Happy Birthday my sweet man.
This time last year I had just gotten an epidural, and you were making some of your last kicks in my belly. Before we went to the hospital we already had your name picked out, "Rodney Oliver Macauley," and we had been calling you Oliver for months. During my labor your daddy was so wonderful to me that I planned on changing your name to his. I wanted to call you James. I had it all set in my head, but then as soon as you came out I gasped, "Oliver!" and that was that. You've always been an Oliver.
When they handed you to me for the first time I said, "he looks just like me!" It was the strangest feeling to see a baby that looked like me, but I was SO PROUD. There was no denying I was your mommy.
The night we brought you home from the hospital we thought we had it all under control. We were as cool as cucumbers... until everybody left. As soon as we were alone we forgot everything we knew. We could not swaddle to save our lives, and I couldn't remember how to feed you. We put you in a co-sleeper in the middle of our bed, and you just cried and cried. Daddy fell asleep for a little, but I held and rocked you until 5 am. I think I was afraid to close my eyes or you might slip away from me. At 5 am we put you in your carseat and drove you to your grandma's. She put you in your swing, and you fell fast asleep. Your daddy and I went up to my room and slept for 3 hours before you needed to go to the pediatrician. And thus began our life as a family.
Over the next few weeks we fell into a routine. Every time I got up to feed you in the middle of the night your daddy got up too. We were tired and unsure of ourselves, but you were so tiny and sweet it didn't even matter.
You came here as the sweetest boy I've ever met. I think you got a lot of it from your daddy, but I think a major dose came from your Uncle Rod and your great grandmas too. Every time you smile I see my sweet grandmother in your face. It makes me feel like she's still here with me, and that's an amazing gift my sweet boy. Thank you.
Aside from your sweetness, you are so smart, my love. I know all moms think that, but it's such a wonderful thing to watch you playing with your blocks or loading up the back of your truck. Watching you learn is so inspiring. There is no way you got that from me, so I give full credit for your brains to your daddy. :)
From me you got the ability to entertain yourself. You can sit and play for hours at a time. You never ask for help. You figure things out on your own, and I can see myself in you. It's a good trait to have, and I'm so glad you got it! I hope it means you'll be a huge reader and I'll have someone to discuss books with!
I think you got your ability to eat from both your parents :). We have yet to fill you up sufficiently! I think you got my body, and your daddy thinks you got his... so we are just a family of happy apple shaped people walking around with big smiles on our faces.
Thank you so much for the honor of being your mommy. It's my greatest joy in life. I'm so proud of the person you are and the person you will become.
Yesterday you got your very first earache. You and I went to the doctor with your monkey in tow. All the doctors and nurses were in awe of how good you were. You had the highest fever and a terrible ear infection, but you still smiled at everyone and hugged into my chest. You looked up at me and trusted me, and I would not have been anywhere else in the world in that moment. It's my pleasure to love you and care for you and hug you when you need it. Thank you for making us a family Oliver. We will forever be grateful.
Happy first birthday my love.
All Photos by Katie Oblinger Photography.
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