That means one whole year has passed since those 12 hours of labor and ensuing C-section and waking up from the anesthesia to a brand new baby—and a whole new beautiful life with him. I remember coming to and thinking, in my morphine-engulfed state, "I just had a baby. I had a baby. Somewhere in this hospital is my baby." I asked the kind nurse all about him—how much he weighed, how he looked—and after what seemed like forever my husband stood at the door of the room with a little hospital-blanket-wrapped bundle.
I didn't look like those mommies who are made up and ready for photo ops. I looked completely awful—sweat-soaked hair, glasses, and all. I felt more than out of it from all the medication the surgery necessitated and the surprise C-section and the previous hours of labor. My husband placed him in my arms; I held baby Jack and just stared and him. I had waited to see what no ultrasound could reveal for so long. He was mine.
Fast-forward a year. So much has changed. He's grown tall (as in more than the 95th percentile tall) and has a cute little personality. He giggles and crawls and loves to be tickled. He's all boy, exploring, climbing, and reaching for everything. He splashes in his bath and intently watches Daddy work on home improvement projects. He does other not-so-adorable things, like throwing food off of his high chair tray, and letting out angry little shrieks when he doesn't get that thing he so desperately wants.
To celebrate his big first birthday, we turned our backyard into a little "farm" with a fish pond, hay field, petting zoo, chicken coop, and craft barn (all pretend of course), and invited some folks to join in on the fun. We decked out a farm-and-animal cake (see the instructions), played games, gave out barnyard-themed prizes (everyone wins when you're that small), and served up "cow pies" and "hay stacks" (cookies). The party culminated with the big cake-tasting by Jack himself. Once he figured out the cupcake animal was indeed edible, he ate it. And ate it. He only got a few crumbs on his shirt (we dressed him in it with the thought it would be nearly destroyed) because he was so excited about eating it. He also loved his first taste of ice cream.
One little baby and one short year has changed my world in the biggest—and happiest—ways imaginable.
The food table, with a wheelbarrow holding drinks
A banner of monthly photos
Jack loved his party guests pulling him around in his new wagon.
Playing games: fishing, finding eggs, and sticking the tail on the donkey (or on its stomach, actually)
Discovering how much he loves cake
Our birthday boy, ready for his nap after the big bash