This picture was taken a few days after Emma was born. In a state of shock after delivering a 1 lb 12 oz baby, I was afraid to look at her and certainly didn’t want to hold her. It was like my maternal instincts hadn’t kicked in yet— the wires, the masks, the tubes were so intimidating. Sadly, I didn’t know my baby at all— I was so thankful the NICU nurses knew her rhythms and helped me learn what she was all about. And I was so grateful that my whisper, quietly echoing against the walls of the incubator, was enough to sooth her in those early rough days. All these years later, 11 to be exact, I am still a student of a fighting micro preemie and the nurses who taught me so much. Happy Birthday, kid!