You are officially a one year old! I am realizing life is so full of contradictions because it feels like I was giving birth to you mere days ago while also feeling like you've been a part of me my whole life.
Your entrace into this world started about two weeks early of your due date. You took your sweet time on July 16, 2019 and then suddenly it was like you realized you were super late for an incredibly important party so you had to hustle out (my rapid birth story coming soon).
My very first emotion when you came into this world was sweet, sweet relief. I was no longer in excruitiating pain so that was part of my relief. The other part was a comforting feeling, like "Ah yes. He's who I've been waiting for."
You were born at 7:54pm, weighing 7lbs and 5oz and 20.5 inches long. Your sister couldn't WAIT to meet you!
You nursed better than your sister (granted, it was a low bar) but it was still a struggle. I will say I was less anxious and afraid of 'breaking' you (like I was of yours sister). We followed the midwives' orders and stayed put together in bed for the first few weeks. Your sister only chucked a metal waterbottle at your head once.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel emotionally or mentally when you came along. I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety after your sister was born so everyone was on high-alert (which I appreciated). It also took me a while longer to bond with your sister because of PPD.
Our bond felt deeper more quickly and I think a lot of that has to do with how deeply I love your sister, Atlas. Now that she's walking and talking and sassy and smart -I have physical evidence that babies grow older and more fun.
Because of how quickly she's grown into an almost four year old, it's made me appreciate your baby days in a healthier, happier way.
Since you were born two weeks early, I still had most of my eyelash extensions in place and it made me feel all sorts of glamorous.
I let you sleep on me a lot. Look at how precious we you are!
Your daddy traveled a lot for work during those first few months (including the day after you were born, Mr. Two-Weeks-Early). Thankfully Atlas had daycare and could also spend the night at the grandparents so it was usually me and you at night when he went out of town. I knew from previous experience that lack of sleep, overstimulation, stress and hormones were not a great mix so I'm grateful for the support I had along the way!
You were a chill baby (thaaank you thank youthankyouthankyouthankyou). You didn't mind being set down on a blanket to take in your surroundings. You weren't very fussy and you were a decent eater (even if my breastfeeding journey was pumping exclusively again for 3.5 months).
Your mellow temprement was so appreciated as your sister entered the complex age of three years old. I'm not sure what we did to deserve that of you but again, thank you son.
My mental health felt a lot better this time around because of medication, less pressure on myself (and you) and more support we had this time around. Like hiring a part time nanny! Megan - if you're reading this, thank you for all you did for me/us in those early days. We miss you!
I felt really good...until I didn't. That's a story for another day but thank you for bearing with me and I am incredibly grateful for our family, friends and medical professionals.
I'm especially grateful for both my family and Ryan's family helping out our family during some of my lows. I really don't know how people do it who don't have family nearby. They saved me/us. Whew.
I waited (somewhat) patiently for you to smile and sure enough, around 6 weeks, you melted our hearts even more. Once you learned to smile, you haven't stopped. Obviously smiling is your favorite.
I will be forever grateful you were born pre-COVID19. This allowed me to access the support I needed around breastfeeding and mental health, especially.
It also allowed us to take you traveling and live up to your 'expecting' announcement! For your first flight, me and you traveled by ourselves to Kansas City, MO to hang out with your great-grandparents! We met your favorite sister and daddy there too.
A few weeks later, we spent your first Thanksgiving in South Carolina with another set of great-grandparents as well as Mimi and PopPop! It was on this plane ride back you found your vocal chords (and decided to solely use them to shriek, though happily, at the top of your lungs).
Yes, my love of stripes has intensified and you are the evidence.
Extra grateful to spend your first Christmas with spending time with most all of our families too!
A few days after your first Christmas, we set off for our favorite land down under: Australia! We left in the snow and arrived to their summer at Manly Beach, NSW! You were basically in a diaper the entire time.
We arrived in the midst of the extreme bush fires there and heavy smoke. Thankfully we were safe and had our Aussie besties with a high-powered air filter.
You even experienced your first show at the Sydney Opera House (even if you fell asleep halfway through)!
Your Gigi, Grandpa and Aunt Ashley even flew all the way to came to visit you! You both slept here for a solid hour and it was adorable!
Thankfully we made it back safely and are still in the midst of the pandemic. Also since you were born and could smile, Atlas 100% gets a smile out of you anytime you see her. We are so excited to watch you two play more together! She really is the best big sister to you.
You always have a quick smile when you see your G.T.!
It's been so fun watching your personality come to fruition. Words we use to describe you are 'determined, sweet, curious, clever, strong, loving, and current mama's boy!' You add such a fun and happy dynamic to our family!
Happy 1st Birthday to our favorite 'Z' 'Z-man' and 'Rick.' Okay I'm kidding about the last one but how funny would it be if we gave you such a unique and wild name of 'Zürich' and you chose to go by 'Rick?' I find this to be hilarious.
We love you little dude!