You Are Mine in Particular.

To My Angel Hill, on the Precipice of His First Birthday:

You have always been mine–mine in particular.

When you came into this world, the nurses placed your tiny body up against my face, above the sheet that separated us from the doctors performing the c-section that brought you safely to me. We laid there, cheek-to-cheek, and I wept as you quietly opened and closed your mouth against my face in what felt like a hundred tiny kisses. All I could think was: You are here, you are mine, you are here, you are mine! — and just on the heels of that: do not move, Jen! Though my arm was crooked at the most awkward of angles, I was desperate to avoid shifting you. I needed you and your kisses, a reassuring intimacy flying in the face of the indignity of laying on an operating table. And you were a quiet little thing, content once nestled beside me. One of the nurses peered over at us and said: “Oh! Oh my gosh! He’s so quiet, I’d almost forgotten he was there!”

You were mine then — mine in particular.

You were calm once in my arms, affectionate, entirely oblivious to the way in which your very being reified my confidence and calm despite the unpleasantries of the procedure. Your just being you brought out the best in me, your fumbling bisous cheering me through that surgery and right into the recovery room, where your father and I cried and held hands in relief and victory and joy and the ineffable emotional glut of becoming a parent–even a second time over.

We have not spent more than a few hours apart from one another since you came to me at 8:49 a.m. on May 31, 2019, and you have proven in that time that I am yours in particular, just as much as the other way around. When you were very young, and we were lost in the haze of sleepless nights feeding you, we tumbled through a stretch where you were only happy when I held you. Your father would often find you tucked under my arm, my face drooping over yours in exhaustion, and he would laugh out loud at the smug look of joy on your face, even while fast asleep. “I got what I wanted,” your smirk seemed to be saying, claiming me as your own.

When you were a little bit older, you would often fall asleep with your eyes locked on me, slow-blinking yourself to sleep while ensuring I was not going to sneak out the door, holding on to my visage until the very last second possible before drifting off into sleep.

Nowadays, when I pluck you out of your crib after a nap, you settle into my arms and rest your head on my shoulder, and we sway in the still-dark quiet of the nursery for a few minutes before easing open the blinds and hushing the sound machine, deferring the real world and its routines and cacophonies in favor of a quiet embrace, just the two of us. I have wiped away many happy tears in this posture over the past few weeks, your cheek against mine, your chubby fingers clutching my shirt, the world outside your door immaterial.

In short, I am desperately devoted to you, my determined, affectionate, outgoing, curious, forbearing little boy–words I repeat to you during our nightly affirmations, words you are now beginning to recognize on the eve of your first birthday.

I am so overjoyed you are mine, my one-year-old baby–mine in particular.

Love,

Me

Post Scripts.

+My thoughts just ten days after your birth — I was just as overwhelmed then as I am now by the kisses after your delivery.

+Time is a wretched thief.

+I announced my pregnancy with you rather elliptically in this long-form post, and oh! I had not remembered that I had told myself “you are mine” even while pregnant.

+For fellow mamas reading this:

BABY GEAR I WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT EARLIER

TRADITIONAL CHILDREN’S CLOTHING UNDER $31

MY FULL REGISTRY

MY FAVORITE BEDTIME BOOKS

REFLECTIONS ON GOING FROM 0-1 VS 1-2 CHILDREN

ON WEANING MICRO

+Looking back, my absolute favorite articles of clothing Hill has worn (for sure holding onto all of these):

THE STORK PAJAMAS HE WORE IN THE HOSPITAL

RR HEART PAJAMAS

MONOGRAMMED BUBBLE

GINGHAM SUNHAT

LITTLE ENGLISH PLAYSUITS (HE HAD ONE IN EVERY SIZE)

JACADI GINGHAM SHORTALLS

BABIDU SHORT-AND-TOP SETS (HE HAD A FEW)

FLORENCE EISEMAN SHORTALLS

MADRE DALLAS PERSONALIZED KNIT HAT (THE SWEETEST GIFT — HEARTBROKEN HE WON’T FIT INTO THIS NEXT WINTER)

NANOS DOG BLOOMERS (WORE THESE ON THANKSGIVING)

PERSONALIZED CASHMERE SWEATER THAT READS: HILLBABY

BAILEY BOYS BUBBLE

+And if I could trim my favorite baby gear for micro down to just a handful of things I would URGE you to consider if you are having a child:

SLEEP TO DREAM SWADDLES AND THEN KYTE SLEEPSACKS

4MOMS MAMAROO

WUBBANUB (KEEPS PACIFIER IN BABY’S MOUTH PLUS EASIER TO FIND THAN NORMAL PACIFIERS)

BUGABOO STROLLER

PUJ FLYTE

TUBBY TODD OINTMENT

PULP FEEDERS (SO GREAT FOR EXPOSING BABY TO FRUIT BEFORE THEY CAN CHEW)

MUNCHKIN TRASHBAGS (NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM)

PHILIPS AVENT BOTTLES AND OXO FORMULA DISPENSER

NOSE FRIDA

YOYO ADAPTERS FOR THE NUNA PIPA CARSEAT

KISSY KISSY ONESIES — SO, SO SOFT AND WORTH THE INVESTMENT (HILL WORE ALL OF MINI’S)

BABY BJORN MINI (WAS SO SO SAD WHEN I HAD TO RETIRE THIS — THE EASIEST TO PUT ON AND TAKE OFF AND SO COMFORTABLE)

+Gift ideas for babies and a roundup of the absolute best toys.

+Micro’s big birthday gift this year.

9 Comments

  1. Oh this! The deep bond between a mother and her son is so indescribable and was to me unexpected! My oldest is going to be five shortly and I have felt this about him always! My youngest 4 weeks! Oh how the time flies!

  2. Happy Birthday to Hill! This post is so sweet and hits home. I have a 2 months old (!!! where did the time go) baby boy and it’s going so quickly. I have shopped from your baby gear posts religiously and I am so thankful for your recommendations.

    On a separate note, have you used Bagsy yet as a shopper or seller? Would love to hear about your experience!!

    1. Hi Allison — Congrats! Two months is a HUGE milestone! Ahhh. Weepy thinking about those early weeks though I know they are TOUGH. So glad my posts have been helpful 🙂

      I have used Bagsy to buy and (soon) to sell — I just sent a huge bag of items their way after a closet clean-out. They have a backlog in terms of posting things to the site so I don’t think they’ll be available for another few weeks. I’ve been very impressed with the buying side of things, though — items come fairly quickly, are shipped cheaply, and the website seems to provide accurate descriptions 🙂

      xx

  3. Happy early birthday to Hill! This is such a sweet post — he is so lucky to have you as his mom. I hope you manage to have a celebratory weekend for him, even under these extraordinary circumstances. <3

    xx

  4. Oh Jen, what a beautiful, touching message for Hill! I love that image of him calmly and contentedly resting on you after you birthed him, as though to say, “yup, this is home”. And those tiny kisses — WOW!

    Even if I don’t know you in person, you sound like an incredible mother. Your family is lucky to have you! (Not that you needed to hear any of this from me!)

    Happy birthday Hill! First birthdays are so bittersweet!

    1. You are so kind — thank you! Yes — I am feeling weepy thinking of the image of him “calmly and contentedly” resting on me, too. Ahhh. Too much xx

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