Wednesday, October 24, 2007

happy birthday

Today my baby boy is nine years old.

He arrived exactly a week before Halloween in 1998. At 4:15 in the morning. Three weeks early. Since the moment he arrived, he has been completely different from his brother and sister.

My first two arrived on time, one even arriving on his exact due date. They came into the world at perfectly reasonable times instead of putting me through night labor. They were easy, sweet babies that I nursed from the day they were born. They were both bald.

My youngest had a head full of thick, black hair when he was born and even three weeks early, he weighed seven pounds. He was jaundiced. The first time he nursed, he gave me a blood blister. On my breast. This is perhaps the most unpleasant thing imaginable. The nurses gave him suck therapy in the hospital. Suck therapy. I am not kidding. After we took him home, a home health nurse visited us to assist me with nursing. I thought it was ridiculous when it was scheduled. I had nursed two babies to their first birthday (well, one beyond, but that's another story); I was an old pro, what could they possibly teach me that I didn't know? Turns out, quite a lot. Tears ran down my face every time I nursed him for a week. I was so pitiful, the nurse came back. That time she brought a light for the jaundice that slipped underneath his little gown and made him look like a glow worm. He did sleep like a little angel.

He learned to nurse properly and the jaundice passed. Turns out that he was sleeping like an angel because he was jaundiced. Then he developed colic. I thought I was going to die. No, really, die. My husband would walk in the door from work, and I would almost throw a screaming baby into his arms, go into our bedroom, shut the door and run a bath. Then I would sit in the bath and bawl. For an hour.

That, too, eventually passed. And for a little guy that started out his life giving me nothing but trouble, he's given me joy ever since. He's sweet, sensitive, and mild tempered. He is as big as an ox. Huge. He towers over the other boys his age. He's only a foot shorter than his (admittedly not tall) fourteen year old brother. When I look at him I see his father's dimples and big brown eyes lined with heavy, long lashes. He has my chin, complete with a little cleft, and just a touch of my olive complexion. He is built just like my tall and slender husband, but he is bulkier, like my father. When I look closely, I notice he has my father-in-law's hands.

The baby in the picture is all but gone. There are fleeting glimpses now and again, in the way that he laughs childish giggles with his head thrown back, or the peculiar way he falls asleep with his feet tucked up under his tummy. I miss the tiny, chubby hands in mine and the way I used to be able to hold all of him curled in my lap. He is my last baby, and he's growing up. But I love the little boy he has become and I cannot wait to see the young man he will grow into, although I know even now that it will be a bittersweet journey.


laurie said...

what a great post. suffused with love.

i've read about colic, and it sounds quite awful. the new yorker had a piece about it a couple of weeks ago--it's pretty much incurable. babies just have to tough it out. and so do their moms. i can't imagine months of that.

what a great adventure motherhood must be.

Kim said...

Thanks, Laurie. Yes, colic is terrible. Nothing ever seemed to help him. I didn't think it would ever end, but it only lasted about two months.

You once said that you think some people are meant to be mothers; I think you're right. I can't imagine my life without the kids. They are wonderful.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Beautiful blog. And gorgeous picture. Happy Birthday to your adorable little (big) nine year old.

I haven't a clue what the feeling must be like to nurse as I never even attempted it with Amy. Not sure if it was the pain that put me off or the fact that I'd get cold in the middle of winter...!!

Have a wonderful day.
Crystal xxx

the rotten correspondent said...

What a wonderful post. Almost makes me get over how fabulous looking you are. Jeez. You think you could've mentioned that before I started liking you so much? Not fair, kaycie.

My oldest also had colic and it defies description.In his case though it was just a warm up for his overall high-maintenance-ness!

Swearing Mother said...

That was lovely Kaycie. Happy birthday to your lovely boy.

Kim said...

Thank you, Crystal. My daughter was born in December and I can tell you if I hadn't been so determined, the chapping would have stopped me about two weeks in! It's good to have you back.

Well, hell, RC, what was I supposed to say? Besides, when I look in the mirror, that girl looking back at me looks pretty ordinary. And lately, old.

Thanks, Swearing Mom. I am glad you enjoyed it.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Well, you did mention prom formals and cheerleader outfits so I knew you weren't exactly ugly. But wow!

I cried every time I had to nurse my daughter for the first five weeks. It hurt more than the labor. But then we sorted it out, she and I. When my son came along 20 months later, I was an old pro, having had Jaws hanging off me. But my son used to fall asleep all the time so never got properly full. Ah, happy days.

And Happy Birthday to your baby boy.

Chris at 'Chrissie's Kitchen' said...

Hi, again lovely Kacie! I shall be back to communicate. Thanks so much for keeping in touch.
Lizzie xx

Fire Byrd said...

You are beautiful, both in your spirit and your looks. No wonder you have such lovely children when they have you for a mum.

The Green Stone Woman said...

That's a great post. It sounds like you love him lots and he is very precious to you. It is a great thing when we get to love our children so. Colicky and all. I remember those days!

Kim said...

You're very sweet, WUASTC. I really loved nursing my babies after about the first month or so when my body got the hang of the schedule. Nursing a baby is such an intimate act, and I always thought it helped with bonding. Honestly, I was the one who usually fell asleep though, especially at late night feedings.

Lizzie! It's so good to have you back!

Ahh, Pixie, you've made me grin and blush a bit. You are really a doll.

You're right, Irene, he is precious. All of my kids are precious to me, but there is something a bit special about that last baby. I fear he's quite spoiled. I really could have done without the colic, though!

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Goodness you set me thinking with this one. I am the extremely proud mother and each one is totally unique. Their babyhoods passed in the blink of an eye and now they are 17, 13, 10 and almost 9. Where do the years go? I just cherish every moment - even when they are sending me insane.

Talk soon

Kim said...

Mine are 16, 14 and 9. I imagine my house is almost as crazy as yours!

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Oops forgot the 2 year old!!! She would not be very happy with her mummy for that.........

Kim said...

You know, MMOF, I noticed there were only four kiddos listed, but I just figured you were counting your husband. ;)