They didn't hold Emily up for me to see her when she was born.
Jason didn't cut the umbilical cord.
I didn't hear Emily's first cry.
I didn't get to hold her before they cleaned her off.
I didn't get to hold her at all...for three days.
The nurses didn't bring her into my room at night for me to feed her.
I recovered in one hospital while she fought for her life in another.
I went home without my baby girl every night for three months.
I couldn't cuddle Emily against my chest because of all of her surgeries.
* * * * *
This afternoon I was resting on the couch while Emily played on the floor.
I would open my eyes every few minutes to watch her.
Over several minutes Emily made her way to the couch.
She scooted, she half crawled, she rolled, and she stretched, and before too long she had reached the couch where she looked up at me and held her arms out.
She had been rubbing her eyes and I knew she was tired.
I picked her up and she immediately turned into me and closed her eyes.
After a few minutes I laid back down on the couch, with Emily still snuggled against me.
And we slept...for more than an hour.
In her nearly first year of life, it was the first time she had slept in my arms the way she was.
* * * * *
As my own eyes grew heavy I watched my sleeping girl and felt a piece of healing fill my heart.
My baby was sleeping in my arms...cuddled against me like I had dreamed of for so many of those nights when my arms ached with emptiness.
A nap has never been more perfect.