One Year Old
A year ago Oliver Grey Kokai-Means was born. At four in the morning after hours and hours of tough labor they wheeled me into surgery and at five they extracted Ollie from my womb. I was so tired when it happened. Unfortunately he wasn't breathing and as my doctor sewed me up other doctors and nurses crowded around my baby and got him oxygen and made him pink and breathing. They placed a blue and pink striped cap on his head, an oxygen mask the size of softball on his mouth. They whisked him by me, showing me his face, tiny scrunched up eyes. Pink smooth skin. And he was gone.
The next week was the hardest week of my life. It was filled with terrifying moments of worrying about his health and with the agony of not being with my baby. Not holding my baby. Not snuggling him or nursing him or rocking him to sleep. Not being a mom they way I wanted to.
When I think about Ollie's birth I always seem to have to start here. It's not what I want to think about. I have hopes that the memories will continue to fade. Continue to be replaced by the beautiful moments that happen every day. And that I can someday focus on what I want to focus on, which is that if I had to, I would live through every moment of that day again if I needed to do it for my Ollie.
I can not express how much I love my Ollie. How much I love his golden curly hair and the way it smells as he snuggles up to my shoulder. The way he's taken to throwing an arm around me and pulling me close to snuggle as he nurses (which involves me doing some contortions). How he learned to stick out his tongue and then recently he began to blow kisses at us, sucking his cheeks in tightly and smooching at us.
Ollie is walking now. Things like this take on special significance for me because the neurologist told us that his brain damage might result in developmental delays. The brain damage is gone, and the development is right on track. This is one of the things I want to get over too, I want to be able to celebrate his milestones without thinking of them as still proving he is ok. I'm sure this will get easier with time as well. He walked a few steps the other day and yesterday he took off walking clear across the room. He likes to walk a bit at a time, but he also still wants a hand to help him some. He can do it, but he's not steady and he's so sure. But he can do it.
We cut his hair today. Trimmed above the ears and the back. He had cinnamon roll for breakfast with sugary icing. He loved it. He ignored his presents, dunked a mug into the dog water and tried to drink it, did some finger painting. Turns out blue paint is not as tasty as cinnamon roll, but his impression of William Wallace was pretty awesome. It was a good birthday.
And I could snuggle with him whenever I wanted.