One year ago today, R entered the world shortly after breakfast time. We left for the hospital in the middle of the night on October 10, 2005, two weeks before her due date, not knowing for sure if I was even in labor.
Once my midwife assured me the baby was indeed on the way, we had nothing to do but wait. My contractions were still mild, and we were actually in a fit of laughter over a funny birth story my midwife and the nurse were relaying when the anesthesiologist appeared bearing the epidural cart. Although she questioned my need for the pain relief when she observed the hilarity in the room, I wasn’t about to let her get away. I knew all too well how fast labor pain could intensify.
Once the epidural set in, my labor started to slow, and I actually needed a hit of pitocin to get things moving again. I pushed R into the world just in time to eat lunch, making it my longest labor at 7 hours.
So much has happened in the last year, including our move to the country when R was one-month-old, my battle with some perplexing medical issues last winter, and the transitions to a new church for our family and new schools for both children. I have done my best to treasure every moment of the first year of her life, even when life seemed busy and overwhelming.
I hate to say good-bye to the first year; I think it’s the hardest year as well as the most wonderful year — full of exciting milestones and so many changes. And for a baby-person such as myself to realize that this will probably be my last, there are definitely mixed emotions on this, her first birthday.
Since I started blogging, I have read many gorgeous birthday tributes to children of all ages from loving mommies. I’ve been waiting anxiously to write my own, but now that I sit down to type I am intimidated by trying to put my feelings into words.
I just love everything about this child…
the silky straightness of her blond hair against my arm when I nurse her,
the softness of her puffy cheek as it rests against mine and her blissful little sigh when I’m rocking her to sleep,
her plump little legs and dimpled arms as she pulls up on the nearest chair to a wobbly standing position and then plops back down on her diaper-cushioned bottom,
the sparkle in her bright blue eyes and toothy grin as she finds delight in each new discovery.
I love the way she joyfully and expectantly accepts the love and adoration lavished up on her by her parents and brother and sister,
how she reaches for me, and when I pick her up, puts her arms around my neck and squeezes tight, just daring me to let her go.
I love her incoherent babble with voice inflection and expression that mimics my own,
how she closes her eyes and leans in to nuzzle, delighting in my kisses,
and how she snuggles up to me and nestles her head in my neck when she’s sleepy.
I love how she scootches on her bottom across the floor instead of crawling, her chubby legs scissoring, hands waving, grinning from ear to ear as she purposefully makes her way to her destination.
Most of all, I love the way she says, “Mama” and looks at me like I hung the moon. It doesn’t matter if I’ve put on five pounds, haven’t brushed my teeth yet, and haven’t showered in three days. Despite all my imperfections, she wants ME, and that’s the very best part of being a Mommy to a one-year-old!
So I bid farewell to the first year, mourning a bit for the precious moments left behind, but anticipating the days to come.
Happy Birthday, Little One!