What can I say? You are amazing. God blessed us with you on June 23rd (is that your birthday? we keep having arguments over that). You were born 6 days after your due date at Providence St. Vincents in Portland at 8:42 a.m. You were born by c-section after a very long labor. Mama tried her hardest to have you “the old fashioned way.” But it did not work out. Was the full reason the VBAC didn’t work because you were a sweet chunker? Because I did not push hard enough for a Dr. who was actually supportive of our choice and not just “willing to try”? We will never know. All I know is that I am glad I did get to try. I feel more a part of the mothering experience being aware of what happens during labor. I now know what it is like to be “overdue,” have my water break, go into labor, think my contractions were “very strong” and then realize that was nothing. I remember feeling like I was not sure I could do it without drugs in the beginning of our hospital stay, but then feel like I could do it forever if it was what I needed to do to get you and keep you safest. God made us for this. You and me. You are my precious babe and I would do anything for you. I am very passionate about birth, but not so focused on the “what if’s” that I have exhausted myself thinking over what happened. Honestly, there was never much time or energy to put towards it. But, coming up on your birthday has brought back many memories of the experience.
Random remembrances of your early days
-You were a screamer in the hospital. You only wanted to nurse or be skin to skin with daddy or I. In the hospital we joked that we might never be able to wear shirts again. You had a job to do and took it very seriously. They could barely complete your hearing test. A sweet Russian lady bounced and shh’ed you like I have never seen before to just calm you down enough to get it done. I never wanted you back in my arms so bad.
-I remember talking about adoption philosophies with my anesthesiologist right after you were delivered. What a time for a deep conversation. Not sure how I had any mental energy at that point. Moments after my failed VBAC and your sweet arrival she wanted to know if we would be having more kids. Apparently adoption was sounding like the most appealing option. She needed work on her small talk skills. Maybe she should have asked what color your bedding was rather than asking if you would be our last baby.
-The room we stayed in at in the hospital with you was tiny and quite dated.
-Most of the clothes we brought for you were too small.
-You were strong and sturdy. None of the floppy newborn stage for you.
-You spent very little time in your hospital bassinet. You preferred to sleep on daddy or me, and we happily obliged.
-You lost 10% of your weight and they wanted me to supplement you. You might have had one drop of formula (literally) at a weak point to get them off my back. I quickly regained my confidence and said something like “that is ridiculous.”
-Most all of our nurses were great.
-Our labor and delivery nurse (Jeanie I believe) asked me if I liked my Nike’s while she was starting my I.V. I responded with a convincing “yes” thinking she was asking for a recommendation. She replied with “Sorry. I just got blood all over them.”
-I remember watching a lady who had just had her baby walk back from the hospital coffee shop with her new baby, husband, latte, and 2 year old. She clearly did not have a c-section and lived locally. Touch jealous.
-I actually took pain real pain meds this time and wow…they worked.
-The drive home from Portland was actually quite nice and allowed us to unwind for a bit.
-Your brother and sister met you for the first time at home. We brought them Starbucks chocolate milks with lots of whip cream to soften your arrival. Luckily they loved both their Starbucks AND YOU!
At one year you are still our joy. You are passionate and strong willed. You still know what you want. Your personality has only been multiplied by having an older brother and sister to study at all times. You can imitate sounds and emotions amazingly well. Sometimes I have to look to see if the sound is coming from you or your sister. You are a wiggler and a mover. You like to just GO. You don’t like to be squished (have not since you were in my belly) or restrained. You are sweet as pie and love baby dolls and your special duck. You don’t like to be left out and are fully aware of your surroundings. You used to smile at everyone, but now you are a bit more conservative with them.
You still nurse quite a few times a day and throughout the night. You still have strong ideas about your food and just because you turned the “magical age” of a year we will not be rushing to wean you. You are still my baby and we will take that slowly as you are ready. You love cheese, raisins, yogurt, and anything you can get your hands on from the garden. We are slowly introducing wheat to your diet and you love a good hunk of bread. Your favorite meal is a piece of quesadilla and some black beans from Uncle Dino’s restaurant. For your Birthday meal we got some pizza from Wallery’s. You ate almost a whole small slice!
Your sweet words
First word-Mama at 6mo 3 weeks
Next words soon after-Dada, Du du (duck-duck her favorite lovey), Bubba, more, Papa, Ma, Da (dog), che (cheese), Mommy, Yeah!, yea, obey, no, nigh nigh (night night), and you are working on a word for your sister but have not landed on anything yet.
Signs-more, please (often signed against mamas chest). Because you seemed to be ready to talk before signing we have been pretty relaxed with teaching you signs.
You have a killer princess wave and will reserve it until you are sure people are actually leaving. You love to give air kisses. Since you were tiny you would hold perfectly still for kisses from Mama and Daddy for a long time (when you need them). You will even hold Mama’s hand against the side of your face when you need a good snuggle. Although you wake often during the night you go down for your naps and bedtimes like a champ. If your “love tank” is full and you have had plenty of time with Mama we don’t hear a peep from you…until you want to eat.
You are a precious blessing and we love you to pieces. Happy Birthday sweet baby of ours!
Love, Mama, Dada, Bubba, and Sister