One year ago right this minute (2:13 p.m.) I was in the depths of a labor that came on fast and intense. I had spent the morning with my mom (your grandma) shopping and killing time and trying to ignore the radiating barb of tension across my lower back. I would stop every once in awhile to sway my hips side to side, holding the shopping cart where your big sister sat, grandma looking on in a knowing way. By this time of day, I was home, body leaning over a yoga ball one minute, and lying on my side tapping my foot rapidly the next. I had admitted that I was in need of our midwives, calling them and passing the phone to grandma when giving directions got too rough. I knew you would be here, but I thought perhaps you were hours away from your earthly debut.
You were not. Like everything with you, Rohan, you made your entrance into the world a great big keep-mama-on-her-toes surprise. Before I knew it, you were letting my body know it was time to push, and push I did....but you were not going to make this too easy on me. Instead of a smooth-as-butter birth to follow the fast and consuming ride of labor, you took your time and really made your Mama work. But like everything else in your life, that test of my fortitude and strength was just a primer for me; a little something to make the reward of meeting your sweet face all the more special.
And OH! what a moment. I remember that contractions were difficult to manage sometimes, but the memory of them has dulled around the edges over time. I recall telling my Midwives that pushing did not, indeed, 'feel better' like everyone promised it might, but that sensation is a funny story, not a physical memory now. But I won't ever, never, so long as I live, forget the way it felt to have your body slip from mine and feel your skin pressed to me. I won't ever forget knowing you were a boy before I even looked for proof, just as I knew YOU without needing an introduction. And my soul will forever have impressed upon it the sweet perfect scent of your skin.
You have not always been an easy baby, it's true. From not knowing why you were fussy to your Mastocytosis diagnosis (and, for a few weeks thereafter the silent wish I never said aloud that we could take back that diagnosis and just make you a 'fussy baby') you kept me bouncing on a yoga ball and patting your back and shushing you. And I worried sometimes that you would be THAT kid who no one wanted to hold or kiss or babysit because you could not smile and you could not be calm.
Oh, if I had known the sweet reward you had in store for our patience and love and bouncing and patting and late nights! I would not have believed how amazingly happy and funny and loving you were beneath it all. And now I know that while you've got that fire I love to see in my children, underneath it you are a baby who is all hands and kisses and cuddles and smiles. And that smile? THAT is a smile that can stop people in their tracks and make them bend to talk to you and rub their hand across your apple cheeks. You blessed our lives with that smile, and with the sweet person behind it.
We are so, so lucky we have you, Rohan. You never know as a Mom how your heart will open again and let another baby in once you're already had one child. I worried about the what-ifs and the how-will-Is and then what-were-we-thinkings. But it's like you were always a part of our family...and yet it's also like you just found us. Love makes our days blur by in a whirlwind of bathtime and kissed toes, pears and bananas and belly laughs, tears and comfort and hands on my face and rocking and shushing and sweet, blissed out tears. I know now how quickly it all flies by, and I promise you I will always be there for you (even in the middle of the night) and I will always love you and remember the gift you are to this family.
Happy Birthday, Rohan Morrison! I love you more than the moon in the sky!