Wednesday, April 27, 2011

on the night you were born.

dear jack,

today you are six months old.  this morning, i walked into your nursery and told you good morning, and you giggled and buried your little face into your swaddle blanket (yes, you still insist on being swaddled at nighttime).  i lifted you up and you snuggled into my neck.  i said, "you're 6 months old today," but i still can't believe i've been your mom for half a year.  you are the sweetest, most precious gift i have ever received, and i feel privileged to be your mom every single day.

tonight i will come home from work and present you with your monthly book.  on recommendation from other mommy's, the title of this book is on the night you were born.  i will read you this book, while you gaze up at me, your little fingers touching my face and grabbing for my necklace.  you will murmur sweet little sounds as you try to turn the pages, and i will cry, as i usually do, because these precious moments are what life is all about.  (and also, this book is beautiful and wonderful and i can't wait to share it with you.)

ohhh, on the night you were born. it occurs to me that in between night feedings and diaper changes and bathtimes, we've never really talked about the night you were born.  i've always meant to document that here, but time flies, and here we are, six months later.  it was a cool evening in october.  i was at work, waiting to be called in to the monthly board meeting.  in fact, i was sitting in a co-worker's office complaining about how hungry i was when i started to have some contractions.  i had just been to the doctor that morning, and she had said it would be at least a week before you'd arrive, and we were about three weeks from your official due date, so i wasn't too concerned.  mostly i was just really, really hungry.  (daddy says that you have inherited those crabby-when-hungry tendencies from me.  sorry about that.  god bless his patience.)  my co-workers started to get a little anxious when my contractions became more regular.  they were coming every 6 - 8 minutes, but i totally wasn't thinking you were ready to come meet us yet, so i was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing.  as i think i stated, i was hungry.  we were all going out to dinner (a steak dinner, i might add!) after the meeting, so i was concentrating on that.  when we got into the board meeting, it occurred to me that the contractions were kind of hurting, which had never really happened before.  i was slouching in my chair, and one of the other attorneys i work with joked with me about straightening up (we never let him forget this since it turns out i was in labor!)  after the meeting, we were walking to our cars, and my friend and co-worker told me to ride with her to dinner in case i went into labor.  i quickly told her that i would drive myself because i didn't want to mess up her car if my water broke.  no sooner had the words come out of my mouth then i felt a little pop, and pow!  my water had broke.  she coaxed me into the car, and i called your daddy.  he didn't believe me.  really.  i told him we were on our way home, and that it was time to go to the hospital, and he was like, "yeahhh right!  see you after your dinner."  it took whitney getting on the phone with him to convince him that it was go time. 

when i got home, he was pacing.  neither of us were really thinking we'd be going to the hospital.  the puppies (who you adore, by the way) were jumping around excitedly, and i was trying to decide what to throw into a hospital bag.  i remember walking around your little nursery, trying to pick out a few outfits to take with us, trying to process the fact that in a few days, i'd be bringing a little baby boy home to this room.  it was so surreal.  daddy was downstairs making phone calls.  he was so excited.  he called both grandparents, aunts and uncles and texted friends.  i talked with auntie cathy, who couldn't believe she was going to officially be an aunt soon.  auntie jess expressed a great amount of pleasure that my endless complaining would soon be over.  and then, we got into the car and drove to the hospital.

daddy was so nervous as we checked in.  the ladies at the admission desk were laughing at him as he rambled on.  we went upstairs and met with a nurse.  they monitored my contractions (which seemed to have tapered off a little) and determined that i was not, in fact, in labor.  i was starving and irritated and feeling silly, since daddy had called nearly everyone we knew to let them know i was in labor.  my immediate thought was that i was not going to go in to work tomorrow.  everyone at the hospital was convinced i had simply wet my pants.  i might remind you that i had not gotten that steak dinner, had not eaten since lunch, and was about one minute from getting hysterical.  daddy turned on the season premiere of "16 & pregnant" (one of mommy's guilty pleasures) and that appeased me for an hour. 

we waited.  and waited.  it seemed like forever.  people kept coming in and out, looking at the machine, shaking their head and saying, "yeah, doesn't look like you're in labor, but we'll keep you awhile longer," and then leaving.  around 11:00 p.m., i stood up to go to the bathroom, and splish splash on the floor, more water breaking.  vindication!  the nurse came back and announced that yes, i was in labor, we'd have a baby within the next 10 hours, and no, i couldn't eat anything.  i asked for chicken broth, three cups of jello and three popsicles, and they obliged.  daddy made himself a pit stop at taco bell.  when he came back (with sex and the city dvd's and my pillow), i was hanging out in the whirlpool.  my contractions were coming every 4 minutes now, and they were pretty intense.  a new nurse named tara came on duty, and she was amazing.  she was calm and sweet, and thinking about her makes me cry.  she was the best.

the minutes ticked by and the pain got worse.  we went for midnight walk around the hospital, but we had to keep stopping every 2.5 minutes to breathe through contractions.  daddy kept trying to convince me to get an epidural.  sometime in between exhaustion and starvation, i agreed.  good decision!  i layed in the hospital bed watching carrie bradshaw and friends, sucking on popsicles.  it almost seemed like a regular saturday of days gone by... except that nurses flittered in and out, checking on little you.  i couldn't sleep a wink, even though dr. mehta had instructed me to rest before the real work started.  i was too excited to meet you.  it seemed so odd that for the last 9 months, i had counted down the minutes to your arrival, and now, you were almost here.  i didn't feel ready (but i still don't).  i thought about what you'd look like.  i thought about how my life was going to change.  i thought about meeting daddy at a party in college, and being struck by everything we'd gone through over the past 8 years.  two people from two families coming together to start their own little family.  daddy was dozing on and off in the armchair next to me.  i remember feeling so blessed and so lucky. 

and then it was 7:00 a.m.,  and dr. mehta said it was time to push.  and push i did.  for two and half long hours.  push, push, push, breathe, push, push, push.  it was hard work.  you were a stubborn little peanut, and since you were so tiny, mommy had to do all the work.  (gravity was not our friend, jack.)  this part is kind of hazy.  i remember feeling a lot of pressure.  i remember working really hard.  i remember thinking that the epidural had stopped working because i was feeling every. single. thing.  and then i remember hearing dr. mehta say, "one more push, he's right there."  i started crying, and she told me to save my energy.  and then you were out. 

they put you on my chest, and your big blue eyes looked at me, and i just couldn't believe you were mine.  this teeny tiny perfect little boy was my son.  your daddy was snapping pictures, and talking about how perfect you were.  and it was true.  you were. (you are.) you weighed five pounds, 14 ounces, and you were born on october 27, 2010 at 9:32 a.m.  you were worth all the water i retained, all the sleepless nights, all the stretch marks, all the pushing, and all the pain (ahem, hunger pains!).

it seems like just yesterday, and yet it seems so long ago.  how can it be that you are six months old already?  each day you grow and change, and i want time to stop for just awhile so i can savor each little moment i have with you.  you are a joy.  you came into our world, and you changed eeeeeeverything, and while everything is different, it is better.  you have taught me about a patience i never knew i had.  you have given me a sense of determination and strength i never knew existed.  you have transformed the way i think about the world, other people, my family and friends, and most of all, your daddy.

let's just talk for a quick minute about your daddy.  he loves you so very much (duh!).  every day he stops me in the middle of something and says, "get over here.  look at him.  he's so awesome."  he sends me little videos and pictures of the adventures you two have while i'm at work.  i love watching you guys together.  you have such fun.  i love seeing that grin you give him when he smiles at you or sticks his tongue out at you.  you guys are two peas in a pod.  your arrival makes me all the more grateful for him and, if you can believe it, more in love with him.  (ok, i'm not going to get all mushy, i promise, but indulge me for a minute).  i think back on the last decade, and i remember your daddy first as my friend, the college buddy i did beer bongs with (what's a beer bong?  never mind.  you're never allowed to do one.), then as my boyfriend who i had so much fun with, to my fiance, to my husband, to the father of my son.  who would have ever thought that the wild and crazy man we called beans would be the man i come home to sitting in his recliner giggling with "small man" (as he so affectionately calls you)?  it's all so surreal, and yet so perfect.  your daddy deserves a medal.  he put up with me when i was pregnant and my feet wouldn't fit into shoes and when i was sleep deprived and snapping at him when you were first born and through all my breastfeeding trials.  he is such a wonderful husband and a great father, and i hope you know how lucky you are to spend your days with him.  he knows what's truly important and he would sacrifice money, fame, recognition, success... anything... for his family.  i hope you grow up to be the kind of husband and dad he is. 

thank you for letting me by your mom.  you have enriched my life in so many ways.  you have helped me to see what's truly important.  you have helped me understand that having a closet full of clothes can't come close to feeling i get when you reach out for me, or when you bury your face in my neck, or when you give me that sweet smile when i come to greet you in the morning.  you've helped me realize that i need to slow down and treasure the moments that fill each day.  you've helped me see that having a perfect house or car or wardrobe or life isn't possible or necessary, but that true happiness comes from being with the people you love.  thank you for your patience when i didn't know what i was doing.  thank you for giving me the confidence to be your mother and trust myself in knowing exactly what you need and want.  thank you for being a part of our family.

six months seems like such a long time, but in the general scheme of things, it really isn't.  we have so many important days and months and years ahead of us, and i am excited for all of them.  i wanted to be your mother even before i knew or understood what that meant... and now that i know, i couldn't love it any more. 

happy six months to my happy, lively baby boy!  i love you so very much,



  1. I just cried the whole way through are a wonderful mother steph, and your little family could not be any more perfect! Love you a million red m & m's

  2. absolutely beautiful sister. The six month mark made me emotional too. 1/2 of a year has gone by. Where did it run to? I swear I missed half of it. Enjoy the book tonight. It is beautiful.