Full disclosure: herein lies a photo of a baby moments after birth, before pinking up, it’s been my experience that some don’t think this is so rad.
Here it is. A time for serious, followed by a time for fun. I woke up a year ago knowing I was in labor, one day past my due date. I ate breakfast, not knowing if I was in for the super long haul or not. Naturally, Michael and I got dressed and went out into the world to run errands. Last minute necessities like candles and tiny new born disposable diapers. I mean, what else is there to do to get oneself through early labor? By the time we were headed from our second big-box retailer to the grocery store, I was certain that I needed to be at home. Michael dropped me off and went to the store solo. I paced. I called our Emily, the trusty midwife. I labored through the day. Swaying. Floating. Just hanging on to get through the sensation of each contraction. I can say with honesty that laboring through childbirth is the most zen thing I’ve done. Hear me out. It was painful, yes. But no other experience in my life has demanded such attention, such presence of mind, as getting through contraction after contraction. Oren was born at 11:00pm. Into the water. Into my arms. Our Water Dragon. We hadn’t confirmed he was a boy, but I knew he was a boy. A boy indeed. Into my arms, we touched on the outside for the first time.
Before we get to the goodstuff (birthday makings), let’s talk about the past year. Please? I am a home body. Spending 6 weeks pretty much holed up in my house, two rooms of it really, getting to know this new sleepy spirit was ah-mazing. It was my post-partum ideal. It was lazy. I was cared for wholly, so my energy could be on baby grub. When my milk came in, I cried at my unfathomable luck in this lifetime, and it sounded like this. A flawless and empowering home birth behind me, I was prepared to mother this infant.
And then he turned three months old. The Gas visited our home around this time. It took about two months to really get it under control. He would wake in pain, papa would walk, bounce, shhhhh him through bleary eyes night after night after night after night. I cut dairy out of my diet. Our lives all improved. Then winter. Some days I thought I would lose myself in all of the snow. Some days I cried. Some days I wanted out. Some days I could not do three.more.minutes. Spring came around. I got out of the house. We walked together, every nap, winding through the brick sidewalked neighborhood. My life brightened as he became more able and the temperature crept ever upwards.
And we’ve survived our first year as a family. George didn’t like Oren at first. We’ve seen how far they’ve come along in their brotherhood. In the past months I have had my brain scrambled at how he is exerting his will on the world around him, at his insatiable appetite, at him signing, at him dancing, and laughing manically, at him pushing toy trucks along on their wheels. He is life in its most elemental form. He is free and uncaring and unaware of society at large. His family is his whole world (that and the flag at the grocery store). Dear baby: we are celebrating that a year ago today we shared an ordeal experienced by our whole species and what emerged was your entire life to make your own. I gave you life in hopes you would live it.
Moving onto things. One can only ruminate over the precious and fleeting for so long. I’ve been working on some birthday things for quite some time. And two items are not complete, that is okay. I have to put some elastic into sleeves-turned pajama pants, and I must knit a few more rows on this blanket. Here is what is done:
The family-heirloom-every-birthday-from-here-on-out “happy birthday” bunting.
I solemnly swear that I will post a photo of this in all of it’s glory once it is hanging. The flags are canvas with scrap fabrics comprising the letters. It was machine appliqued.
Here are some new pantsI whipped up (feel the night fever, night fever):
And I refashioned an old t-shirt of mine. This shirt was designed and screen-printed by a friend. I received a replacement after the original had just seen too much action. Now the original is Oren’s:
A dear (deer) lovey:
You may recall the blanket I am knitting of stash yarns:
And the birthday crown. Each year a new jewel will be embroidered. It is made with felted wool, because it is what I had. It may have come out differently had I purchased wool felt. I rather like the pliability and softness that this method has yielded.
And yes, you caught me red-handed. The embroidered diamond has two lines to go. Eesh. I should really get on it.
Oren’s fancy pants breakfast: Egg cups with raw cheddar cheese and green onions baked in (nitrate-nitrite-filler-free) ham. They. Were Awesome. Paired with the coffee my sister brought with her from a Brooklyn coffee roaster, it was an ideal meal. Oren ate two “cups”. And a slice of whole wheat bread we baked yesterday (Tassajara yeasted bread).
We then presented him with his first balloon. He can hardly stand to see the balloons at the grocery store. So, when I came in the house and slowly let this balloon rise behind my back, he lost his mind. He completely lost his mind. Ape-shit, lost his mind. Danced in circles. Pulled it down to his level. Bopped it. Giggled. Lit up like the light that will push humanity into better times. We may have altered the balance of good and evil, just in the gifting of one balloon. We also purchased a lovellllly book for Oren. An Egg is Quiet is so beautifully illustrated it will break your heart. We purchased A Seed is Sleepy before Oren was born; Michael and I read it numerous times, it is that enjoyable. We learn something every time. We also got him a fabric book with zippers and buttons and snaps, you know, something he can actually touch now.
I will of course be back with more photos of birthday and sister-visiting madness. For now, happy birthday everyone. I’m glad you made it to this side of things.