Wednesday 22 February 2006

my #1 son

One year ago today, I sat in my hospital bed in a glamorous backless gown, nervously chatting to the midwives before they wheeled me into theatre. Music played softly in the background (unfortunately, the only song I can remember hearing was Natasha Bedingfield) while everyone prepared for my surgery. One of the anaesthetists kept making pleasant small talk with me while very large needles were being inserted in the back of my hand and my spine. Paul held my hand and told me that he loved me, but I was too nervous to speak. She took one last "bump photo" for us and made sure that everything below my chest my numb. I was told that it would feel like someone was doing the washing up inside me, but I barely felt anything. Someone announced that the baby was about to be born, which was followed by the sight of a small red bum and the glorious sound of our baby crying his lungs out. Jack was whisked out of my view while his daddy snapped several pictures, then a tiny bundle of angry red baby was presented to me in a scratchy NHS towel. I cried so much that I couldn't see through my glasses as I gently stroked Jack's wrinkled face. I don't know how long it took them to sew me back up again; I was too distracted by this new life being held up to me. I was wheeled back to the recovery room where I nursed Jack for the first time and we finally had a much cherished quiet moment alone with our son. It snowed that day - "How fitting for a half Canadian", I said.

Today, the tiny fragile newborn is now a rambunctious toddler. He loves to get hold of everything and take it apart, he climbs on any object he can, is transfixed by electronic equipment (especially with buttons), sings along to music, walks - or perhaps "staggers" is a more apt description, giggles hysterically when you blow raspberries on his tummy, enjoys playing with trains and cars, and when he uses his walker, he stomps around the house with a look of determination and great purpose. The year has gone by so quickly, but I've loved watching our baby grow into a beautiful boy with a personality of his own.

Happy first birthday, Jack-Jack. I cannot remember what life was like before you, and I cannot imagine life without you. I love you more than I ever dreamed possible.

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