We made it to one year.
For the past 365 days I have been thinking about his First Year of life. I have thought in terms of weeks, months and This Year. But I haven't thought beyond today. I just wanted to get this far. Because, honestly, when he was born, getting through this first year seemed insurmountable. I couldn't imagine being an accomplished mother to this walking, laughing, joking, one-year-old toddler boy.
But here we are.
This post could be about Owen and all the marvelous things he can do. Because he is - marvelous. And he does a lot of amazing things. But that's not what this post is about.
Or it could be about his party and all of the adorable and creative touches I put into it. And it was - beautiful and perfect. I am so proud of him and the party and all that it symbolized. But that's not what this post is about either.
This post even could be about me and how I've changed as a woman and a mother and a human being. Because I have - he has changed me in so many deep and intrinsic ways. But this post is not even about that.
Instead this post is about those first few moments of his life. Because the way he was brought into this world was so traumatic, so intense, that I can feel the memory gripping my muscles as I write this. I spent today telling him how loved he is and how excited I was to meet him one year ago. And then I nursed my baby to sleep and kissed him good night and whispered Happy Birthday. Thirty minutes later, at 8:39, was the exact moment of his birth one year ago. And I felt myself rushed back to that moment. The moments before when I was absolutely sure I was going to die. The doctors and nurses yelling, my husband crying, me feeling oddly detached and just a strange acceptance. And then...the doctor cutting me, his heartbeat dropping, the unbearable pain of the vacuum being forced in...and then the amazing, shocking feeling of him sliding out of me.
I had no idea.
I had no idea.
I want to go back and shake myself and say, Savor this. Take this all in. Look at him. Hold in. No, don't put him down even for an instant. Enjoy these first few days with him. Just the three of you, alone in that hospital room. That quiet sanctuary where you spent the first few moments with him. Because I didn't understand. I was overwhelmed, traumatized, literally in shock and shaking from the the trauma of his birth. And that makes me angry with myself for not fully savoring every second of the resounding emotion of his newborn-ness. I miss it. I want to go back and relive it.
But how could I know? How could I know that this little tiny, beautiful baby with those deep eyes would become... everything? How could I know what a year with him would do to me? How could I understand in a hospital room filled with bright lights what motherhood really is? I just...didn't know.
And so here I am, at the anniversary of his birth, remembering. Paying homage to that moment. Being grateful for the blood and the pain and the emotion that was put forth so he could come out of me and into this world. Because I didn't get it then. I didn't understand.
But now I do.