To My Little Man,
This was me four years ago today. It’s so odd to think that there was a time I was not yet technically a mother. On the day you were born, your mama was a different woman than I am now. There were the basics, like I had less gray hair than I have now. I thought I knew what being tired was, but I knew nothing of true fatigue yet. I had a birth plan all typed up and ready to go and didn’t yet know that it would be entirely useless. I wore a watch (I was timing my contractions and smiling in between them when this picture was taken). But on the day you were born, I still had no real clue about what lay ahead.
On the day you were born, when I first suspected I was in the beginning stages of labour, I sent your daddy to have a nap without telling him about the contractions so that he’d be rested for what lay ahead. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so while daddy did, and while the contractions were still minimal, I finished organising photos and cleaned up all the wedding scrapbooking that I was trying to get done before you were born. Then I finished labeling the envelopes of my thank you cards from my baby shower. After a time, I got your daddy up and told him that I was in labour and there were some things that we were going to do before leaving for the hospital. I sent him for stamps and to mail the thank you cards while I began cleaning the house. When he returned, we worked on cleaning it together until I was sure it was time to go to the hospital.
I had been nervous about giving birth the whole time I carried you until the final month. Then a calm came over me about the whole process. I was still nervous but I wasn’t scared. Your daddy was with me and I knew together we’d do fine. It didn’t go as planned. There were detours that led to an emergency c-section but, knowing what I know now, that was actually a blessing in disguise. You came into the world and made our couple state into a family at 6:45pm on Earth Day 2011.
On the day you were born, I woke up not yet quite a mother. By the time night fell, my world had changed. I cannot imagine life without you. In some ways, I can barely really believe I lived life without you. Often it feels like you’ve always been with us. Then in other ways I think, how is it possible you are four? How have four years gone by so quickly? I want to pause time so that we won’t get to the age where you no longer want to hold my hand or snuggle with me. Already when I tell you that you will always be my baby, you tell me “I’m not a baby, mommy.”
I love you and your sister so much and so entirely there is no way to love one more or one less. While the depth of my love is the same, there are differences in what make you each special. You were the first one to make me a mother. You were the first one to kick me in the ribs “from the inside” (such a weird feeling) and make my stomach move like something from “Aliens”. You were the first to have hiccups that vibrated against my hip bone and the first to really make me realise my mammal roots. You were the first to teach me how much I still had to learn about patience, listening, and loving.
On the day you were born, you made me a mother. You claimed a piece of my heart that you will carry with you wherever you go and I will never be entirely whole without you again. So, despite your objections, know that you will always be my baby and my love for my first-born has no bounds.