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Sophia’s Birthday

Property of Laura Gaddis.

Property of Laura Gaddis.

Sophia introduced herself to us four years ago today, December 31, 2010, at a wee hour of the morning. One-something, to be exact. Or as exact as I can remember; as exact as needed. The time didn’t matter, not like to parents of healthy children who can proudly state the hour, minute, second, millisecond of birth. What mattered was she was born breathing, unassisted. What mattered was that she was peaceful, and quiet. What mattered was that we fell in love with her. What mattered was the time we had as a family, not the construct of time itself.

Sophia’s tiny frame laid softly on my chest, swaddled as carefully as possible so as to not disrupt her delicate, red-tinged skin. Her weight of nine ounces barely enough to remind us she was there, as if we would forget.  Her length nearly fit in one of Jason’s outstretched hands. Her eyes stayed closed, her limbs stayed still. Yet she breathed, through her tiny mouth, slitted open just enough.

She breathed, and breathed, and breathed. 

Beyond what we would have expected, beyond what the nurses prepared us for, beyond what she probably should have.

Approximately an hour-and-a-half with Sophia was so much more than the minutes registered on the clock. While such details fade my memory over the course of these four years, the images of us as a family of three have not.

Happy birthday, Sophia. We will light your candle for you today.

 

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