A year ago today a new soul was born into this world.
Regretfully we were not there to witness the event, but we do know some facts: Labor was induced, a c-section scheduled, and our little baby born at 11:16am. He weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces, a good size that garnered the nickname Biggums from his first mother and her partner. He was 21 inches and had high apgar scores, 8 and 9. He also showed off a healthy set of lungs!
We don't know too much about those first couple of days, just a snippet here or there. A note on his paperwork saying that he ate an ounce or two of formula every 3-4 hours. A mention of haughty nurses making it hard for the agency social worker to visit and cuddle him.
We know that he was transported to respite care at 2 days old, which is when he started to receive milk from me albeit in frozen-then-thawed form. He slept odd patterns, cuddled frequently, and ate whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.
None of that changed when he came home :)
In nine days we'll be celebrating One Year since he joined our family, but today we celebrate One Year of life. A year ago today he was born into this world, a world full of love and hate, despair and poverty, and riches untold. A world full of hopelessness but also of hope, of potential, of brilliance.
He was not born a blank slate. He had, and has, the blood of his first family, and his ancestors, pumping through his veins. As he grows we'll see even more of them in him, in his preferences, his tastes, his mannerisms. He spent 9 months listening to the same heart, the same voice, the same laughter. And it is with sorrow that we acknowledge that a year ago today he suffered his first, and perhaps greatest, loss when he was forever separated from the woman who loved him, carried him, created him.
It is with joy, though, that we celebrate this past year.
And what a year it's been!
At nine days old, the day we met him. A small, helpless little lump of a person, cuddling in for warmth.
At 2 weeks old, meeting his uncle Alex for the first time. One of his middle names is Alexander, after said uncle :)
He was still so little, so floppy, so teensy. This outfit here? I had picked it out months beforehand and held on to it. It was his first church outfit. I nearly cried when I was finally able to dress him in it and take him to church. There was just something about finally being able to use the clothes I'd so carefully and hopefully picked out for him...
One month old. He was on the floor a lot, building his muscles. He could lift his head a bit, and flip randomly from tummy to back. He already loved his big brother and would turn to the sound of his voice. And, Oh!, big brother loved him right back!
Two months old and we're visiting Daddy's old high school, NCSSM, and listening to a professor read off The Grinch. We spend the month celebrating Christmas, going to events, shopping, visiting family. Oh, we have so, so much to celebrate this year! Ambrose sleeps through a lot of it.
January 5th. Three months and 1 day old. This was Big Brother's first day of preschool. Ambrose spent about an hour with Gambi in her office down the road so I could be there for P if he needed me. We bundled him up so much! He first smiled at 26 days old, but he rarely would do it for the camera. He also wasn't keen on not being held so a picture like this had to be taken quickly!
Four months old and teething has been going on for a couple weeks! The drool is incessant and everything is going in the mouth, especially the nice cold rings on the Maya Wrap. We finally had him diagnosed with reflux and began the process of trying to treat it. We never did find the best way to do so but at this point it's not much of an issue, thank goodness!
Five months old! We started solids early, half due to his eagerness and half due to my own. He loved apple sauce and mashed banana. Avocado? Not so much! We had to mash it with apples or banana for a few weeks before he would start to take this Super Baby Food. I always sat him in the Bumbo for feeding. No high chair for him! He was usually super excited about it too :) Best part of his day!
Six months old and his world is opening up. He's still not sitting by himself or crawling, but he's reaching and he's playing and he's mimicking sounds and he's getting into everything within reach. He's a happy baby, if somewhat clingy, and he's enjoying his surroundings. He has teeth now and he's using them frequently, especially on me!
Seven months and finally sitting on his own, seemingly out of nowhere. He had no muscles one day then a few days later he has perfect balance and all the muscle he needs! He's happy and squeally and interacting with everything. He LOVES water and is perfectly content to sit and play by himself so long as he's getting good and wet!
Eight months and starting to army crawl. He's spending a lot of time on the floor playing with toys. He can make his way around a room now, pretty slowly though. He's more worried about investigating and discovering a space in its entirety than he is about getting someplace fast or efficiently. He's finally having fun at places like the children's museum and not just hanging in a sling the whole time.
Nine months and just a few weeks away from cruising and straight crawling. He's all over the rooms now, stealing Paxton's toys, eating whatever he finds, and getting stronger by the day. He's also finally hit a nice growth spurt. He'd gone from relatively big to relatively small and was now back up to the big side of things, finally growing out of all his 3-6 month clothes!
Ten months and really taking off! Regular crawling has now dominated the "broken knee crawl," though we'll still see that a few more times in the weeks to come. He's pulling up on everything and really enjoys making a mess. He's so vocal! Loves to scream right in Paxton's face :)
Eleven months and he's into EVERYTHING!!!! He crawls fast, cruises on furniture and walls, climbs stairs, throws, unravels, eats, breaks, tears, and makes a huge mess all around him. He's a little terror alright :) He's also starting to sleep through the night (well, mostly) in his own bed in his own room. He's wearing 12-18m clothing and has nice long legs, though his cheeks are just as pudgy as ever. He's become super picky about food and is back to nursing almost exclusively for a bit.
Today. 12 months old on the dot. He's happy and interactive, preferring to spend most of his time out of my arms and on the floor playing, discovering, interacting, learning. He loves toys. He loves people. He's most comfortable with older kids and strongly prefers his brother to just about any company out there. He's so smiley, so giggly, so happy and sooooo super cuddly! He'll just wrap his arms tight around your neck and nuzzle in, happy as a clam. Such a sweet bean!
Alright, this has taken me awhile to write, far longer than it should, but picture uploads can do that! He's awake from his nap and needs a bit of tending to. And I suppose I should start on lunch or clean up a bit or maaaaybe wrap a special present for a special birthday boy :) I swear, the best part of shopping for one so little is that you can have them help you pick out their own toys, wrap the toys, then it's a surprise all over again when they unwrap and discover their "new" toy!
I suppose I should go rescue him from the trampoline now... I swear, he keeps climbing up there but can't climb down and you'd think he'd figure it out. But oh, how he loves Big Brother's toys!!!
(and soon, oh so soon, he'll be really big enough to play on them...)
Captain Ben's Birthday
9 months ago