I look over, searching for source of the crying. I am convinced it is the best sound I've ever heard, that I know he's ok, and finally here. I see my friend step back and quickly dodge a perfect arc of...pee. I smile in spite of my discomfort, in spite of all the hours it took (43), in spite of the tears of happiness I swore I'd not shed. I look up at Mr W, and ask him what's going on now, and he says that our friend (the pediatrician) is checking out our perfect boy, and the docs are working on closing me up. I'm so relieved that it's over, and everyone is ok. And all I can think is when can I hold him? I need to look at his face, and finally see him, look to count all the fingers and toes, feel him wrap his little hand around my finger...
My friend brings him over, and I get to take a peek at him, for just a second. I quickly memorize his face before he gets whisked away. He's so pink! So perfect! And he has a ton of hair, just like Nana predicted he would when I complained I had heartburn.
It's amazing to think it was 11 years ago today that my oldest was born. Eleven years of learning to let go. See, everyone is full of advice--how to diaper, how to bathe, how to feed, how to soothe colic--but no one tells you that every day from here on out, you are a guide, and you will spend each day learning to let go even when you really don't want to. Crawling, eating real food, walking--they are all the steps your child takes away from you, the little independent bits that will help prepare you for the biggies--driving, dating, leaving home. I hope I'll be ready.
Tonight, I made him his favorite brownie sundaes (he doesn't like cake) and we had a low key night. I just looked in on him, brushing the hair off his forehead, marveling at the still-baby smooth skin of his cheeks and listening to him breathe. Just like I did when he was 11 days old...just like I'll do as long as I can.
Happy Birthday, Nolan. Thank you for showing me each day what it's like to not have a heart that is two sizes too small.