I cried the day I found out I was pregnant with you. Sadly enough, they were not tears of joys.
I realize this is a horrible way to start a letter to you on your birthday but let me explain. The ending is so very happy, so stick with me.
Perhaps you won’t even begin to fathom this until you are older and have children of your own, but when I saw the second pink line on that cold November evening, I sat down on the bottom step and buried my head in my hands.
Your older brother was six months old. Your older sister a mere two. Your father was a new dentist and pretty much lived at the office. I was beyond tired.
Not to mention the fact that we had just moved to a brand, spankin’ new community ten days before your sweet brother was born. I knew not a soul, lived in an unfamiliar city, and had two children ages two and newborn. I did not have the support of family and friends because well, I didn’t have any friends in our new city and while my family was an hour away, they were still not close enough.
Did I also mention that your older brother had horrible acid reflux and colic? That he pretty much cried nonstop for four months? No? Well, he did.
In addition, your father made it clear to me that while I wanted another child, he felt our family was complete with your brother and sister. It’s true that I felt like something was missing.
And something was.
When your daddy walked through the door that evening, he took one look at my tear-stained face and said, “Oh, no. Did you overdraw the checking account again?”
To which I answered, “Oh, how I wish it were that.”
I must take a moment to explain to you that I was indeed exhausted, yes. I pretty much never took a shower. I lived in clothes that could be considered pajamas and activewear so I never had to change. Once in a while I changed my underwear. I often forgot to brush my teeth and this, of course, is a huge deal in our house. We are a dental house for crying out loud.
And yet, I was most upset because I was scared to tell your daddy. Your daddy, a gentle man who sees the world with so much more grace than I do. A man who is quicker to give someone the benefit of the doubt than I am. Yes, that man.
He hugged me and said, “Sweetheart. It’s alright. This is a blessing.”
After I looked at him quizzically, he explained that just the week before, he felt that God had placed it on his heart to tell me that he had recently been thinking we should indeed have one more child. He was going to contemplate it further while on the hunting trip he was about to embark upon but it looked like God’s answer was pretty clear.
You were coming.
Talk about going ahead and preparing the way. God started to wear a path before we even realized you would be joining our family.
He went before us.
Once I got used to the idea of having you arrive much sooner than I thought my third child would arrive, I was overjoyed. Granted, I didn’t have much time to be overjoyed but I loved you as soon as I could exhale and see that your father wasn’t going to send me out to the streets.
I relished your every kick. I waited with baited breath to hear your heartbeat during each prenatal appointment. I still read Your Pregnancy Week by Week. I loved knowing what was happening with your development.
When I found out you were a little boy, I giggled. Of course our family would include two rough-and-tumble boys that would be 15 month apart. Of course it would.
You were in no hurry to exit my womb. Your sister and brother arrived two and three weeks early respectively. However, we started talking induction with you because well, you liked mommy’s uterus just fine, thank you very much.
I loved my OBGyn so much that I continued to travel an hour away to see him during my prenatal appointments and had planned to deliver you at the same hospital in which your siblings were born. After all, we lived an hour away when Sawyer was born and we made it to the hospital just fine.
During our last appointment, it was determined that I was 3 cm dilated at 39 1/2 weeks pregnant. I didn’t worry much about this because some women walk around at 3 cm dilated for weeks so shrugging it off, I headed back home and went about my life. We had planned to induce labor and bring you into the world two days later – on July 17.
But you had other plans.
Luckily, I had arranged to have a sitter come and watch your sister and brother because your father and I were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary on July 16. We were going to go to one of our favorite restaurants and I couldn’t wait. It would be a “last supper” before I was due to report to the hospital the next morning.
Without going into too much detail, the new sitter arrived to the scene of me holding on to the wall with wet shorts. Your siblings were still in their cribs from their afternoon naps because I couldn’t lift them out. Daddy had been called at the office and was on his way home, likely driving like the Andretti’s during the Indy 500.
The pain was horrid. Your daddy made it and threw a case of water and a slew of towels into the back of our SUV. I remember thinking that this was not a good sign.
The contractions were two minutes apart. We were not going to make it to the hospital an hour away. In fact, we weren’t sure we were going to make it to the hospital that was 15 minutes away.
Did I mention that it was 5 p.m.? Did I mention that it was rush hour? Did I mention that the traffic was absolutely terrible? No? Well, it was .
And yet. I felt God walking beside us.
He had gone before us and at that time, He was walking beside us.
I’ll write more about the hysterical details of your birth because the events of your arrival alone could fill a letter within itself.
We did make it to the hospital. No one knew who I was. I was assigned an amazing doctor who happened to be on-call (lucky her). I wasn’t supposed to deliver at the hospital in which you were born and yet, it felt like it was just where I was supposed to be.
For the record, I did get the epidural I screamed demanded suggested I get immediately which is lucky for you because if I had not, I just might have had to remind you of this fact often throughout your life. Count your lucky stars, Solomon. Count ’em.
You were born three hours after we arrived. Your labor was by far the toughest of my three children. I was absolutely certain you would never come out as you would not budge with any of the intense, red-faced pushes I could produce.
And finally, you did. You were a full two pounds heavier than the other two. You actually were born with some meat on you.
From the moment I saw you, I knew you were the one. You were the one that God had intended to complete our family from day one. You were the perfect baby – no colic, no acid reflux. You could eat regular formula and not the “liquid gold” that your siblings had to eat. You actually slept. I finally understood why some mothers looked so peaceful while I looked so harried – they had babies like you from the very beginning.
I feel like I need to mention that your siblings bring me immense joy. It was worth every howl and sleepless night. They are two of the four people of which I would lay down my life.
But you? You march to your own beat, sweet one.
You blaze trails that we didn’t blaze with the others.
You bang yourself to sleep at night in your crib. You often tear your diaper off thus resulting in the only child in our family that has had to be duct-taped into their diaper. You don’t want to eat anything but chips. And cookies.
You are a HUGE snuggler and love to cuddle every chance you get. I love to smell the sweet scent of your hair when you climb into my lap for a story. I love to hear you ask “You K, Mama?” (You okay?) I love to see your relieved grin when I tell you that I am indeed, okay.
I am more than okay, sweet Solomon. You are my baby. You are one of my four intense loves. You were the missing piece. You completed the puzzle.
And now God continues to walk beside us and yet behind us, too. And I’m certain He’s walking ahead as well. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you.
I love you, my sweet golden-haired boy with a Buddha belly. Your dimples melt me. Your giggles bring tears to my eyes. Your eyes stop me dead in my tracks.
You are my son. My wonderfully, precious and sweet son.
Happy Second Birthday, love bug.
Mommy a.k.a “Mama”
By the way…For more wonderful Caffeinated Randomness, please visit Andrea at Under Grace and Over Coffee! You’ll be glad you did!