The baby’s veins were pounding against Emma’s heart, against her eyes. It was breathless, the way her tiny body moved with each tiny muscle in a way that was almost beautiful. Past her child’s curled hands Emma could see her heart, actually see it. Arteries and everything. It was beating frantically in her tiny chest. To see her daughter this way made Emma feel she held that heart, squeezed it, forced it to pump and live.
Emma couldn’t touch her, though. A glass crib separated her daughter’s tiny body from her warm arms. Watching her baby wriggle from inside out, through paper thin, nigh-invisible skin, begged Emma to cradle her and love her and protect her from an uneasy world. The electronic buzzing around her head tried to drown her thoughts, to drown her love for her baby, but it was useless against the power of a mother’s adoration. This little one wasn’t just a child, she was hers.
She coughed and Emma trembled, she smiled and she cooed. The young mother wanted more than anything to touch her skin and know, for certain, that she was real. Yet she was too fantastical to touch, even for her mother.