About this time a year ago, the midwife was starting me on a pitocin drip at UNC Hospitals.
It had been about 28 hours since my water broke and about 15 since I checked in to the hospital. I was uncomfortable, before I really learned what uncomfortable was about. All the pacing up and down the halls wasn't getting labor going any faster. The pitocin kicked it up a notch, but it wasn't until 8:39 p.m. that Malcolm first put in an appearance after hours of, let's just say, unpleasantness.
All's well that ends well, and June 14 brought us a healthy, sweet-faced baby boy.
Today is his birthday, and we'll celebrate him, but this year in particular, before he realizes that it's his special day -- it's also the first anniversary of my labor. (I know, I know, self-absorbed much?)
Having a baby has been life-changing. All the cliches people tell you are true. It changes how you sleep, how you eat, how you walk, how you talk. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know what I'm doing. I just try to make him happy and keep him healthy, and hope that my neuroses just stay that -- mine.
I wish I could know that I'm doing this parenthood thing right. That there was some guarantee that everything you try and everything you do will be the right thing for this kid, that it will help him grow up safe and healthy and happy and with everything that he wants out of life.
But I know there aren't any guarantees, and I'm crying writing this. I just want to be the best mom I can be. I hope he knows that when he grows up.
And this growing up thing is killing me. I had "a moment" last weekend after we put up the big crib in the bedroom. Prior to this Malcolm's been sleeping in the co-sleeper, which is great, but now that he can pull himself up on things, I kept waking up in the middle of the night afraid that he had catapulted himself out of bed.
I looked at the crib and saw the first steps he was making to his independence. Then he would be off to school, to college, to work, to living all the way across the country busy with his own life and family. Not that I'm overly quick to make assumptions or anything. I started missing him already.
I want to remember every moment with him. Every nonsense babble and every smile. Every poopy diaper and every cry. I want to be able to tell him when he’s older how he liked to throw everything he could get his hands on (future ballplayer maybe?) and how he liked to grab the dog’s leash and “help” walk her from the stroller. I want to remember the names of his favorite books and the songs that make him laugh.
It’s been an amazing year, and Malcolm has been one of many changes that happened (left job, sold house, moved to a new city). He is the best by far, though.
I love you, baby.