These are your last days as a baby. Saturday, your first birthday, marks the beginning of your toddler years. Cliche as it may be, this year has flown by. Around this time last year I was at the doctor getting my 39 week checkup. I had been having tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions but didn’t really pay attention to them. We spent our last night as a family of 3, September 22, putting Reid to bed and having our good friend, John, over for dinner since I had made a pretty kickass lasagna the day before. I started having contractions, but I could mostly talk through them and they weren’t incredibly painful. I don’t think John even noticed. But I didn’t eat much at dinner, which should have been a sign that your presence was imminent.
On the morning of your birthday, I woke up and got Reid ready for school like usual. Again, some contractions, but nothing crazy. Once we got in the car, though, I started paying more attention. Reid asked me questions (he is very chatty, your brother) and I couldn’t answer right away because I was breathing through the discomfort. In all honesty- I probably shouldn’t have been driving. But I was in denial because your brother was 5 days late (and was only born due to an induction) and your due date was 6 days away. I was still walking, talking, cooking, crossfitting. Surely you weren’t on your way! When I got home, I called your grandfather and asked him to pick up Reid from school. I told him “I’m not in labor or anything, but it hurts to drive.” Silly me. I let our doula, Rachel, know what was happening. She laughed and said it sounds like early labor and to pay attention. Your dad asked if he should come home at lunch and I said no, I’m not in labor. This is probably a false alarm. You know, as I continued to have regular contractions every 5-7 minutes.
Your dad did come home around 11, and I told him that he should go grab Reid from school since he was home. I also started to consider a visit to the hospital- just to make sure. My dad was on his way over to take Reid back to your grandparents’ house once he got home from school. And in the 40 minutes that it took to pick up Reid, things escalated. QUICKLY. I couldn’t talk through the contractions anymore.Your poor grandfather walked into the house to me rolling around on the couch, moaning like a cow. I think I scared him but at that point, I didn’t really care. I called your dad on his way home and scream-asked when was he coming home? Luckily he was 3 minutes away. That seemed like too long. We got in the car against my will – I said it hurt too much to move, let’s just have the baby here – and drove to the hospital. Longest 20 minute ride of my LIFE.
I got a mini-epidural at the hospital after waiting about 90 minutes. I could still feel contractions but they weren’t as painful and I was happy again. Then, it started to wear off. I asked for another dose and the doctor told me that I was too close and would be pushing soon. That was NOT what I wanted to hear. Rachel had met us at the hospital several hours earlier and suggested I roll onto my side to see it that would help things move along. And boy- did it ever. I rolled onto my right side, and 4 contractions later you were here. Both your dad and Rachel started putting gloves on as they yelled out the door “I think we are ready!” The doctor nearly didn’t even make it in to catch you! We were so happy to finally meet you. I was exhausted and elated at the same time.
You are one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met. You also have one of the worst cases of FOMO I’ve ever seen. You love people-watching and playing with Reid. No matter what he does, you laugh. You adore him. You still hate naps but have slept through the night since about 3 months, so I’ll take it. You’ve developed a habit of crawling around with toys in your mouth like a dog. You have zero stranger-danger, and give almost everyone a smile. In your early days, you HATED the hours of 8pm-10pm and would cry for 2 hours like clockwork. Until a couple months ago, you didn’t like baths. You love climbing and stairs. You are easily entertained as long as there is something to look at. You have beautiful blue eyes that grab nearly everyone’s attention.
This year has been a wonderful challenge. Thank you for bringing unprecedented joy into our lives. I love you with my whole heart.