as I navigate the newness of it, and I promise to do the same for you. I know that nothing could ever replace the bond that we have now but I am excited to see how our relationship strengthens, changes and grows in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for the privilege of being your mom. I am so happy to be on this adventure with you and I trust (but can barely believe) that it will continue to only get better.




Photos by Sara del Fierro in Meridian Hill Park, DC

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