Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Year

Maybe I'm a late bloomer. But I never really understood all those women who said they fell in love with their baby the first moment they locked eyes.

Until I met this little man, that is.

 To be fair, I definitely knew what it was to love a son. Jack had opened up my heart to measurements I didn't know possible. Yet it didn't happen right away. I secretly felt like a failure as a woman after Jack's birth; the military hospital where I delivered him made sure of that.

Until I met with my doula Cara in my 2nd trimester with Jude, I had never really told anyone my first birth story. And thanks to her gentle "Um, Crystal, has it ever occured to you...." pointing out of the obvious, I realized that maybe my traumatic birth experience hampered my early bonding with Jack.

As I confessed to Cara that day in the coffeeshop, I had been terrified to get pregnant with a 2nd. Planned on not having any more after Jack, actually. But as time went on, I felt like God was telling me to trust him. So I did, and on the first Wednesday in December last year, I gave birth to Jude Andrew.
Jude's birth was so healing for me. I was NOT a failure as a woman. I was NOT a failure as a mom. I COULD give birth on my own, without a doctor and nurses not listening to my screams and pleadings for help. I COULD trust my body and my instincts. I also, it turns out, was capable of giving birth in an actual room, as opposed to a broom closet. (Jack's birth story was quite a doozy, I'm telling ya). 
I honestly don't know if our family is complete. Maybe we'll have more, maybe we won't. But today, as I look back on this last year, I see GOD'S FAITHFULNESS stamped all over our days and months; I see growth and laughter, tears of frustration, doubt in myself, milestones reached and shared experiences. I feel overwhelming love for my awesome husband. I am daily amazed by the emerging, morphing personality that is Jack. I am in awe of the butterball of Jude and how fast he can walk across a room. (Fat just shouldn't be able to locomote that quickly, in my scientific opinion).

I am breathing in thanks for Jude, breathing out kisses and praises for who he is.

Happy birthday, son.