My Matthew. Two and a half weeks old already. Now that I have a third baby to hold, I truly know how quickly the newborn time goes by. It seems so unjust that now that I realize it, time goes even faster! I cuddle you every moment I can. I snuggle you to sleep in your sling. I kiss your little nose and marvel at the cuteness of your chin, your big blue eyes. I lean in close and nuzzle my head against yours, breathing in your newness, willing it to last.
It seems that I know you already. What a wonderful thing! With Isaac I was so distracted by the newness of motherhood that I didn't really know him for a while. With Abby I battled so much guilt (that she wasn't getting as much of my attention as Isaac had) that I didn't really know her for a while. With you, little guy, I look in your eyes and I just know you. It seems odd that I never had an inkling of your siblings' genders and wouldn't even venture a guess before the ultrasound yet we didn't even learn your gender until you were born but I still thought I knew. And I was right.
Maybe it's because I felt like I had to fight for you, especially at the beginning. From the day the doctor said that my pregnancy could not possibly be viable through the months of hormone shots and extra ultrasounds, you were on my mind constantly. I prayed for you and begged for your life more times than you can imagine. I even told God I didn't care what kind of disability you might have, as long as I could have you alive. And here you are, just perfect. Every time I look in your eyes, it's like seeing a promise. God is faithful. You were meant to be with us – even as your sister Jewel was not.
The night before you were born, your daddy took us all – me, Isaac, Abby – out to Outback for dinner. It was special because we had never – not once – taken the whole family to a nice restaurant. It felt so celebratory, like we were treasuring our last moments as a family of four, ready to be overtaken by new life, ready for you to come. The next morning, Saturday, Daddy made our traditional breakfast of chocolate chip waffles. After flipping through the newspaper, cleaning up the kitchen, and getting everyone dressed, Daddy and Isaac headed off to Walmart and Abby and I went to Safeway to hit the weekend-only sales.
Abby and I shared a yogurt smoothie and girlie gab as we made our way through the aisles. My contractions (which I'd been having off and on for weeks) began to be painful and I realized that they were relatively close together. A couple of times I even had to lean into the shopping cart for support as the wave came over me. I managed to finish shopping and head out the door, but I called your daddy and Grammie on the way home to let them know you would be here soon.
I put the groceries away and fixed Abby some lunch. I didn't eat anything because I knew it would inevitably come back up. Soon your dad and brother were home and the kids off to naps. Daddy and I watched an episode of “Arrested Development” online when I realized that contractions were five minutes apart. Grammie came over to stay with the kids and we were off to the hospital around two-thirty.
When we got to the hospital, I told the doctor it would be under two hours before you were born. The nurse was worried because she needed to get some antibiotic (for Group B strep) into me before you were born and that usually takes four hours. Then they had a terrible time finding a vein to insert the IV and ended up having to pump the medication into my arm on warp speed. It was painful – I doubt I could have lifted my arm, but I didn't bother trying.
The labor went well. It was almost predictable. I labored with Isaac eight hours, Abby seven hours, and you took only six hours. It was amazing to feel like I knew what was coming: pain, then pain too bad to speak or walk, then the pain that required breathing to get through it, then the pain that would cause vomiting – just once – and vocalization, then . . . you.
It's a boy! At 4:31pm. You were there and I hugged you right away. The nurses were all around cleaning you off as I held you, suctioning your mouth, but I barely noticed. Your daddy started calling people almost right away, telling them about our Matthew Everett. Our Gift of God – that's what Matthew means. Everett is for your Grandpa Daryl. His middle name is Everett. He's been such a special part of your Daddy's life and it is an honor for you to be named after him.
At the hospital I elected to stay two nights just so that you and I could have a little bit longer honeymoon. I loved having nothing to do but cuddle you and I knew that once we got home Isaac and Abby would demand their share of attention. So for two glorious days we had our little honeymoon. Now we're home, and siblings, laundry, and meals demand my attention. But I still find myself neglecting my chores to hold you when the others are asleep.
Isaac and Abby love you very much and tell you and everyone else so. Isaac wants to hold you constantly and hug you and Abby talks about how cute and little you are. You will grow up so loved. So far you've also been very accommodating when they want to hug and squeeze you. Overall you are very sweet and easygoing. Often you wake up a little rough, but once you're fully awake you are so sweet. And you love going to sleep in the sling. All I have to do is snuggle you in and you drop off almost immediately.
I am so glad you are part of our family, Matthew. I can't imagine us without you now.