You're 1. Just writing those words makes me at once immensely proud to be your mom and extremely emotional because I cannot believe you are growing up so fast. It literally feels like mere days ago you were born. In fact, as I write this to you, I think back to this exact time last year (10:34 p.m.), and what was happening for me. I was in labor, and had been for a whole long day. Your Dad and I had been in the hospital for 6 1/2 hours, and we'd finally called our family (your Grandma Eileen, Grandma Cyndy, Grandpa Rick, Uncle Robert and Aunt Jaimi, and Uncle Brandon and his girlfriend Aunt Sydni) to invite them to come down. I know some people might not understand our decision to not invite them down sooner, but we knew this was the MOST special of times for us, and your Daddy and I wanted it to be our family...our little, lovely family, alone together when you were born. So he was with me the whole time I labored, and at the very end, our family - YOUR family - came to be there and welcome you into our world. Not everyone could come, of course. Aunt Ann, who adores you SO much, was in California. Uncle Jim and Uncle Aaron both had to work. And Grandpa Ed, my Dad, wasn't able to come. But they were all there in spirit, and they couldn't wait to meet you!
My labor had started over 24 hours before. It was Cinco de Mayo, and there was a boxing match: De La Hoya vs Mayweather. We went to Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz's house to watch it and be with family. They ordered pizza and the fight on pay per view. I didn't eat much...I didn't feel like eating, and in the back of my mind I thought you might be coming soon. We settled in to watch the fight, and at about 9 p.m. I remember feeling some cramps, and thinking it was probably the pizza talking. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to get everyone excited if this wasn't 'it', but when Daddy and I left that night, we rolled down the car windows and I confessed to him I thought you were on your way. We laughed the whole way home, and then sat in silence in the garage for a few minutes...absorbing the quiet world around us which was soon to be forever changed. Finally, we got out of the car and went inside, and Daddy started timing my contractions. Except...they couldn't be timed yet, so he decided we should go to bed and try to rest. Only, that was NOT happening for me. I couldn't sleep, thinking of you and what was to come, so I decided to take a bath and give myself a good pedicure. I stayed in the tub until the water was no longer hot, then got into some comfy clothes and came down to lay on the couch. I slept off and on between contractions, and was up at 6 a.m. I went up the stairs, woke your Daddy, and he told me to call the Midwife. I called, but she was sure it was not yet time to go to the hospital because I was too calm. So we spent the rest of the day bouncing on the yoga ball and talking and trying to stay relaxed. We finally went to the hospital around 3 p.m., and they had me walk around to help labor progress. We called our moms and let them know we would call when it was ok for them to come down.
Hours later, there we were, looking at our family and knowing you were about to come into our world. Janice (the wonderful midwife who delivered you) came in and said it was time, so everyone else left, and it was just us (ok, really there were nurses there too, but it felt like just us to me). It took just over an hour for you to come into this world, and at 12:10 a.m. when Janice lifted you onto my chest, I couldn't find words to express how I felt. I was in shock, and I remember saying, "I did that." I've never done anything more perfect than having you.
Luca, you are everything a mom could ask for and more. Everywhere we go, people comment on your beauty. And you are a beautiful baby girl. Your eyes get the most compliments, because they are so large and expressive and your lashes are so long. And, because those eyes are so aware, so in tune. You have always been awake to the world around you, and those eyes are wiser and more alert than people expect in a baby so young. People also comment on how small you are, my little sprout. And when you were newly born, it made me sad and scared and worried and insecure to hear those comments. I feared I'd done something - was doing something - wrong and your size was a sign of that. But as you grow, you stay our little woodland fairy, and I know it's just how the universe made you. You are beautiful the way you were made, and I hope you remember that as you get older. I hope you never forget.
More than being beautiful though, I hope you grow up to be smart and kind and funny. How I hope for you to be funny! I hope you see the world as your playground and as your responsibility. I hope you care about others and always remember to be kind, most of all to the people you love. I know that's a lot to ask of a little baby, but you have time to learn those things. And what I see of you tells me I need not worry: you will be all these things and so much more than I can imagine. You are my heart outside my body, Luca. Your Daddy and I love you more than we knew possible, and we always knew we'd love you more than time and space itself. Sometimes it feels like there's not enough room in the world for the love we feel for you...like it will come and steal the air from the room. There are moments of pure beauty, moments when you reach out to touch my face or unexpectedly trace your tiny fingers over the back of hand. In those moments I think I created something that is perfect, and I can't imagine my life getting any more full or complete.
This past year has been the best time of our lives. You were born, and we realized you were the thing that we were missing in our lives. Your Daddy and I love each other very much, and we know we are so lucky to have each other and to have you. And, about your Daddy? He adores you and loves you and protects you like no Daddy I've ever known. I don't think he even knew how much capacity for love he had, until the first moment he held you in his arms. You are the mini female version of him, and everyone says so all the time, and he just swells with pride. And why wouldn't he? You have helped make his life just that much more rich and complete.
You're 1, and I cannot believe it. This year has been so magical for us. People always say having a baby is hard work, and so sometimes I wonder if we just got off easy this time around. You have your moments, for sure, where I feel like it's more work than anything else. But those moments are rare, and eclipsed entirely by the hours and days of joy and love and happiness you bring to us, to our family. I feel lucky to be your mom, blessed to be married to your Daddy, and surrounded by the love of so many people.
Your birthday party was on Sunday. You'll never remember it, but one day you'll look back at the pictures. What will you see? Your Mommy and Daddy helping you open gifts. Your Great Grandma holding you on her lap. Your uncles helping ensure that you REALLY smash your ladybug cake. People and candy and gifts and cake. I see those things, but I also see our little community of people who love you more than words can say. You are lucky Luca, and we are as well, because we have so very many people rooting for us and supporting us. You make so many people happy, Luca. That may be the best gift of all.
I don't know what I ever did to get so lucky. But I am thankful every day that you're mine...you're ours.
Happy Birthday, Little One! Thank you for being my little sprout!
Love, Your Mommy!