January 19, 2016 – 6:19am
You were born.
You no longer were our living flesh growing within my womb. You were an individual with a new identity, born into this world.Your arrival was a process. It took time for you to be ready with having to be induced, but it was your time to join us in the place where air fills our lungs….Which — clearly, you weren’t ready for that part…
You experienced respiratory distress upon your arrival.
Off to the NICU you went. But — before all that. Hours before…..
I laid in bed with anticipation.
I was obsessing about what you would look like. I had dreams. I had ideas. My focusing on what you would look like and what it would feel like to hold you, eased the anxiety of not thinking about what I was about to physically endure.
Once it came time to deliver you. (Thank you epidurals!) I was happy that the room was a positive environment. I felt calm and ready. I was able to crack jokes and make the hospital staff laugh. Thank goodness! Mama needs humor.
When you started to quickly make an appearance (all of 20 minutes of pushing) I asked if you were “black of hair”. Wide-eyed, the doctor chuckled and said “nope.” I was confused. “Uh hello, my kid is gonna have dark hair” surely?
Nope. A little strawberry blonde!
When they put you on my chest. I was not only surprised that you weren’t filled with gore — you were clean, pink and so so so warm. That warm touch of your little body onto mine, will forever be a lasting impact on my heart and soul. It was as if that warmth sent a straight electric shock to my heart, filling this space that was waiting to be revived…. a space I didn’t even know needed to be awakened.
It felt like magic. It’s the only way to describe it.
Your NICU stay would have lasted two days. My first time seeing you in the NICU wasn’t the best. Seeing you hooked up to machinery. Iv’s in your feet… pap breathing tubes and monitors.
Though at the time I felt calm, because I knew you were just fine… looking back, it’s not what I envisioned for your arrival into this world. However, it was a small glitch — and very much a part of your journey.
With excitement and anticipation, I couldn’t wait to hold you again… so the NICU nurse helped maneuver all the equipment to get us some skin to skin contact. It was in that very moment that I was given a dose of our little strong willed Elliott. Your personality shined right through. You protested our kangaroo skin to skin! You arched your back and cried. You were not happy that we disturbed you!
I said to you, “I will not take this personal. Because little do you know, you will be loved on repeatedly, whether you liked it or not.”
Leave it to the nurse to let me know that almost never happens…. Thanks nurse.
But, I didn’t take it personal.
You were teeny. Itty bitty. Porcelain skinned with the tiniest little head. You seriously looked like a cherub doll to me. I was in awe.
A little angel created just for us.
With this passing year, your existence has filled me and changed me.
I’m far more in the moment now. I’ve discovered and implemented the act of cherishing every moment. People tell you to do that a lot. They say, “cherish the moments, they will pass quickly.” I know this first hand, I’ve seen life and loved ones pass. And I want to make sure our moments together are those that are cherished. My cell phone is no longer a priority. Nor are the dirty dishes or even the make-up on my face.
That’s why I threw the rule books out the window and followed my maternal intuition.
I chose to hold you as much as I could when you cried. “They” told me to teach you otherwise. To discipline you as early as possible. But, all my heart could do for you, was and is to love you and offer you nurturing security. I held you in my arms at night, slept with you by my side. Carried you in a ring sling so you can hear my beating heart which kept you at ease. The pattern of my heart beats gave you the signal to not fear the startling new sounds you were now exposed to. And the pattern of my breathing at night, kept you following right along.
Late night feedings. I cherished. And without hesitation I would wake to tend to you. I would watch you with awe. I still do… One night when you were still pretty new and teeny…I thought to myself as I rocked you in the rocking chair that “this is the very moment I will look back on when dancing with him at his wedding.” I wanted to hold onto that moment. The silence of the night, the dim lighting and the feeling of holding my precious little boy just a while longer before it’s suddenly tomorrow and he was all grown.
And while I want to hold onto every moment. I want to always cherish and know that your existence is proof that there is magic. That there is undeniably the existence of something bigger and better than what this material world has to offer.
Motherhood has introduced me to the unplanned. Not that I was overly type A before you. But, I’m so much aware of how you cannot plan for everything. And intuition, trusting myself and vulnerability are key to our relationship. I’ve taken these lessons in motherhood and have been living them out in my other relationships now. I’m more whole. More content within.
With you, I get to re-live my life in some way. I get to re-learn words. Sounds. Tastes. Smells. Emotions. Fun.
I get to tap into my creativity and sense of adventure because I just am eager to show you all of it.
You and I. We have a connection my bud. and it’s awesome. I have your back, and you know it. You and your dad — equally have a connection. It’s a bit different. I feel like you look up to him. Even at a year old — you look at him with wonder. You get so excited when he sits down to read to you… or when he comes home from work.
You love your dadda.
We’ve had a beautiful year my sweet Elliott. In this year we have filled it with adventure:
- 2 Chicago Street Festivals
- 3 Plane rides (Arizona, twice and Hawaii)
- The Grand Canyon
- A Boat Ride
- A Cabin Stay
- 2 Road Trips
- A Visit to the Crater at the Haleakala Volcano in Maui (10k ft above sea level)
- Attended 3 Weddings
- Attended a Art Show
- Had your own hashtag #babyelliottstyle
In this last month alone, you have grown so much. You babble at every moment possible. Especially when I’m conversing with others… I think you want to be a part of the conversations. You are just finding ways to communicate… whether its pointing or gesturing. Or saying MAMAMAMA repeatedly. You started to pull up and climb up on things…. and I’m sure you will be ready to walk very soon.
You are the magic of my life kid. We have so much more adventures to go.
…and as we approach these toddler years, all I ask is — don’t drive us too crazy with that beautiful strong will of yours…. ok? thanks. 🙂
We love you tremendously Elliott. God blessed us greatly when he gave us you.
YOU MAKE LIFE PRETTY