Tuesday, December 11, 2012


My dear, sweet, beautiful E,

Today you turn one year old, and your Mama is having a hard time with it. Maybe you'll understand when you have kids - this odd mixture of elation, excitement and incredible sadness. Everything we did today was in the back of my mind the "last" of your babyhood, because tomorrow you are, unbelievably, a toddler.

You have been, from the moment you were conceived, our little miracle. A miracle the doctors told me probably would never happen for us naturally. A miracle that happened on the very first try, for which I thank God every day. A miracle that we almost lost a couple of times in the early days but we kept fighting for with every ounce of ourselves. A miracle we cherished, and dreamed about, and loved.

At this exact moment one year ago I was halfway through my two hours of pushing and so excited to meet you. Everyone was at the hospital waiting to see you and admire you. When you were born, they laid you on me for the briefest of seconds so I could see you, and then they whisked you away. First to the table in the room, and then to the nursery, and then to the NICU. I didn't even get to hold you until three or so hours after you were born. It was the strangest feeling having had a baby but not actually having a baby there with me - very scary, and sad.

The first time I held you I was overcome with wonder. You were so small, and beautiful, with your fuzzy little head of brown hair and your tiny creaking noises that you made. You were a little fussy when I got there but as soon as you were in my arms and heard my voice, you quieted. That moment was when I truly became a mother.

I won't dwell on those two endless weeks you spent in the hospital, except to say that they were the hardest two weeks of my entire life. Leaving you and coming home to our empty, baby-ready house left us both feeling hollow and lonely. The frustrations of your health challenges meant we were optimistic about going home soon one day and upset about delays the next.

What better gift could we have been given than to take you home on Christmas Day? That Christmas Eve will always be my favorite, even though we spent it in a hospital - just me, your dad, and you, finally alone together as a family. Knowing that we would be home soon.

Our first year together was a wonderful adventure, and I wouldn't trade a single moment of it. We have met many wonderful people who already loved you before you were born. We've put miles on the stroller on walks in the neighborhood and trips to the Zoo. We have made "art" projects, and photo cards, and lots of wonderful memories. We have played, and explored, and grown together.

I see so much of your dad in you - the inquisitive way you look at things, your serious and thoughtful nature, your determination to take things apart, your stubbornness and, of course, your very expressive eyebrows. From me I see the way you love to be the center of attention, your friendly smiles at anyone who looks your way, your brief flares of temper that soon fizzle out, your love of baths and the water in general, and your big blue Crowson eyes. My Daddy's eyes - the eyes of the Grandpa you and I will never know but I know is watching over us every day.

I hope you always know how loved you are, my beautiful boy. Being your mother has been the greatest gift of my entire life and I feel so lucky to get to be the one who has you.

I want all the best things in the world for you, my little love. So sleep tight, and let's jump into toddler-hood and see what new adventures await us.

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