365 days later.
This post will have no witty remarks, no moral story, no epiphanies spurred on by mac and cheese. It's simply going to serve as an attempt to start the flow of tears now...so that perhaps, by the time I wake my one year old up tomorrow, the well will have run dry and I can go about my day like a normal person.
But it won't, because my son is turning one.
One whole year! We made it! They say the first birthday is really for the parents. I mean, I can't argue with that. He doesn't understand what's going on. He doesn't know he's made his first trip around the sun. I, on the other hand...I know. I know because I spent way too long dipping donut holes into melted chocolate last night for his party. I spent a few too many hours puff painting a banner to hang on his highchair. I spent a lot of time doing things I said I wouldn't do...because planning a first birthday is much more of a celebration that we made it through our first year than anything else.
A year ago tonight, Donald and I went to our last movie (Sully...and it was awful) and I gorged myself on Torchy's Tacos. The beauty of a planned c-section meant we knew when our last night of freedom was going to be, and we made it count. I don't remember talking much. We asked each other what we were most excited about. And what we were most scared about. We wrote Carter a letter together that we stored in his babybook, kissed each other goodnight, and rolled over to sleep. And I think I actually slept.
We woke up and got ready to be at the hospital by 7. As Donald went to pull our fresh new minivan from the garage, he heard a crack. After a little investigation, concluded that the loads of camping and Christmas shit we had stored in our rafters was causing a concerning bow in the wood...and unless we wanted to come home to a collapsed garage, we best remove said camping and Christmas shit from the rafters before we go have a baby. So, here we are - overly pregnant Liz and nervous-as-hell Donald flinging an 8 foot Christmas tree from a ladder. Fun times. Not exactly how I envisioned our last moments as a family of two.**
We arrived at UCHealth fashionably late and did all the things you have to do to prepare for major surgery. Parts of it were a blur, and other parts I remember quite vividly. I remember Donald asking, with a very straight face, if he could wear his "#1 DAD" fanny pack over his scrubs into the OR. I remember her, with a very straight face, saying "absolutely not." I remember the nurse putting socks on my feet so I could walk myself to the OR. I remember not wanting to say goodbye to Donald for the few seconds they separated us and how relieved I was when he walked back into the OR (sans fanny pack). He held my hand, the staff did their thing, and the next thing I knew, a 8lb 6oz baby was placed on my chest.
The other beautiful thing with a planned c-section was that I remember almost everything. There was adrenaline, but not the kind I imagine with a long labor or an emergency surgery. It was eerily calm in the OR. They laid him on my chest wailing while the rest of us joined right in. He wrapped his hand around both me and Donald's fingers and I remember feeling so much relief that he was here. I have never, and will never, experience more relief in my entire life. It's like 9 months of worrying and wondering finally fades and you remember how worth it it all was.
Anywho, enough schmoopin.' I'm writing this because as present as I was in the moment, I know my memories won't always be as vivid. And someday, Carter will read this and be oh, so embarrassed that his mom was a blogger (but maybe a bit impressed...eh? Maybe?)
Carter Beckett, you are my greatest joy. I have experienced some of life's lowest lows and highest highs because of you, and I wouldn't ask for any different. You are a happy, joyful, loud, irrational and incredible little ball of life and there isn't one day I haven't woken up ecstatic to be your mama. You love zucchini bread and your dog brother, and God forbid we remove you from a playground swing before you're ready. You're walking, talking and amazing me more everyday. Tonight, you stood up in the bathtub and peed all over the side of it - shrieking with joy and admiration of this new skill you required. It's moments like that I wouldn't trade for the world. It's moments like that I also wish you hadn't splashed your pee water right in my face.
Your crying mama, Liz
**we later confirmed with an architect that our garage was structurally sound..and we just needed a new garage door opener. That was a fun $800 bill to come home to, along with a newborn.