Baby GHM is ONE today! It’s a little surreal. It was just a year ago that I was holding the youngest human I had ever encountered and really enthusiastically telling Maple that we would sleep in shifts, me for two hours then him for two hours, all night long, so that we could make sure nothing happened to Baby GHM in the first day of her life.
I posted a letter I wrote Baby GHM below, in about ten years, when I actually put together a cohesive baby book for the little one, this letter will go in there.
Today you are one. A year ago today you slipped out of my body like a slippery fish and I held you in my arms for the first time. You didn’t cry when you were born (except for one little squawk right before you hit the water), but immediately just looked around for me and your father and then, when you saw us, you settled right into my arms, in the tub and looked at us like, “There you are.” I didn’t cry when you were born, I was so absorbed in the feeling of you leaving my body, the deep blue of your umbilical cord, the size of the placenta, the impact of your little myopic eyes gazing into mine. Your father sobbed when he first saw you. The first time I ever saw your father cry was when he met you for the very first time and he couldn’t wait to touch your little cheek and tell you that he was so happy to meet you.
I was reading an email that I wrote last year on March 20, 2014 and I was surprised to realize that I wrote that email before I ever met you. You were kicking and turning in my belly but I had no idea who you were. Now I know you and knowing you has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I know you like spicy food, spicier than I can even eat. I know you love sweet food too and can easily con all your Grandparents into feeding you strawberry after strawberry. I know your sweet, sweet smile and that the first tooth you got was your bottom left front tooth (followed closely by your bottom right).
I know that you’re tough and that the moments I am so proud of you are when you fall down and, without crying or looking for attention you roll yourself right back up and pull yourself back to where you were. I know that you’re stubborn, incredibly stubborn, just like your mama. I know you look like your Aunt Meredith when she was a baby, but you have my father’s eyelashes and my big birthmarks.
When you were six months old you started laughing. Your father and I would spend hours on Saturday mornings tickling you and playing peekaboo just to hear you giggle and chortle in glee. You are the first person to get your father to dance without any inhibition, just to watch you wiggle and wave back.
You struggled so much with weight the first few months of your life and, now that I am out of the panic of hormones, sleep-deprived stress and the overwhelming feelings of being a new mother I know now that you were just a slow gainer and that there’s nothing wrong with that. With gaining weight slowly you helped me let go of the ridiculous notion that I could control you. With gaining weight slowly you introduced me to a wonderful network of lactation consultants and doctors that I am still happy to know. With gaining weight slowly you let me be vulnerable and fall into the arms of my wonderful, supportive community that cradles our whole family with a tremendous amount of love. You started out your life in the 1st-3rd percentile for weight and height and you finished out the first year of your life in the exact same percentiles. You are the sweetest, tiniest little pickle and absolutely 100% perfect.
I know that, before I met you I was scared of losing my independence, of losing myself in you. I was worried that I would disconnect from your father and we would become a couple that only talked about our baby. I know now, thanks to you, that love doesn’t shrink like that, it only grows and expands. Every day you teach me about unconditional love and dear one, I am so, so thankful to you for that.
Cheers and Love,
Maple and Me