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1 month.

September 17, 2010

Dear Judah,

Today you have reached a milestone.  Your parents managed to keep you alive for 4 whole weeks.  Something they just weren’t sure they were capable of doing.  And yet here we are.  At this moment you are sitting in front of me watching me type and deciding if you really want to keep that pacifier in your mouth, or if you’d rather just spit it out and scream at me for not rocking you to sleep.  My intention is to write you a letter every month for the first year of your life and then give you a full documentation of your early life in our household.  Be not afraid.  Some of the things I will tell you in these letters may be borderline inappropriate.  Such is life.  Especially in this family.

Since this is your first letter, I feel it appropriate to tell your birth story.  By the time you actually read this, I hope you are old enough to appreciate it and not be totally grossed out.  Although I will admit there were moments that I myself was grossed out and a bit overwhelmed by the mere biology of being pregnant and giving birth.  For instance, the first three months of being pregnant with you I felt as if I had the swine flu.  The next three months I felt like an Iron Man.  The last three months however, well those three months I was a beached whale during the hottest three months in St. Louis history.  Seriously.  I gained 45 lbs of pure human being and water during record breaking heat in one of the most humid states of America.  I’m not gonna sugar coat that for you baby….it wasn’t fun.  My ankles looked like honey baked hams.  And because I was so miserable, you decided it unnecessary to come any sooner than 18 hours before your due date.  And you haven’t cut me any breaks since.

On the morning of August 20, 2010 almost immediately after midnight, I felt my very first contraction.  It woke me up out of a light sleep.  Mostly because it was a blinding pain straight in the middle of my lower back.  And 7 minutes later, there it was again.  And 6 minutes later.  And 5 minutes later.  And a few hours later, we were in the hospital in the middle of really fast, really painful labor.  Now I consider myself someone who has a high tolerance for pain (hence why I married your father), so much so that my plan was to avoid as much of the pain meds that I could.  However, by the time I arrived at the hospital I was begging the anesthesiologist to move swiftly as I was certainly going to die on the table if he didn’t manage to heal me before the next contraction began.  I even dared him to make it the quickest epidural he ever administered.  “Make this one for the record books doc”. And he did.

After I basked in the joy of heavy drugs for a few hours, we got started on getting you out before the numbing effects began to wear.  You didn’t hesitate to find your way into this world.  A few pushes and deep breathes later, you were ready to introduce yourself.  And here is where the story takes a turn.  Your birth was so memorable for us because of it’s unexpected ease.  So much so that we didn’t even need that last push.  We had the great luck to have a resident OB with a fierce sense of humor.  She tells a funny story about amniotic fluid, I give a few belly laughs, next thing we know….BAM you were out.  They barely had time to catch you. Your dad loves to tell that story.  It’s so representative of this family.  And the more I think about that moment, the more I pray we always find a way to laugh through every scary and hard situation we encounter together.  When we think we can’t face the painful outcome, when we aren’t sure how it will end, we’ll find a way to laugh together.  That’s how you and I got our start….I pray that’s how we communicate for the rest of our lives.  Minus the slime and stitches.

It was a crazy moment son.  I had imagined it a million times in my mind.  I always saw myself crying and reaching for you while the rest of the room fell silent in awe and reverence.  Instead we went from laughing, to shock, to WHOA THERE IS A HUGE BABY ON MY CHEST!  I didn’t cry and the room wasn’t silent.  The only thing I remember is suddenly missing you being a part of me.  I instantly wanted the nurse to leave and never come back because I knew when she came for you, I’d have to hand you off.  I no longer could claim you as my own.  You now belonged only to God and come what may.  From that point on I couldn’t control anything that happened to you.  You were officially the first thing on my brain for the rest of my life instead of only a kick in my belly or a nuisance to my wardrobe.  You were a segregate part of me and your dad, totally innocent yet totally vulnerable and totally perfect.  It’s a moment I’ll never forget.  It changed me forever.  It made me a mom.  Your mom.  The single best thing I’ve ever been.

Poor you though.  Somehow between the cord being wrapped around your neck and the super quick birth, your face got really beat up.  It was very blue and very swollen and very beautiful.  It wasn’t until a few days later when the swelling went down and photos from that day were processed that we realized how scary you looked.  Kind of like a teeny tiny zombie. But still cute.  You had visitors night and day for the duration of our stay in the hospital.  Even when we got home, you had at least one visitor a day for nearly 3 weeks.  Lots of love for you bud.  People were lined up around our apartment complex just trying to get a glimpse of your little blue face.  And even though it’s not blue anymore, now you’ve got a massive case of baby acne and an affinity for clawing your own skin off in your sleep.  And because I know that by the time you read this, you’ll have a sick sense of humor just like me, I will say this….between the blue, swollen, pimpled and scratched up skin, you have so far had a face only a mother could love.  I say that because I know soon and very soon you will be the cutest most stylish boy on the block.  You have your daddy’s dimples and dirty blond hair.  You have my toes, which I apologize for now, but also my blue eyes.  So if everything goes well, you’ll get the best of both of us.  Or maybe even better.  If that can even be possible.

This week we have begun sleep training you.  Which is proving to be rather emotional for me.  In fact yesterday, while home alone, I placed you in your crib for a nap knowing you would be less than amused, and quickly jumped in the shower to keep myself from picking you up the moment you began to cry.  Of course I have no idea if I used conditioner or soap in the course of that shower as I was incredibly distracted by the cries of my only, very new son lying helplessly alone in his room.  Now I only do that when your dad is home to be in charge of deciding when you have cried enough to justify sweeping in and rescuing you.  I’m not tough enough yet.  Although I bet by the time you read this you will be able to testify to just how tough I can be.  Although for that I cannot apologize.  I have so much I want to teach you.  So much I want you to know that I never did.  Like for example, comedic timing and appropriate social skills.  Everything else is up to your dad to teach you.

So today marks 4 weeks of having you in our home.  It’s been a strange time for us all.  You because you’re seeing the world for the very first time.  Me because I have no idea what I’m doing and fear every single day that I’m on the verge of breaking you.  And your dad because he’s hopelessly addicted to video games while also hopelessly in love with you and finds himself torn between the two until very early hours of the morning.

And that’s all I can really tell you about what life has been like so far.  I don’t get the opportunity to ingest many calories or partake in many hours of consecutive sleep so there is a strong chance none of this makes any sense. So let me just wrap this all up by telling you how much we love you.  You are so much more than we bargained for and a blessing we couldn’t have even expected to receive.  If God would have given us the opportunity to design you ourselves we couldn’t have done a better job.  You have been weaved together by a God that obviously loves you and us very much.  I pray you hold that truth in your heart for the rest of your life.

Until next time.  All the love in heaven and earth.

-Your Sassy Momma.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. juliette permalink
    September 17, 2010 5:49 pm

    i just freakin love you.
    this makes me want to have a baby. 🙂
    we’re gonna come see y’all next week.

    • September 17, 2010 6:42 pm

      That works for us 🙂 Can’t wait for you to meet him. He’s grouchy and tough….just like his momma. You’ll love him!

  2. Jeff your Uncle permalink
    September 19, 2010 4:58 pm

    Man that was a beautiful letter. You are good mommy material!

  3. jen permalink
    September 20, 2010 7:56 am

    Awesome laura. I love this letter and your honesty and miss being around your humor everyday… Judah is super lucky with a saSsy momma like you. Love you, and I think his face, swollen and blue, was adorable from the get go!!

  4. Nicole Sneed permalink
    October 11, 2010 10:12 am

    I’m reading this at work, trying really hard not to start bawling at my desk (must be those tricky pregnancy hormones). No, really, as I’ve told you before, you have an amazing way with words. And you inspire me to do somthing like this for my own little man once he makes his appearance…unfortunately, I’m not real great with sticking to things once I start them, so he may only get one letter. lol But I hope I make it a really good letter, like you did. 🙂 Keep up the good work, momma!

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