Well, here we are on your second birthday. I feel like I have so much to say to you, yet I'm at a complete loss for words right now. It took me about 3 hours just to write that first sentence and I'm already in tears. I guess I am just not ready to admit that you're two years old now. It seems like yesterday that your dad and I were on our way to the hospital to meet you. I was sitting on 18 towels in your dad's new car, just in case my water broke and holding onto that "oh shit handle" for dear life as I yelled at your dad for hitting every single pothole in the city in between contractions that felt like my uterus was going to rip in half. I've never been so scared and excited and irritated in my whole life. We made it to the hospital in plenty of time, as I was only 1 centimeter dilated (that's it!), yet contractions were about 2 minutes apart and mothereffing intense. I asked for an epidural right away and no one argued with me. As the nurses helped me into a hospital bed my water broke and we immediately knew we'd be meeting you that day. It was about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th and our lives were about to change forever.
We spent the next 10 hours waiting for you. I slept on and off, while your dad was engrossed in some show on the iPad (Game of Thrones, I think). Occasionally I'd wake up to have a popsicle or get checked out, but all I really wanted to do was sleep. I think my body knew what was coming and tried to get me as much rest as possible. Things proceeded pretty quickly and I was at 8 centimeters before I knew it. We thought you'd be here within the hour, but you had other plans. You flipped on us and stopped progressing.
For the next five hours you made zero progress while my contractions and pain got more and more intense. Finally, after 18 hours of labor, I developed a fever and you gave signs of distress, so we made our way to the operating room for a c-section. I was drugged up, your dad was suited up and the curtain went up. My OB asked your dad whether he was squeamish about seeing blood, to which he made some smart-ass reply about gutting a deer. I was mortified and made a mental note to be mad at him about that later.
Luckily I felt very little pain during the operation. Your dad was fascinated by what was going on and gave me the play-by-play of the whole procedure, including a description of my ovaries and commentary about my organs, which made me want to puke. I had a hard time staying awake and had to force myself to be in the moment and take it all in. Finally, with one big tug, I felt instant relief and you were brought into the world...perfect and crying. Your dad kept saying, "he's beautiful, he's perfect" over and over and all I wanted to do was get my hands on you. The next few minutes were some of the hardest of my life as I waited and waited to see you and hold you. Your dad held your hand as they cleaned you up, measured you and he cut the umbilical cord. I could barely see you and I sobbed while the anethesiologist brushed my hair and wiped the tears away. Finally he brought you over to me all bundled up and bright-eyed and I thought you were the most amazing, beautiful, perfect baby that had ever been born. You scored 9s on all your Apgar tests and I was prouder than I'd been of anything in my life.
In that moment, everything changed. The center of my entire universe shifted over to the tiny wiggly bundle of baby boy waiting for me to show him the world. You were different than I expected, but you also looked so familiar to me. Even after just seeing you for a second, I think I could have picked you out of a line-up of a hundred babies. My first words to you were, "Hi baby. I'm your mama. I know you." And I did.
I'd been waiting for you for so long. Praying for you. Longing for you to be in my arms. I'd never laid eyes on you, but I knew you inside and out. And all of a sudden, there you were, looking up at me with these amazing big dark eyes. Eyes that looked just like your dad's and seemed to hold the secrets of the universe. You had the longest legs and the biggest feet and I knew them immediately as the ones that spent the last 5 months kicking my ribs. Man, how I love those feet.
Before I knew it, it was just the three of us, alone in a room as a new family. I don't think any of us slept that night. Your dad and I spent hours just staring at you, marveling at how gorgeous you were and that we couldn't believe you were ours. I'm not sure if the words "Oh my God, we have a baby" have ever been uttered more frequently. You made the most incredible noises and we soaked up every one. Every time you looked at us and we melted. You wrapped your tiny hands around our fingers and our hearts nearly exploded. You yawned and we gasped. Your very first yawn - it was perfection. We were smitten.
And so the love affair began. Two years later and we're still so hopelessly infatuated with you it's pathetic. Your long legs have gotten longer. Your dark eyes have gotten darker. Your hair turned blonde and smile grew big and bright. Every day we still marvel over how amazing you are and how lucky we are to be your parents. Your incredible feats have turned from coos and yawns to hitting a golf ball and reciting the alphabet. Not a day goes by that we don't feel like we won the baby lottery with you. Worth the wait doesn't even begin to accurately describe the feeling.
At two years old, you are a happy, precocious, active, curious, silly, serious, intelligent, sensitive and wild toddler. You are everything a boy should be and then some. You're always covered in dirt or maple syrup, have skinned knees and facial injuries, teeter between happy as a clam and pissed the eff off because you're not getting your way. You are defiant and spirited, sometimes convinced we exist to put to stop to all your fun. But you forgive quickly and are always generous with hugs, kisses and tickles. The qualities that drive us insane (your persistence, determination and stubbornness) are all going to be ones that will serve you well in the future. You run us absolutely ragged and we wouldn't want it any other way. You've got everyone that meets you wrapped around your finger - you're a handsome charmer, just like your daddy. But so much of your personality is mine - you're observant, crafty and bossy, just like your mama. You are smarter than your dad and I combined, which drives us insane and scares us to death. You are going to be trouble with a capital T, mister. I just know it.
You truly are the light of our lives. You make us laugh and bring so much joy into our lives. We are both curious (and slightly scared) to see how adding a baby to the family is going to change things for you. We know it might be hard for you at first, but we really do think that it's for the best. You're a spoiled brat right now (I mean that in the best possible way), so learning some patience and how to share will be very good for you. You're so wild and active, she's going to spend her whole life trying to keep up with you. I can't wait to watch the two of you grow up together. I think you might even like your little sister someday...you know, 20 or 30 years from now. You're welcome, in advance.
So, little man. On your second birthday...I just want to thank you for...well, everything. For making me a mother. For letting me love your dad in a whole new way. For bringing so much laughter and frustration into our lives. For keeping us young and adventurous. For letting me kiss your boo boos and be a superhero in your eyes. For being forgiving and loving us unconditionally. For challenging us daily. For teaching us how to be patient and strong. For letting us be vulnerable. For showing us the true meaning of love and loyalty. For giving us the opportunity to show you the world. For being YOU.
So happy birthday, baby Mac. I hope you have the happiest of days. You can expect lots of big presents and pink cupcakes today. Stay awesome, little man. Hot diggity dog.
*All photos taken by Caroline at A Better Story Photography