It blows my mind every day, especially in the middle of the night when I am feeding him a bottle and trying desperately to stay awake, how much and how quickly someones life can change and how fast you can love someone you just met, even if he has your finger length toes and his dad's upper lip. In our case, our lives changed very quickly for the better, for weeks ago. Ross and I got to the hospital at 6 am, and had a baby by 8:25. The c-section was a totally crazy experience. I walked myself into the operating room, sat on a table and within seconds of having a giant needle jabbed into my back I lost all feeling from the chest down but was sure that I could definitely move my toes if only I had enough energy and will power. From the needle to the baby, it was sheer minutes and the first thing I said to Ross as he was hovering over my very numb and very drowsy body as Elliott was born was, "oh my goodness, I can breathe!" That feeling was the best thing in the whole world, at the time anyway.
As I was talking to my mom today about important life decisions like work, the future, and mom guilt, she told me that Elliott has made me tough. Not the whole surgery aspect of his arrival, but the first 10 days of his life. I guess if you can walk out of the hospital and leave your sick little baby there, trusting him to the care of others, and not start bawling until you get in the car, your tough! And, not seeing your own baby in person for almost the entire first day of his life, and not being able to hold him for two days makes you tough. And, only being able to see him twice a day for about 30 minutes a visit because you are following nurses orders makes you tough. I don't know if it's toughness or just some kind of internal drive, but I truly feel for those parents though that have to leave their babies for weeks or months; that must be the most difficult thing in the whole world. I guess that my mom is right though, perhaps after our experience at the hospital, I am invincible! Well, not invincible, but definitely tougher. You have to be tough to be a parent, right?
But, I digress! In just a few minutes on January 23, our lives changed forever, and in such a good way. In one month, Elliott has gained about 3 pounds and I'm sure three inches in length. He is happy, active, content, loves to stare and thinks that he is the strongest baby in the world. He smells good and can shoot a pee stream to challenge any boy scout. He loves music (Guster, Cold Play, and anything else that comes onto shuffle on the iPod...except the Black Eyed Peas...sorry Fergie, Elliot doesn't think your "fergilicious") and has very ticklish toes. Eating is the most important thing in the world to him, but when he decides to snuggle, it nearly melts my heart.
I guess most importantly, Elliot has turned Ross and myself into official grown-ups. Our conversations have shifted from current events, to feeding schedules and from pop-culture to poopy diapers. Everyone who reads the blog has probably noticed a major shift in content. That's because, one, we have had a shift in content in our lives and two, I am home every day without a lot of stuff to look at or people to talk to, though I was lucky enough to see CNN break the Anna Nicole story. That's one for the memory books. Hopefully, once we get more into the swing of parenthood, we'll figure out how to incorporate the world back into our newly created bubble.
Back on that life changing idea...I've been thinking a lot about that lately. Elliott is lucky enough to have 6 living great-grandparents who love him dearly and all four of his grandparents, not counting the oodles of extended family to love him and give him kisses. We are so lucky to have so much family around and for our little boy to grow up with so much love and support. Especially because you never know what will happen to your family or loved ones every day. A cousin of my mom's passed away over the weekend after months of hospitalization, surgeries, and struggle. Her teenage daughters were left with the heart-breaking decision of when to pull the plug and are now left without their mom. I couldn't live without my mom and having to make the decision of when he heads to heaven would be the most difficult decision ever to be made. There weren't many times that I was ever around this cousin of my mom's but the news of her death over the weekend really reminded me of how fragile life is and how in the blink of an eye, we see dramatic and life altering change every single day.
Right now, I'll take my baby that cries in the middle of the night and stares at me all day long. He loves me, I think, and that's just about the best thing in the whole world.