~9:30 PM on August 21, 2015
Usually my posts are so long and detailed that they take days to compose. Right now, I’m attempting to get this done tonight. The picture above was taken just a short while ago. In the moments before I took it, I felt the same heart swell that I feel at least 1000 times every single day. I love Todd so much that it makes me get a little teary at various moments all the time.
When I look back on my life before Todd, I know that it was really, really good, but I can’t help but look at the “before Todd” pictures and see that HE wasn’t there. I see a certain emptiness. It’s so weird and so wonderful. And scary, too: I don’t know how I would go on if something bad happened to him. But I can’t think about that…
Actually the purpose of this post is to talk about today. Today was Todd’s first birthday. It was a great day. I knew it was coming. I’ve thought about it a lot. But even I was surprised at how emotional I felt today. It was a happy teary kind of day.
The day started when Eric surprised me with a thoughtful card. Todd and I had a fun morning in the house, then after his nap I took him to the Imagine Children’s Museum (Everett, WA) for the first time. Eric was able to join us there, and then we went out to dinner. Back home, there was the usual evening rowdiness followed by my wild, active toddler turning, like putty in my arms, into my sleepy, cuddly baby.
When I look at Todd and I feel so much love, I know that it’s because he’s made from us. Not like, “he’s our son so of course we love him,” but somehow it feels like much more than that. Todd is the product of a LOT of love that Eric and I have for each other. And I do believe that higher powers were at work in creating him, too…
Now– this might seem like an out-of-place time to say this, but it’s only true:
Todd’s Birth Day was THE worst day of my life.
I felt that way from Day 1. Is that shocking? It feels very shocking to me. But it’s the truth, and it’s something that I live with every day to some degree or another. I first mentioned it when I wrote up the post about Todd’s Birth Day (it’s at the very end), and I bullet-point listed the reasons why. At the time, I was almost 1 month post-partum, and I honestly figured that the feeling would be temporary. I mentioned closure in that post, but now I doubt if I’ll ever get full closure.
But– today I did have one epiphany that gave me a small degree of that closure. What I realized today was that the overwhelming, almost painful love that I feel for Todd MUST BE THE SAME THING as “that” feeling– the euphoria, the adrenalin rush, the birth “high”– that I wanted but I absolutely did not feel at the time of Todd’s birth. (Recall that all I was capable of feeling was relief. I was 100% physically depleted.)
I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. I knew that Todd’s birthday would be so much better than his birth day! But like I said at the beginning, I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I’d feel.
So I’d like to take a moment to rejoice in all the ways that today brought me pleasures and joys that Todd’s birth day did not:
- On Todd’s birth day, I endured tremendous physical pain and exhaustion.
Today there was none of that!
- On Todd’s birth day, I didn’t have him until late in the day.
Today I had him with me all day!
- On Todd’s birth day, I only got to hold him for a few minutes.
Today I held him, hugged him, and loved him all day!
- On Todd’s birth day, Eric, Todd and I didn’t have any family bonding time.
Today we had plenty of bonding time!
- On Todd’s birth day, my niece Ashley (who was with me during labor) wasn’t able to see him at all.
Today she saw him via video chat!
- On Todd’s birth day, I had to go to the hospital, and I felt like a failure.
Today, I was in the vicinity of the hospital, and I actually haven’t felt like a failure in a long time!
- On Todd’s birth day, I didn’t feel euphoria.
Today I felt it! Every day, I feel it when I’m with Todd.
Todd’s birth day WAS the worst day of my life. However– every one of the ~365 days that he’s been in my life since have been the BEST days of my life.
Here are a few more pictures from today:
Well it seems that it’s just a wee past midnight now, so it’s actually August 22nd now. But I did fulfill my goal. So, GOOD night!