Happy first birthday, Jackson.
After six hours of induced labor, and an emergency c-section, the sound of your cry sent relief rushing through every cell of my body. When the doctor popped your round little head over the curtain, and I took in your full head of dark hair (which you have somehow managed to maintain!), it was instant love. I was so grateful you were here, and so excited to see what new joy my life would now hold, now that you were in it.
But, and you’ve heard this story before, mere moments after we celebrated your arrival, the medical scares started coming. And they would keep coming and keep coming, until I thought we would never be able to crawl out of the deep hole we found ourselves.
You, however, were amazing. You took your surgeries in stride, always recovering so well, and bouncing back. When we finally strong-armed a surgeon into giving you heart surgery, you said, “Okay! I’m done! Let’s get out of here,” and 12 days later, I carried you out of that hospital.
Today is bittersweet for me, because I will always remember those first few moments and the following days, and remember how scared I was, how scared everyone was. We didn’t know what to expect. You were so tiny, so fragile. So sick.
The wonderful thing about those sad memories is how amazing you look now in comparison. It’s hard to imagine how afraid we were when we see what a chunky, happy, giggly baby you have become!
Your smile is not the biggest smile in the room, but it’s the most perfect. It tells me how much you love me, and how you love your sister even more! It tells me one of your favorite things is letting the puppy kiss your face. And it pops up so quickly when you hear the voice of Mickey Mouse; your whole face lights up.
The first four months of your life were slower than any other I have ever experienced. The next eight flew by in the blink of an eye. Where did the time go?! Suddenly, you’re turning one, and are apparently now labeled a “toddler.” I hate that, and refuse to call you that. You are my last baby, and so you will ALWAYS be the baby. Tough break, kid.