Welcome to the World!
Dear Jessa Maya,
Welcome to life! We've been waiting for you! I wish I could tell you everything I know and love about this world right now, but it's so much that you'd be grown before I finished. So I'll just tell you a little bit about today, your birth day.
Hmm...first I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Rachel, your only first cousin-once removed on your mother's side. That would make your mom (and abba) my first cousins, and when I have children, they will be your second cousins. But enough of this technical speak--your mom has been one of my most favorite people in the world since I can remember, and ever since I met your abba two years ago, I've felt like he's always been part of my family. When I was little like you, your mom took care of me, and played with me, and loved me, and taught me tons of things; I hope I can be for you kind of like she was for me. Incidentally, I've always thought she was the smartest, coolest person in the whole world (hint, hint).
So about today. I don't know how it was down by you (probably pretty exhausting!), but up here in New Haven, CT, the world was all aflutter with excitement at your birth. From last night til this morning (while you were on your journey out to greet us) I was at work in medical school (I'm in my first year at Yale Medical School, almost 1/8 of the way towards becoming a doctor!) studying the very creation of your sturdy little heart from the time you were just a blip inside your mom's uterus until today, when you took your first breath.
This morning at 10:28, when you opened your mouth and inhaled your first breath of oxygen-rich air, the entire flow of blood coursing through your body shifted! Your lungs started working, oxygenating your blood, and this cause the passageway between your heart atria to close shut, among other things. Also, the doctors and nurses cut off your umbilical cord, which was connected to your mommy and was the way you got the nutrients that helped you grow as big as you are today. But don't worry, you don't need any of these things anymore. Now you're strong enough to breathe and get your own nutrients--isn't breastfeeding great?! I know you'll soon forget about the miracle of what happened today, and the experience of living inside your mommy for the last 9 months. But if you ever want a visual reminder, anytime for as long as you live, just look down to see and feel the place where you were connected to your mother, source of life: it's your bellybutton!
I love you SO much and can't wait to meet you.