It’s Christmas Eve and coming up to 9 in the evening here in Central Portugal. The wood pellet fireplace is warming up the converted barn we live in, I have a Christmas Eve meal to prepare as soon as I’m done typing. Every now and then I remember my Nan turned 70 today!! December is always like this. Lively, full, busy, expensive, beautiful. But December 2018 is one of my favourite ones. This December 12th, I walked into the Maternity Hospital in the district of Coimbra, and waited to meet my daughter. Granted, I have been waiting for her for exactly nine months, and for most of that pregnancy I wondered if I had made a huge mistake…
But she came anyway. She came in the only way she was meant to arrive and be placed directly into my arms. And I knew love again. I already had three children, and with each one gave me a sense of a renewed love, so to speak. But seeing that it’s been nearly 5 years since my son, Aslan, was born, I wondered if this would have just been “just another child”. Often that’s how some people treated me during my pregnancy; “you’re
pregnant AGAIN?!” It made me sad that people would see me simply as a barer of children, instead of a woman with a lot of love to give to her very own offspring. That me being pregnant “again” was a result of years of contemplating if I should and if I could have one more baby. And my goodness, how glad I am for it!
My beautiful Ayla, so radiant and perfect. She’s only 12 days old, but when I look at her I literally cannot imagine life without her. I see the future we will have. The adventures we will have. The roads we will travel, the countries we will visit. I can see her long dark hair and her full rosey lips as she emerges into her teen years. I see her looking up to her big Brother, who will protect and defend her from the world as she grows into the woman she will be. I see her two sisters guiding her into womanhood and being her eyes and ears when I’m not there. I see her in the future, as I see now, as her father’s jewel and his youngest first love.
This is our family of six. Twelve years in the making, and no matter how much space we may take in someone’s house, or at a restaurant table, or how much the cost of food and travel may be, I’d never have it any other way. Our Ayla came into our lives just days ago, and yet it’s like we’ve always known her. I guess that’s what love actually is. When you look at someone for so long and feel your heart melt.
Ayla Leonor, may you one day feel how deep the love I have for you is. Thank you for choosing me. 😘