Mommy bloggers write letters to their babies on their birthdays. I have learned this from reading many of them. And the time has come to write my own. And I have no idea what to say.
I could tell you about spending 18 days in the hospital before you were born. I thought I had 6 weeks of maternity leave to spend getting ready for your arrival. Instead, I spent 3 weeks in the hospital and they delivered you 3 weeks early.
I could tell you about spending that first night holding you in my arms, not wanting to take my eyes off you, and not having any idea what to do other than that. Finally at 3 am I was ready to sleep, but the crib was across the room, I still had a catheter in, and your Nan wouldn't wake up for anything. I had to call the nurse to come swaddle you up and tuck you in so I could get a few hours of sleep.
I could tell you about the moment on the phone with the doctor when he said he was concerned about your bilirubin level combined with your weight loss and he wanted you to spend the night in the nursery under the phototherapy light. The way my stomach gave way in panic over your well-being.
I could tell you about the drive home from the hospital, the season had changed while I laid in that room, and as your Grandpa drove us to our apartment I saw blooms on the trees and wondered at the marvel of Spring and Birth.
Or how I agonized over the decision to move. I never thought I'd move back "home", but once you came something deeply made sense about bringing you back to where I came from to live. I still get homesick for where I used to live and the people I knew there. I loved my job and the college where I worked. I loved the area, and thought I'd live there for a very long time. But I knew it was best for you - for us - to be close to all of the people here who love us and want to take care of us.
When we moved into the house you still couldn't really sit up on your own. Your bedroom was the first one painted, a perfect purple that is beautiful, just like you. A bookshelf for all your books that you love. A bed that you don't sleep in, because you prefer to sleep with mommy.
You started daycare when you were 9 months old. That was quite an adjustment for you, but you handled it well. Being around all those other kids has made you sicker than you were before, but as long as you have your mommy then you are ok.
There is so much to tell you. About what a great nurser you are. You came out knowing how to breastfeed. We got a gold star your first night from the lactation consultant, and you're still going strong.
About how sweet you are first thing in the morning when you have just woken up. You like to snuggle and talk and you are interested in everything.
About how you love books. You can sit in the floor with your basket of books and pull them out, one by one, and look at each to determine if you want to "read" it. Finally you find the one you want, and you look through it, page by page. Mommy read "Guess How Much I Love You" to you every night.
There were nights when you were tiny that I worried over you sleeping in your cosleeper or in our bed at Nan and Grandpa's. I prayed to God to please let me keep you. Every night I say thank you that God gave you to me.
In the morning when you wake up, I will sing "Happy Birthday" to you. And it will be the most meaningful time I have ever sang that song. There are many people coming to our house to celebrate, because they love us.
There is so much more to tell you. Next year my letter to you will be better. I will have figured out what I want to tell you and how I want to write it. Or maybe I still won't know what to say, except that I love you with every ounce of my being and I have never been more grateful for anything in my life than I am that I have you.