Today you turned one year old. Happy birthday, my sweet boy! One year ago, I went to the doctor for my third appointment that week. Though you were kicking around, the doctor saw signs of trouble, the same trouble I had with Genevieve. After making a call to my other doctor (We had a lot of doctors.) and to the hospital, they decided to deliver you. That was the best day. I love your sisters, and I love your dad, and yet nothing can compare to my relief and elation that day. They told me to go across the street to the hospital. I literally could not find a door into the hospital, so someone had to guide me, and then I got lost in the maze of corridors inside, and more people had to direct me. Everybody asked about you, and for the first time during the entire pregnancy, I was excited to talk about you. You were going to live.
I had always dreaded surgery before, but not this time. IV. No problem. Rancid-tasting medicine. Done. During the surgery, I shook from the anaesthesia, and my heart rate dropped below 40. The doctors became concerned and asked whether I felt okay. My muscles ached. I was nauseated and faintish. It didn’t matter. I would have endured anything. (Still, they gave me some medicine to get my heart pumping faster.)
They pulled you out, and shortly after, you cried. They weighed you, checked you over, and then brought you to me. I rested my hand — the only thing I could move — on your cheek and talked to you. You gently cooed, yawned, and smacked your lips. You seemed to already know me, and I felt that I had always been your mother.
And now you are a snuggly, determined, noisy one-year-old. You have learned to throw things, and you delight in flinging our TV remotes and your sippy cup. You also appear to be preparing for your soccer career, taking aim at any small object you pass.
A little more than a week ago, you reached a major milestone. You voluntarily let go of a table and walked to daddy — seven steps. None of our coaxing before that had worked. You had to do it on your own. You’ve been shy about doing more, but sometimes I leave you in the playroom and come back to find you standing in the middle. You are walking covertly.
There are so many things I want to say, about how you like to snuggle into my shoulder and bite me just a bit — not enough to hurt — and about how you bounce one of your knees to the beat when listening to music, and about how you rest your head against my chest at night while I sing “This Little Light of Mine.” Henry, I am so grateful I get to tell you how wonderful you are every single day. Having you here is enough, in every way.