August 6, 2006 – one year ago today at this exact moment I was anticipating meeting you in the next twelve hours or so. I wondered how you would look. I was excited to tell our family the name we had chosen for you months before but had not shared with anyone but us (and you once, when we were sure we were alone). Up until that day you were Tootsie Roll, but you were about to become Mason. Up until that day you were a dream, but you were about to become a reality. Packed for the hospital and anxious to go, we laid in bed waiting. The doctor had set up a midnight check-in for me. I would be induced, and he said you would be here by noon the next day.
At 11 pm we left the house for the fifteen minute ride to the hospital. I wanted to get a Slurpee on the way and we figured there might be some traffic and we needed to park. We arrived for our midnight appointment at approximately 11:20. We waited in a very cold, small waiting room for them to call us back. Then they finally came for us.
We were led to our room and the nurse introduced herself and started taking information. I had to go into the bathroom to throw up. Just nerves I am sure. They gave me the medicine so I would start having contractions. I was already at 4 cm so I was able to have the epidural right away. Mostly, we just sat waiting. I knew I was having contractions but they didn’t hurt. Grammy, Papa, Grandma, and Pops would come in the room to visit. Early in the morning Daddy would leave to get breakfast and a newspaper. He brought back the crossword puzzle for me. I started flipping back and forth to try to force you down the birth canal. You didn’t want to come out! And we waited.
At about 3 pm on August 7 your heart rate started to drop with each contraction. The doctors and nurses came rushing in and gave me a shot to stop the contractions. My doctor came running across the street from his office to do an emergency C-section. But they got your heart rate back up and so I was able to have just a regular C-section, but it would have to be a C-section. I cried. Your Daddy threw up. I threw up.
We went into the operating room and at 4:35 pm, as the doctors talked about what they would eat for dinner that night, you were pulled from within me. At last we would see you face to face and look into your beautiful eyes. I was so excited! But then you were whisked away to the special nursery for babies born by C-section.
I was taken to recovery where each of our family members came to visit me after getting to see you. Daddy brought me a picture of you. The nurse in recovery told me that as soon as I could lift my legs and pelvis off the bed I would get to go to a room and spend time with you. So I did it right then. I don’t know how I did it, but if it meant I got to see you I was going to move those legs! And she looked shocked and said, “Well I don’t have a room ready yet, I thought it would be a while!”
When a room finally was available, I got to go but you had to stay. I can’t remember why. I did get to go by your crib and touch your hand. You finally made it to our room around 10 pm. By that time we had decided that you would stay in the nursery and Daddy would go home for the night so we could both get a good night sleep.
August 8, 2006 – 4:30 am. A nurse comes into my room and wakes me. She forces me to get up and sit upright in a chair for an hour. 7:00 am. Someone rolls you into my room where I am sleeping and leaves you at the foot of my bed. You are crying. I will always count this as our first real meeting. You whimpered and made this weird face with one side of your lips. I stood for the first time on my own (not an easy feat) and walked over to get you. I lifted in my arms and laid back down. We stared at each other while I marveled that you did the same lip thing that I am known to do. It is similar to the lip curl that Elvis is famous for. Little did I know at that time, this meant you were hungry! I came to learn that (as well as so much more) in the year since.
We had about half an hour together alone to learn each other before everyone else arrived. Over the next day or so I learned how to give you the essentials. How to change you when you were dirty. How to feed you. How to keep you warm. How to hold you without breaking you (not that I REALLY thought I would break you… no never).
For the first month, you slept in our room. The first night home from the hospital, we were up almost all night with you. We had no idea what we were doing. But Daddy and I figured it out together and I will always remember that as our sweetest time together, just the three of us, figuring each other out. Pretty quickly we got into a routine where I took care of you on weeknights and Daddy took weekends. After that first month, you moved upstairs to your own room in your big crib.
You were such a cuddly baby that second month. Every morning when you woke up I would give you a bottle in the bed upstairs. And then we would fall back asleep together, you cradled in my arms. I didn’t realize at the time how much I would miss that cuddliness when it was gone.
I went back to work when you were two months old and with that change you started sleeping through the night. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that Mason! I worked only till 2:30 or 3 each day and then I would pick you up and we would spend the afternoon together. You got so much attention at daycare that month because you were the new little baby. I know you relished it.
When you were about four months old you began to notice the world around you. You would reach for toys you wanted, usually choosing Freddy over Puppy (your old fave). You rolled over for the first time. Then just kept going from one end of a room to the other.
When you were five months old you got your playroom. You would lay on a blanket in the middle of the room playing with whatever toy we handed to you. We couldn’t wait for you to crawl and choose your own toys. We couldn’t just enjoy the good times.
At six months you sat up and started playing with toys a whole new way. This is when I went back to work full time and so started only seeing you for a short time each day. But we braved through it together. It was also this month that you went on your first plane trip to Maryland to see your cousin Marin and to meet your cousin Riley.
At seven months you started to get a real personality. You loved rice cereal but not oatmeal. Bananas were your favorite. (They still are.) You started to smile at the camera, seemingly on purpose. And found the joy of swings. And my favorite – you found Blanky! One of many things we are sure to have in common.
At eight months you started to crawl and have not stopped. You also learned to pull yourself up. You discovered more foods and love most of them. Even broccoli, or so I thought. We were out to lunch at the mall and you had chicken and broccoli. I was so proud of how much broccoli you had eaten, until 45 minutes after we left the restaurant, I realized it was stored in your cheeks. You are my little hamster!
At nine months you started waving all the time and clapping hands. And cruising. It is so cute to watch you find a place you want to go, and then watch you figure out how to get there. You went to your first Disney Character breakfast this month and you laid your head on Mickey’s nose. It was adorable.
At ten months you were already in size 12 to 18 month clothes. And they were cute, let me tell you. You were cruising everywhere. Your favorite spot is in our bathroom. You love to turn on the water in the bathtub. You were definitely learning cause and effect.
At eleven months we spent your month birthday at the Ritz in Sarasota. You swam in the kiddie pool and slept in a hotel for the first time. It was a learning experience for all of us. You started saying Hello and putting your hand to your ear like a phone. You learned some sign language at school like more and stop. You try to say stop too.
Now at twelve months, we have our family routines. Daddy gives you a bath, I feed you a bottle and read you a book. I kiss you goodnight and Daddy puts you into bed. In the morning I come upstairs to get you. I am usually greeted by a standing, smiling, happy baby. I can’t imagine it any other way.
You are ALWAYS happy. One of my favorite things is making you giggle which is not very hard. You bust out laughing at almost anything. Like when Daddy steals your blanky. Or when I come near you as the clean up monster. Or when we dance around to “Cows”. But the best giggles always come from tickling you with our noses. That just cracks you up. I hope that you are as carefree and fun loving your entire life as you are now.
Mason, the last year has been so unimaginable and unbelievable being your Mommy, I can’t wait to see what the rest of your life brings!