Dear Matthew on your 1st birthday,
I am sure every mother says this on her baby’s 1st birthday day, but I can’t believe that one year ago I was in the hospital pushing you out of my body. Let me tell you a little about the day you were born.
Actually, let’s back up a little. I thought I had gone into labor on Monday morning; it was a “false alarm”. The fact that I was having contractions and bleeding wasn’t enough for freakin’ Northwestern Memorial Hospital to admit me, but I digress. I think the real reason that they wouldn’t take me on the 12th was that my regular OB wasn’t on call that day and she insisted that I set an appointment to have you induced at 9:30 am Tuesday, Nov. 13, when she was back on duty.
I was so against having you on the 13th. Just didn’t like the number, I thought you would be jinxed for life or something (remember I am half Asian, we think this way). But no, you were a determined little Scorpio from the git go and wanted to make your way into the world on your own terms and so you came naturally, arriving 7 hours before your scheduled inducement. So I resolved that it was meant to be, that you were destined to be born on Nov. 13, and I will be ever grateful for your early arrival at 39 weeks.
Dr. Kleinberg — not my regular OB — delivered you, but that was fine, actually, because he also delivered your big brother.
Though not painless but bearable, the labor was relatively easy (albeit, I felt everything since the epidural didn’t take — pregnancy, labor, delivery — oh good times, I’m tellin’ you). The delivery was quick. I checked in at midnight and out you came into the world at 2:45 am. You were perfect and you were tiny. At 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 21 inches long, you were 1 lb. 1 oz. lighter and 1 inch smaller than your brother. I was so happy to have a true baby to cuddle and hold. You had your dad's chin and you were the spitting image of your grandfather. You’ve since grown and people say that you look more like me now.
The first 8 weeks of your life was rough. I shouldn’t complain really, since you were basically doing what babies do. Well, what colicky babies do. You cried. You cried a lot. Once you got started, there was no stopping you (that determination will serve you well in life!) The only thing that helped was holding and walking you. We walked around and around the house for hours (thank goodness for the Bjorn sling. Thank you, Eric & Di!)
I was home on maternity leave with you and your brother, in the middle of winter. The coldest, snowiest winter I've seen. At home all day with you and your brother, who only has one volume: loud. Your brother would never let you sleep for long because of his nearly 3-year-old rambunctious personality. Your brother thought you hung the moon. He loved to tickle your little head and say "tickle tickle. He's so cute." He really does adore you, of course except when you get into his toys! Between the two of you, mommy didn’t have time to relax on maternity leave. But one day, all of a sudden, it was as if someone flipped a switch — you stopped crying.
We were so happy. Happy to have you and your brother. Our family was now complete. You are such a joy. You have hit all your developmental milestones early. Sitting up and clapping happily by 5-6 months, crawling by 7 ½ months, walking by 10 ½ months. We haven’t had to worry much about you at all, even with all your ear infections. You are now saying "mama," "dada," "ba ba"(bottle) and "tickle tickle." You can wave bye bye and give kisses on demand. You are starting to nest boxes and nod yes. You eat anything I give you and you are a good sleeper, too, (God bless those 11 hour nights!). I didn’t have any problems weaning you at 8 months old. You are a determined, curious and happy. You smile from ear to ear at the drop of a hat showing a mouthful of teeth (at least nine now). And your laugh melts mommy's and daddy's hearts.
We recently spent a weekend with some of your daddy’s friends and they proclaimed you “Happiest Kid On Earth.” You really are. Your smile lights up a room, you’re Mister Personality. Though at times, when you don't get your way, I see a wee little temper. You get that, no doubt, from your Italian daddy. When you're unhappy, you let it be known. Even your brother knows not to mess with you. (Actually, he cries more than you!)
We are gearing up for your 1st birthday party. About 30 people will be at our house to celebrate; all your cousins, grandpa, Nana B, papa Mike, and aunts and uncles. Your Godfather, Uncle Jeff, and Godmother, Aunt T, also will be there. You are a blessed little boy to have so many people celebrating your 1st birthday.
Now-a-days you walk around happily, stopping only when you discover something new (getting into everything) and dancing to the rhythm of life. You're living up to the meaning of your name, Matthew; you're truly a "Gift of God." We are going to miss our little baby but can't wait to discover the toddler delights that lay ahead for us all.
We love you, little one. Happy Birthday!
Mommy & Daddy (and Dylan, but only if you don't touch his toys!)