The Last First Birthday

I was told the other day that blogging is a great way to release your emotions, the ones you keep bottled up, the ones if released too often or in a large amount, would deem you legally crazy. Today is one of those days where blogging may very well be a better friend than foe. Today is my last first birthday.

I was blessed with the title of "mama" in 2002 during a stormy day in June. I was twenty-two and terrified. I had no idea how to be a mom and truth be told, I wasn't mom material. God thought otherwise. I truly learned to appreciate my own Mama in the days, weeks, and months that followed.

Fast forward fourteen years, seven months, one day, and many memories later, I now am a mama of four. Hunter 14, Ezekiel 12, Rosalind 3, and Judas turned ONE at 5:43am today. I knew this day would soon come, my last first birthday. I knew it would be wonderful but I also knew it would be hard. I excitedly planned his cake smash session (which was adorable). We bought him a lifetime hunting and fishing license that he may never use. We invited over immediate family to sing to him while I held him on my hip and blew out the single lit candle on his birthday cake. It wasn't anything fancy, that's just not us. It was just enough for us to remember though.

This year has tossed a lot at us. Pregnancy was always hard for me. All of my babies were preemies, Judas was no exception. Born at 36 weeks and one day, when he came into the world via cesarean section, he had fluid on his lungs. They whisked him away to the NICU a few minutes after birth. They said he would be there a few hours. Those hours led to days, almost two weeks to be exact. We had a few scary moments and I had a lot of crying, melt down moments. At home I had three other children. My two year old daughter had never spent a night with out her mama. An hour away was my preemie son whom I felt I couldn't leave. In the midst was my husband trying to be strong for everyone. It was only eleven days, but it was an emotionally, physically draining, very long eleven days. I still can't praise The Ronald McDonald House enough for helping keep us together during some of those nights.

We made our trip home with "Jubie", as Rosalind nicknamed him, the day before a snow storm. It was so good to finally be home. The winter turned into spring, we all adjusted to our new life as a family of six. Summer came and went. Fall landed us new adventures and too quickly turned to winter again. All too soon another year will have came and gone. All of my babies will be another year older. I will be bracing myself for my last second birthday. There will be many more "lasts" in the course of my motherhood but in turn there will so many more firsts! Hunter will start Driver's Ed. this spring. Zeke will see his new smile when his braces come off in the fall. Rosalind gets to move up a class in gymnastics. Judas is so close to those first hands free steps.

So today, instead of feeling "woe is me"  at the thoughts of my last first birthday, I chose to be thankful. Thankful that the Lord let me experience Judas's first birthday! Thankful for four wonderful children who have given me countless memories and so many firsts with many more to come!