Today is Ben’s 2nd birthday. A few hours from now, as my baby, my husband, and I are sleeping, the hour he was delivered will pass. Quietly, peacefully. Much differently than that hour passed two years ago. Without the haze of drugs. Without the quiet terror of being wheeled to an operating room. Without the breathless waiting for the first cry.
I have spent much of the last few months thinking on the journey from conception to birth to healing, for all of us. I have been facing the deeply rooted anger I have regarding my treatment both during pregnancy and postpartum. It is often tinged with regret. There are so many things I wish could have been different. Better. Gentler.
But no thought of my son carries any regret, ever. We decided to go out for pancakes for dinner, and I marveled at my baby – my little boy – as he munched bacon and forked scrambled eggs into his mouth. He has met every milestone, and displays a brilliance and ingenuity I never knew to look for in a toddler. He devours language with the fury of a wildfire, strides to physical challenges like a tidal wave, and projects the purest of emotions – all in the joyful and wanton manner of a toddler.
And I can devour it all with the bliss of a clear mind, a happy heart. Despite the history – perhaps even because of – I can find joy in every motion, movement, and moment. They are not all perfect, but I revel in the imperfections. A blueberry stuck to a onesie. A lock of hair curled wildly from a solid nap. An excited shriek in a quiet restaurant. They are perfect. He is perfect, in his imperfection. And therefore, so am I.
Happy birthday, little boy.