Which was 15 minutes after he was born, exactly a year ago today.
Happy Birthday, Baby X.
Can I still call you Baby?
Now that I'm sitting down to write this, I find it's actually kinda tough to sum up an entire year. There's just so much. And I'm trying not to think about how this is it. I will never again have a smushy little creature to love. Unless it has fur and a tail.
If you'd like to read all about my amazing home birth, click here. It's my story that ran on the front page of the newspaper. Pictures are pretty cool, too.
X was a surprise baby. As in, SURPRISE! YOU'RE PREGNANT!
But he's also been a Surprise Baby. As in, he has amazed me over and over. Not just by being him, but by what he's taught me:
That his firsts are just as thrilling as they were for the other two kids: First smile, first tooth, first roll over, first sit, first solid food, first crawl, first word (dada, of course), first step, first run (which really isn't a RUN but a fast-moving drunken reel across the room).
That giving up dairy, soy and wheat for an entire year in order to nurse him was completely worth it, that I finally really *get* why women love to nurse, that I cherish the quiet time he and I share because of it, and that I know I won't think it's funny when he starts lifting up my shirt in public.
That there really is no greater feeling in the world then snuggling a baby, even before they can snuggle back. And I will miss the way his little fist always wraps around the back of my arm when he gets to big to fit on my hip.
That the light in his eyes and big toothy grin when he sees me is the most precious gift of all, to know the love you've given is being returned - even if you are not the perfect mom.
That in three tries, I still don't have a child who looks anything like me (darn those Korean genes!).
That there is nothing quite like watching the bigger kids hug all over the little one, that your eldest has gotten into his bed and cried after accidentally giving his baby bro his first fat, bloody lip, that the neighbor kids have adopted him as their own, too, and now your baby has no fear of walking up to a group of kids he doesn't know and hanging out with them.
That the "3 second rule" now is the "he can have it if the dogs don't get it first rule." That the baby gate is still in the garage instead of at the bottom of the stairs, and that he can make it up three steps before I notice and get him back down, and I'm not completely freaked out.
That baby belly laughs? Still the best sound. On the planet.
That it's okay that he is chasing Daddy now, because it was All About Mommy for an entire year. I can share.
That he was blessed with Sawyer's generally cheerful nature and Sage's "tenacity."
That I didn't think either of us would make it past his three months of colic, that I feel for every mother who has ever had to deal with an inconsolable baby, day after day after day, but that it WILL pass. And you will finally get to see a happy little person emerge.
Most important, that your heart always has room for just one more.
Happy, happy birthday, Xander. I can't imagine a world without your smile. Thank you for making our family complete.