How does this happen? One day you are teensy tiny, all 5 lbs, 6 oz of you, loaded up with wires and monitors and feeding tubes in the NICU, with a tenuous but tenacious grip on life … and the next day you are turning 11!!
I know I tell you I love you all the time, but I just wonder if you really know? I thought today, in celebration of your 11th birthday, I would put the story of your birth into words…
You were the most beautiful and unexpected of gifts. I was 19 and engaged to your daddy when we found out that we were going to be your parents. It was not the path I always thought I would take in life, but while I thought at the time that God sent us a detour, I know now that although sometimes we miss the road signs, we were right on course.
I was sick, sick, SICK the whole time I was pregnant but still managed to gain 60 lbs – holy cow is right!! I am fairly certain the drive through folks at Taco Bell and Dunkin’ Donuts knew my car by sight 🙂 Maybe that is why you love spicy food so much!
When we found out you were a boy, phew! was I nervous! I was the only child of a single mom and I did not know a thing about boys. But we couldn’t wait to meet you and I was so excited to pick out your name! When we heard your name (it was the last name of a TV family), I knew right away it was different and cool and perfect for you! And it is!
So, in the weeeee hours of the morning of April 22, 2000 (literally 12:01am in the dark!), we arrived at the hospital where I was scheduled to be induced. While I was in the bathroom putting on my (lovely and stylish) gown, my water broke. You were destined to be my Earth Day baby one way or another and you were on your way! I had a few hours of contractions but your heart beat plummeted with each contraction and your doctor decided: emergency C-section.
I was terrified.
I had never been under anesthesia or had surgery, but if this is what it took to bring you safely into the world, there was no question. Totally numb from the collar bones down and fifteen minutes later, you arrived. I only saw you for a minute but I knew I would love you for the rest of my life.
You had tons of dark hair and weighed in at a measly 5 lbs 6 oz even though you were considered full term at 39 weeks. Turns out, my high blood pressure put so much stress on my body that you didn’t get enough of what you needed and your spindly little arms and legs were proof of that. Your heart was enlarged, too, and it was enough of a concern that you were whisked away to the NICU. We lived there off and on for the next eight days, getting to see you every 3 hours, even if it was just to rub your back with an index finger, wake up to check in with your nurses at midnight or pray with every ounce of our being to see those 15 ccs of formula disappear into your belly.
You are the handsome Bigger Bug with my brown eyes.
You are long and lean and have Daddy’s dimpled chin.
You asked your first girl out this week…and she said yes.
You share my sense of humor and I can tell when you get that twinkle in your eyes, we are going to laugh until our stomachs hurt.
You struggle with school sometimes, but I know that you just haven’t found your stride yet.
You talk back and roll your eyes, but you love us with a fierce intensity.
You are my sports nut and baseball fanatic and I am your biggest fan.
You are stuck in that crazy middle ground between childhood and adolescence but it will get better.
You are cautiously fearless and 100% boy but you still let me tuck you in at night. For now.
You are the very picture of will, of determination, of struggle and of triumph.
And today you are turning 11. Enjoy it my Bug, for it only comes once.