Hi Baby. You don’t really understand, but today is your FIRST BIRTHDAY. We made it! And of course, we are celebrating in style by waking up at 5 AM!
Little Brother, you have taught me so much this year. This past year has radically transformed the way I view the world, and I owe that to you.
You taught me that all birth is beautiful. The day after you were born, I stood in the shower at the hospital and just sobbed. I was trying to process through my thoughts and feelings of your birth not going quite how I had planned it. I was crying because I thought another cesarean birth would make me fall apart – but instead it put me back together. I came away from your birth once again scarred, but more whole as a person than I had been in years.
I won’t get to tell anyone that you are “my VBAC baby.” But that’s okay. Because a baby shouldn’t be defined by how he came into the world. Instead, I simply tell them your beautiful name.
You have shown me, over and over and over, that I AM NOT A VICTIM.
I am capable of so much more than I ever could have imagined.
I can hike to the top of a mountain at 26 weeks pregnant. Or hike around the top of a mountain at 38 weeks pregnant.
I can walk 195 miles in nine months, fight off discouragement, and stay a positive person. I can do yoga at 40 weeks pregnant. 40 weeks!
I had to make a lot of decisions during your birth. You showed me that I AM NOT A VICTIM when I put your needs ahead of what I want, when I follow the recommendations of a doctor, or when I say – again – cut. me. open.
You taught me that there is more to life than the perfect birth story. You taught me that even cesarean birth is beautiful. You taught me that your birth story was yours and yours alone.
You taught me that I was not a failure or less-than as a mother. You taught me that no amount of perfection can ensure results that go just the way you want. You taught me that birth is just a beginning.
You taught me that pacifiers are God’s gift to moms and babies and that breastfeeding is easier the second time around.
You taught me that some babies are capable of putting themselves to sleep.
You taught me that the things I thought were SO HUGELY IMPORTANT as a first-time mom aren’t really that important at all. You showed me that I’ve lived the last five years on a high horse about all. the. things. that really don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of life.
You taught me that self-care for a mom is paramount and that it’s okay to ask for help.
You taught me that kids five years apart can be really super sweet.
You have taught me that being a boy mom was my destiny, and that nothing is cuter than my boys – except for my boys in matching outfits.
You have taught me that it is possible for two little boys to be so much the same, yet so incredibly different. You have taught me that the mama heart can only grow – and yet it loves and parents each child in vastly different ways.
Your being “my easy baby” has shown me that Ezra’s challenges went back further than I realized. This taught me that motherhood has been hard for me – for very good reason – because the hard stuff we faced early really was harder than “normal.”
(Ezra, 6 months old)
You have taught me that life is hard, but I can do hard things. You have shown me that it’s not my job to fix everything. You have helped me settle into a place of acceptance about my beautiful life – just as it is – rather than acting like a victim or a martyr because my life is so hard.
Most of all, you have taught me that God really knows what He’s doing – that He loves me. He knows what I’m capable of and yet also knows my breaking point. He knew when to reach down with a beautiful gift that said, “Here my daughter. You have struggled long enough. Let me give you something to help counteract the weights you carry.”
You are the calm to his angry. You are the introvert to his extrovert. You are the quiet to his loud. You are the easy to his difficult. You are the blue-eyed peace to his brown-eyed tumult.
Together, you both have come together to shape me into the mother I am today. I needed his difficulties to challenge me, but I needed your ease to show me that it’s all okay. I have survived. No, I have thrived.
I am not a victim of motherhood. I am an amazing mom to two of the most beautiful and wonderful children who have ever graced this planet.
On Sunday, I will dress you and your brother in matching t-shirts that say, “The Force Is Strong With This One.” We will celebrate both of your lives – the brown-haired boy and the blondie baby. Brown-eyed extrovert and blue-eyed introvert. Luke Skywalker and R2D2.
You two are “the Force” that overwhelms me day after day with more love than I could ever try to express.
Dear Little Brother, my baby: Happy First Birthday! MWAH!