In case you noticed my absence... I have a good (and super precious) reason for being away for the past 2+ weeks.
And his name is: Joel Ryan...
Born: 03.23.10 ~ 4:55 a.m.
7 lbs. ~ 19 inches
Oh my goodness... where do I even begin?!
Right now, he doses peacefully in his bouncy seat (every baby should come equipped with a bouncy seat, it's seriously that valuable) and I can't believe I'm his mother and he's my son. My boy. We are completely enamored with him. His little smiles (I don't care if you say it's gas, they are still cute!) completely melt me and I can't help but kiss his little legs and his getting-rounder-by-the-day tummy whenever I change him (which is like all the time). My husband and I frequently look at him and look at each other and say, "Can you believe he's here?! Can you believe he's ours?!" I don't know when it is going to sink in that we get to keep him forevers.
I frequently re-live (mentally) the night we had him. It was simply incredible. On Monday (the 22nd) I woke up after a post-lunch nap by an odd pain and I thought, "Was that a contraction?!" Twenty minutes later, the same thing. And as the evening progressed, so did the pains. I found an online contraction tracker and kept tabs on my progress. We watched "24" like we normally do and by then my contractions were anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. And then off to the hospital we went. I got choked up as we set to leave and I grabbed the bag I had packed weeks earlier. And my husband gave me a reassuring hug when the tears burned my eyes. We were going to do this. Together.
I labored for a total of 16 hours. While it was the hardest thing I've ever done, going through it was completely exhilarating. My husband was completely amazing. He stood on his feet, holding my hand, nearly the entire time and I just felt like he was my life-line. Having a child together is just indescribable. The way it changes your relationship from that instance is just so hard to explain. Maybe someday in the near future when I have had more sleep I'll be able to adequately join thoughts and words.
I look at Joel and I can't believe God gave us this miracle. And not just him, but the awesome experience of his birth. Not only is it an amazing boost to me to know that I did it, but having my husband there, observing it all, has kind of made me feel like a total rock star in his eyes. I'll admit, that's a pretty awesome thing! My nurse and doctor were so affirming and the entire experience was such a blessing. And then when it was all said and done, we got to bring this little person home to our little house and our little life. It feels so.... big.
We're learning how to be parents and how to still be "us" even though our home dynamic has changed. It's funny how, when you first get married, you realize how it's not all about you. When we got married, I was amazed how many "little deaths" had to occur in my life. How much selfishness there was to eradicate from both of us. And we had our little newlywed tiffs that everyone laughs about as soon as the first year is behind you and you have figured life out a little more.
And then baby makes three and you realize how it's really, really not about you. If he needs fed, you go hungry. If he needs to be rocked back asleep, you stay awake. If he screams during your favorite TV show, well, you just miss out. And at first you may miss the lazy Sunday afternoons or the ability to shower on a regular basis... but eventually you adjust. You get a little extra sleep and you feel a little less freaked out and a little more adjusted to life plus baby. If you thought being a husband and a wife was amazing, wait until you're a husband and a wife and parents. It's so cool. But that should be expected... God is good like that.
Children are a blessing. A heritage. They don't destroy or mess up a love story. They just make it that much more beautiful...
"I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don't shed a tear
Through the darkness and good times
I knew I'd make it through
And the world thought I had it all
But I was waiting for you
I see a light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
Where it was dark now there's light
Where there was pain now there's joy
Where there was weakness, I found my strength
All in the eyes of a boy..."
~ A New Day Has Come, Celine Dion