The snow has gone and come, the flowers that bloomed are sleeping again, the rivers that once flowed are crusted in ice, and it has been an entire year since you were born. Happy birthday, sweet one!
I love you. Oh, how I love you!
I’m not rich in words on this momentous occasion, and there are things about my joy at your first birthday I could never explain. When you’re a mama, maybe then you’ll understand. But perhaps never, because I know infertility’s itinerary carved the path and depth for these emotions, and I hope you never have to ache for a baby you think might never come. You were longed for, prayed for, and loved long before you ever existed. The joy I know when I remember this journey and its outcome is profound. It has changed me. You have changed me.
You are a glorious baby – such a happy little soul! We never seemed to crack the code on your sleep cycles (your naps are erratic and you still don’t sleep through the night), but unlike your brother, you are basically happy all day long. You smile and laugh and play and experiment and generally seem to enjoy life. I was not happy while I was pregnant with you; I was dominated by terror, all the way down to my bones. I worried my fragile emotional state would affect my body such that you’d be tormented and unhappy once you got here. But you’re not. You ooze pure joy, something in you I’m grateful for every day.
Another thing you are is a skilled mimic. You copy everything! We didn’t pick up on it immediately, but in retrospect I can see that you mimicked us very early, especially our noises. You loved to make clicking noises, and as you’ve gotten older you mimic our words, sounds, and coughs. You’re quite hilarious, and you know it, too, especially when you cough! We gradually realized a few of the things we thought were mimics were actually words. ”Gabe” was your first word, and “boom!” soon followed when we dropped things on the floor. You also seem to say “no” and “yeah,” and on Friday I swear you said “tickle!” Not sure on that one – we’ll have to try it again another day. You also copy us when we’re sternly telling Gabe, “Stop!” It’s really funny!
You generally know what you want, and most of the time we can boil that down to two things – you either want food or you want me. As far as food goes, you’ll eat basically anything, with fruits and yogurt melts your favorites. Where people are concerned, I’m far and away your preferred caretaker. Daddy comes second, and if he’s not around you’ll take Grandma and sometimes Grandpa. You have a very clear hierarchy where this is concerned, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice and love that I’m your (current) favorite. We’ll see how long that lasts!
Little facts about you…
- you eat 3 meals a day and eat basically anything we offer except broccoli
- you wear size 3 diapers
- you wear mostly 12-18 month clothing; we can size up or down somewhat, but you’re basically at 12-18
- you love to hide your face and play “Peek”
- you got your first two teeth (uppers – maybe lateral incisors or canines) on the 8th of January
- you pull up on furniture and cruise around it
- you raise your hands when we sing, which amuses us since you haven’t been around that type of thing very often
- you can stand by yourself but you usually don’t risk it
- you’d rather play with Gabe’s toys than your own, especially if they’re LEGOs
- you’d love to type on the computer if we’d let you
- you love pen and paper
- when you’re done with your food you start throwing it on the floor
- you copy us when we cough or sneeze
- I’ll get your height and weight stats in a week or so and will update here, but you’re around 24.5 pounds, which is (I think) around the 95th percentile
- if we ask you to, you’ll kiss your baby dolls
- you seem to be developing a small affinity for the rainbow blanket I knit for you; otherwise, you have no lovies
- you “answer” to Isla, Isley, and Ellie
- you’ve only been sick once – a cold
- you nurse 4-7 times a day, depending on how many times you wake up at night
- you love Gabe so much; you positively light up when we pick him up from school each afternoon
- sometimes you get upset when Daddy and Gabe are wrestling; they scream and holler (in fun) and you don’t like it
Isla, until the very moment I pulled you from my body and onto my chest I didn’t believe you’d actually be here – be born safely. The privilege of having that dream come true – and having it come true in such a sweet-natured, precious daughter – is something I want you to know all the way down to your bones.
You are exquisite.
Your life matters.
You are loved.
Those truths will never, ever change.
All my love,