Carmen turned two weeks old yesterday and it feels like I can't remember a time when she wasn't so deeply rooted in our family. At the pediatrician two days ago, she weighed in at five pounds, five ounces and, oh, how I celebrated. She was four pounds, ten ounces at birth and it was easy to mistake her petite size for frailty in those early days. Ethan himself was born early at 36 weeks and tipped the scales at eight pounds, four ounces. He was never that tiny and, yet, my early memories of his infancy are filled with the same fears of fragility. As Carmen quickly let us know, she isn't as fragile as her small size lets on. She is a go-getter already, a lovable little body of calm and babbling. Lately she falls asleep on my chest with her fingers tight around a piece of my hair or fabric of my shirt and those tiny sighs, they are so very healing.
Ethan has settled into his role as big brother as if he's been doing it all along, as if he, too, has known Carmen for much longer than the two weeks we have known her. He is the wrapper of blankets, the holder of hands, the "let me do it" that follows me around doting on her every move. Sometimes it still very much feels like a dream that I'm going to wake from and how badly I want to stay asleep.
Today we had family photos taken by Meghan Nesom Photography. I ran out of time to straighten or do my hair, Ethan came down with a cough and refused to wear pants and our kitchen sink is still leaking but Meghan assured me this was all good. This was all us and real life and all of that good stuff that is masked by ironed hair and clean, lint rolled yoga pants.
It's impossible to pick a favorite, but I wanted to share a few. In the midst of the chaos and leaky sink and pants that I'm pretty sure I've been wearing for four days in a row now, there's this blanket of peace and joy that is covering our family. It's not so scary under here, cloaked in the reverie that Carmen has brought to our home.
She fits. She just fits so perfectly into the missing space.
Welcome home, sweet girl. You are home.