Happy Birthday to… me?

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Thomas was born a year ago today, but I think the REAL celebration should be for ME. Think about it… he leads a blissful, ignorant life, pooping in his pants whenever he feels the urge, crying to get what he wants, sleeping 16 hours a day, having his meals spoon fed to him, etc. He’s essentially been celebrating his life ALL YEAR LONG.

Me, on the other hand, I’ve suffered hormonal insanity, weight gain, and sleepless nights.

I was thinking about this last night as Bryan and I drove home from downtown Seattle where we had dinner. It was about 10:30, which was shortly after we had checked into the hospital a year ago. I had started labor around dinner time and spent several hours shuffling in a figure eight around my dining table and through the hall like a choo-choo train with Ruthie shuffling along behind me as the caboose. Whenever I stopped to breathe through a contraction she’d exclaim, “GO, MAMA!” The Counting Crows played on the CD player all evening, and at one point when Bryan asked if he could change the music because he was tired of it, I declined his request. I had already entered The Zone, hypnotized by melody and song. Changing the music at that point would have broken my hypnotic state and tripped up my rhythm.

This morning I woke up at 6:30, remembering again that it was Thomas’ birthday. I had labored all night long, last year, which was a big difference from Ruthie’s labor that went all day. I was tired, Bryan and Alecia were tired, the staff was tired, and there was an eerie stillness in the room all night despite the soothing music and the whirring of the tub jets.

Thomas was born around 5 or 6am. He literally shot out of my body when I changed positions, and was caught by the labor nurse and my friend, Alecia. My doctor was called in after.

I remember shouting, “DID THAT JUST REALLY HAPPEN?”

He was beautiful and perfect, with blonde peach fuzz on his head and loooong narrow feet that curled like a tree frog.

He is still beautiful and perfect.

And he is a boy. He likes to punch his fist into the air above his head and voice a very Braveheart-like Yahw! And as he crawls, the volume and intensity of his Braveheart-like Yahw! increases as his speed of crawling increases.

It’s a mystery to me how I can love someone so intensely, even when he has caused me so much personal pain and discomfort. But I do. And I suppose that’s the Gospel. Love through, despite, and because of pain.

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