I seem to have a habit of writing a post on Leo’s birthday each year. But there is something about reflecting on this day that stirs up so much that I want to share. So hear goes – Leo part 4 (he turns four tomorrow – March 3rd 🙂
Each birthday for each child is so special as a parent. I don’t know if most parents do this, but I always go back to that day we first got to meet Leo. This was the first (and only), child we knew the sex, and had a name picked out relatively early on. Because of cancer diagnosis, we had many ultrasounds, and even though everything with Leo always looked okay, we were so anxious to actually have him in our arms to make sure he was okay.
Which is why when day 6 past my due date rolled around, you can imagine we were VERY eager to have Leo enter the world. But like Leo has shown us time and time again, he was on his own timeline. I went to bed on March 2nd with no sign that Leo would be joining us anytime soon.
Which is why when I woke up early the next morning with contractions, Neel and I figured we would still have plenty of time to make it to the hospital. Ha! We arrived at 5am and at 5:51am, Leo was here.
I’m not sure how many people know this, but Leo was born not breathing because of the cord wrapped around his neck. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hold him right away, and why no one would answer me when I asked to hold him (I had been waiting and worrying for 9 whole months after all!). Little did I know the midwife and nurses were doing CRP to bring him to…
But then I finally got to hold Leo…what a lesson in knowing that I never had to worry at all. God protected Leo…he protected Leo from his very first moment, when he was in the hands of a VERY good midwife receiving CPR, to that moment I finally held him, and right up to today. God created our bodies in such a complex, beautiful, and miraculous way that I was able to fight cancer and nurture a perfect, healthy baby boy all at once.
And then it was time to weigh him…I had heard all the comments in the delivery room about how big he appeared, but I watched as he was weighed…10 pounds. Healthy indeed! (Although my first thought was my thyroid medication had somehow caused him to be bigger…I was assured that it was not related. And indeed it was so, as Leo continues to be a BIG boy).
Now four years later, I feel so blessed to be able to watch that BIG baby become the boy that make us laugh (and yell and sigh), on a daily basis. Watching him save his baby sister from pretend villains in his spiderman costume is a blessing…no other way to say it.
I think about a friend who also was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant with her baby boy. She would have given ANYTHING to see her boy celebrate his fourth birthday. I don’t understand why I get to and she doesn’t, but Megan, please know that I do not take it for granted. To every parent reading, please remember that it is a gift to see your child each and every day grow up. It’s a hard job, but thinking about not being able to do it is even harder…I am lucky…
I can’t wait to see Leo’s dimples and big green eyes tomorrow morning as he wakes up 4! (the tantrums and ornery-ness stop at 4, right??). Love you, Leo!