Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mark's Year in Review

Happy First Birthday to my sweet sweet  boy. I love you more than words can express. I wonder if the day of your birth will forever feel like it was yesterday. Because that is exactly as it feels now. I can still remember the butterflies in my stomach as daddy drove us to the hospital. I remember him trying to eat cereal out of a Mardi Gras cup and feeling too queasy to finish (you will soon learn that it takes a great deal to curb your father's appetite). I remember so few cars on the road (it was 3:00 am afterall). I remember feeling like I was having an out-of-body experience because unlike a mother who labors and delivers her baby, I knew that within a few hours, I would meet you. The anticipation was paralyzing. The excitement was palpable. I remember walking through those doors to the hospital  when it was still dark outside and stopping immediately to go to the restroom (of course). I remember feeling calm for the 2 hours or so of fetal monitoring and surgery prep. I will never forget the feeling when they said it was time to head to the OR. They could have wheeled me in but I remember telling myself "no, you are scared out of your mind but this, you have control over, you can walk in there with your own two feet." I was terrified but I walked in there, one hand closing my gown from behind and one hand pushing my iv-cart. My blood pressure spiked and it took ALOT  of work to place my epidural (apparently my vertebrae are close together). The nerves got the better of me and soon I became nauseous. I was literally a ball of nerves. I remember daddy coming in and me asking for his hand. I remember him stroking my face and telling me not to be scared, that I would be alright. I remember him standing to look over the curtain even though part of me didn't want him to. Then, I remember your glorious, healthy cry. That is when time stood still. I didn't have a care in the world other than that my baby boy is here at last and he is healthy. I could take a lifetime trying to explain that feeling, but the truth of the matter is I could never do it justice. One day you will understand, but not until they place your first child into your arms and you look into his or her eyes. Then you will know. Then you will understand. 

Although your birth is etched in my memory as if it were yesterday, the surrounding days are a blur of tears (both yours and mine), diaper changes, pain pills, pavlik harnesses and leaky boobs. I remember only feeling at peace when you were in my arms, I could not get enough of you. I could have drank your scent for an eternity. My perfect, healthy, strong baby boy. Those early days turned into weeks and into months. And my tears grew seldom, although yours did not necessarily. Although much of those early days left me with a sense of overwhelming emotions, I would live them over and over again if given the chance. But that is not an option, we must go on as life does and what a joy it has been to watch you grow. This past year has been a whirlwind. I cannot believe how fast it has flown even though we have done so much with you.

I think I always knew you would be strong-willed, I just didn't comprehend the extent. I had an inclination when your Apgar scores were 9 and 9, meaning you came out strong. My first clue should have been when you  wouldn't flip into the normal head down presentation so mommy could deliver you naturally. Oh well. You are a very good baby, happy most of the time. You are challenging when you are sick but I am pretty sure that is part of the male genetic makeup so I do not fault you for this. You love going out in public to people watch. In that respect, you are just like your father. In most other ways, you seem to have my personality. Good luck son, I drive alot of people crazy :) You are strong willed, and you like to be in control. You want to do for yourself. I don't mind letting you either because I strive to raise independent children who can do for themselves. You know what you like and what you don't and you will not be persuaded to do the latter. You could take or leave the whole eating thing. That is not like me or your father. You pretty much only like cheese. In my moments of exasperation, I tell myself that one day I will wonder how I ever complained about your small appetite  because I know in your teenage years, you will probably eat us out of house and home. Even though you aren't that interested in table food, nursing you seem to enjoy.  You have a smile that is infectious and you share it often. At school you have been referred to as the cute baby who is always smiling. I have to agree with their assessment, although I know I am biased. In my eyes, you are the most beautiful baby who ever existed. You love your puppies although the verdict is still out on whether the feeling is mutual. You love being outside or in the water. If you are in a mood, either of those will turn things around immediately. You love trying to figure out things are put together. You can be entertained with a bucket and small objects which you place in the bucket and pull out of repeatedly. The list of your abilities is endless, but it is enough to say that watching you discover this world is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

On your first birthday you are more of a toddler than a baby-baby. However, you will always be my baby. I will never be able to look at you without remembering this time, how you cling to me when you are upset, and how you still at my touch. I know those things will not always happen as you grow, but I will not be able to forget them. Nor would I ever want to. I vow not to treat you like a baby when you are older but in my heart, you will always be just that.

I wish Maw-Maw Boo could have been here physically with us this year. I know in my heart she would have shared my joy at watching you grow. I also know that in reality, she did just that. Albeit from far above. It gives me peace knowing that you have her as your guardian angel. She took excellent care of me in my tender years and I know she will do the same for you. Her love knows no bounds.

Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy. I love you so much and cannot wait to celebrate all of your birthdays as you grow. Love always and forever, Mommy.