My sister bought me a book for my birthday this year called: Love, Mommy: Writing Love Letters to Your Baby. Such a cute book and a great idea. The author basically walks you through writing letters to your children about their early years to read in their later years. It inspired me to write letters to my girls, but I figure this is enough of a tale for Kingsley to read one day. ;)
With Cordelia, it was later. I had her at 12:50pm on the Tuesday after the May long weekend. I stayed the night and was all set to go home the next day but the doctor wanted Cordie to stay an extra night because she was making odd noises when she breathed. I reluctantly agreed and settled back into my hospital bed. Wednesday night was the American Idol finale: David vs David. I had all the nurses coming and going wanting to check out how the show was going. Cordelia was doing the typical dreaded second night cluster feed. She nursed the whole night. Literally, the whole night. I thought I was going to be sucked dry by morning. But at some point during that long long night, she became mine. I tossed out all resistance and just lay in bed with her and let her do whatever she needed to feel okay. She needed me, just me and absolutely nothing else.
Now, Kingsley was a completely different birth, as you know. It was days before I got to really hold him and snuggle his little body. The surgery, tubes, monitors, big scary back incision... I don't know if I remember the moment he became mine so much as I remember the moment he became OURS. So it's appropriate that I recall this today, on Father's Day because it was Jeff who did it for me. The day after he was born, Kingsley was moved from the PCCU up to the 7th Floor - a reduction from 1:1 care to 1:3 care. Very exciting for us. He lucked out and had his own room tucked away in the corner. I was down on the 4th floor but Jeff and I would make the trip up and hang out between meals (and doses of drugs for me).
The morning after his big move, Jeff and I walked up. I was trailing behind because walking was still hard to do at that point. Jeff walked into the room, opened the door on the isolet, bent down and said: "Hey, Kinger." That's it. Those two words changed my whole world. We are a family of nicknames and short forms, to the point where Jeff used to complain that Rachel and Cordelia would never learn to respond to their actual names because I never used them. That was the first time anyone had ever called Kingsley something other than 'Kingsley'. It hit me in that moment that King was no longer the baby inside me that only I 'knew'. He was ours and we were officially a family of five.