Wow. Where to start?
Today is the anniversary of the day that was supposed to be Simon's birthday. Our favorite midwife, Shannon, wasn't working that Monday so we moved the date of my cesarean to Tuesday, March 4, 2008, so Shannon would be there to be with us in the operating room with Dr. Kaminski to welcome our baby boy into the world. It seemed fitting also that Simon would be born on his brother's original estimated due date. We had looked forward to March 4, 2006, as the day around which we would become first time parents, never expecting for two full weeks to pass after that date before Jesse came to be with us.
It's hard to believe an entire year has passed since Simon's birth. It has been the fastest year of my life. Time started flying once we became parents, but the two years it was just Dan and me and Jesse definitely passed much slower than the time does when you've got two little ones to chase after. What a year it's been though! Simon is so different from Jesse. He's changed my few expectations over and over, teaching me - yet again - that I am no longer in charge and life is better when I follow the lead of my children.
I still carry many scars from Jesse's birth. It's not something that I will ever "get over" and move on from. I changed too much over the course of those three days of labor and I have yet to completely face my feelings regarding his entrance into the world. But I started my path to healing on the day Simon came to be.
Leading up to Simon's birth was agonizing. I had many fears. Would he cry? Would his lungs work? What if some freak accident happened and we came close to losing another baby? Would I be able to handle more? What if he ended up in the NICU like Jesse did? How would we make that work, could I go back to the NICU again without all those memories of Jesse's start rushing back in?
And then he was born. And he cried. And it was as though the sun was rising for the first time. Everything was going to be ok. I was going to be ok. I wasn't going to be defined by Jesse's birth anymore. It wasn't going to have the same hold on me that it did before. It's still there, still a part of who I am, nothing will change it. But Simon's birth lifted a fog of sorts that I had been in for almost two years. It was a new beginning.
And here we are one day away from the anniversary of that date. Simon joined our family one year ago. How can that be? It seems he was only born a few short months ago and it seems we've known him forever at the same time.
He's my chunky, lovable, adorable boy. I love his dark eyes and light, wispy hair. His whispering "dat dat dat" and light squeals welcome me every morning, reminding me that I am beyond blessed with yet another gorgeous boy to love and hold. Even overnight when I am exhausted from nursing every few hours, I thank God for the warm little body snuggled up against mine, his grunty little sounds as he feverishly sucks for more milk, his sweet smelling head and little chubby fingers holding tight to mine. I have been blessed with the most precious gift again.
In one year, Simon has gone from being a skinny little spider monkey with long chicken legs to a solid big guy who steals hearts wherever he goes. In his early days, when I was convinced he'd never latch to nurse and I was pumping and finger feeding him with a syringe, barely sleeping, frustrated, exhausted, discouraged... I never looked forward far enough to see where we'd be today. I plugged through one minute, one hour, one day at a time never realizing a year later he'd be a happy, healthy, beautiful boy, fed for 9 months exclusively by my milk, passionate to see me at the end of a work day to reconnect, content to lie snuggled against me as he sleeps.
Simon, you are my precious boy. I love you more than I can ever express in words. You've turned my life upside down again in a good way. You're a joy to be with. A pleasure to mother. My life is complete with you in it. You are my second born, but you are never second in my heart. I love you, Bubba. Happy birthday.