I woke up on Sunday and, at some point between a cup off coffee and Murray telling me what the word of the day was on Sesame Street, I flipped through the calendar in my brain, did a little math and realized that it was the day that my youngest turned 7 months old.
Cue a sharp intake of breath, followed by a slight heart murmur, a big gulp of my lukewarm coffee and then a return to our normally scheduled program.
But, really, seven months had already passed since that day in April when we woke up before the sun had come out, kissed our first born on the head and told him we would see him soon. Seven months since we took that way too familiar five minute drive down 35W north to the hospital, parked in the same ramp and on the same level we had done so many times before and calmly checked into L&D. Calmly.
See, this day had been the planned baby evacuation day for about a month at that point. My doctors won't let me carry to 40 weeks because of my diabetes and, because I had not gone into labor on my own, I needed to have a repeat c-section. I was exactly 38 weeks pregnant and would have done just about anything to have that fat little baby who just loved to dig his butt cheeks in my ribs for hours at a time freed from his uterine prison. I knew what to expect this time around, how I would be prepped for surgery, how bright the OR would be, I sat completely still as the anesthesiologist poked those needles into my back, made small talk and laughed with the seemingly endless amounts of doctors and nurses in the room. J was there, well rested and ready to go, holding my hand and laughing with me. He was able to take so many pictures, something we weren't able to do last time, something that was so important to me that I couldn't even put it into words. Sam calmly came into the world, just as I had when I walked through the doors. As my OB pulled him out of me she said, "Well, he's not as big as I thought he was going to be!" He was perfect and chubby and he had a full head of black hair, just like I had when I was born. I remember smiling until my cheeks hurt, poking his little fat body and staring in wonder at his hair. I did fall asleep for a minute or two during the rest of the surgery, it was like I was in the middle of some twisted full body massage. I was positive and happy and ready for the newest direction my life had taken.
I never let him out of my sight after that. He was with us from the minute I was wheeled into the recovery room until we brought him home with us four days later. I sat for hours in my hospital bed, staring in amazement at just how wonderful this new little man of ours was and how much he looked like me. Stroking his hair, feeling his warm skin and little chest rise and fall against mine. I took all of the pain pills they offered this time around, was up less than 24 hours later and I even managed to take a shower the night after he was born. Sam's time in me, his birth and my post-partum recovery was like night and day compared to his brother. We were now confident in our skills as parents, we knew there was no way to break a baby as long as we weren't trying to do so. We could ride this bicycle again, only 16 months after we first climbed on, with our eyes closed.
And now here we are, already into month seven. Before you know it I will be sharing pictures of Sam with his little dimpled knuckles shoved into a birthday cake, frosting smeared across his beautiful face. I truly cannot remember a time in my life going by as quickly as this time with him has, and I know it will only get faster as the days and seasons and year change.
I hope that I always remember this time. A time when he can sit up on his own, when he grunts and growls for the spoon to reach his mouth faster, when placing him on the floor in one spot means he will be in an entirely new position faster than you can blink your eyes. Two little teeth have come in and he seems to constantly be rubbing his tongue over them. His little chirps have transformed into forceful proclamations in a language only he can understand and the word "Dada" has been uttered more than a few times already. It truly is my favorite time during that first year of life, when the little pinkie mouse of a person becomes a true presence in life.