4 years ago tonight, I was in a hospital bed listening to your heartbeat on a monitor. I couldn't sleep but your daddy didn't seem to have a problem. I wasn't nervous, I was just excited. Just the night before, we went into our backyard with our furry child, Max to take some last photos with you inside of my tummy. We went back inside after taking those photos and dreamed of what life would be like once you arrived. Just so you know, there was no way we could have ever been fully prepared for the many ways you would change our lives.
As I sat in that hospital bed that night, I dreamed of the moment I would see you the first time. I wondered if I would cry or grin. I wondered what your dad would do. He had never held a newborn and he was quite nervous. I wondered who would come to the hospital to see your sweet face. Finally, the morning of July 27 came and you decided you were ready to get the party started. My water broke and I was quickly ready to push. We had some significant problems with your delivery and began to worry if you would be okay. The next thing I knew, the room was full of every L&D nurse on the floor along with my doctor. It was quite scary. When you finally made your debut at 1:14 p.m., they rushed you over to the warmer. Daddy didn't even get to cut your cord. He followed you over there and started talking to you. He spoke so sweet and gentle to you. He was already smitten. He took a picture of you so I could see you. He brought the camera over to my bed. I was pretty smitten too!
Our nurse took our camera the first time I got to hold you so she could take pictures for us. I'm so glad she was kind enough to do that because I got this sweet photo. I could stare at this all day. It was the moment we had hoped for and prayed for. You were finally here and oh so perfect! I remember the nurses and doctor leaving our room for the first time and your daddy crawled in bed next to us and said that we should thank God for you. All he got out was "God, thank you" and the tears started to flow. We were beyond grateful. We still are!
Would you believe that when you were just 48 hours old, they let us take you home? Like, with no supervision or anything??? Your dad drove so carefully. All of the sudden, all the cars around us seemed like they were missles out to get us. We knew we had precious cargo and wanted to protect you in any way we could so daddy drove extra slow.
Our first few weeks at home were nothing short of wonderful. I loved every minute of the newborn stage. Sure, I was tired but nothing compared to holding you close and breathing in the air you exhaled. I kissed you more times than I could count. I was finally a mommy but even more, I was YOUR mommy!
The week before you turned 6 months old, we stood before a congregation of people we loved in Vidalia, LA and dedicated you to God. We promised to raise you in a Godly way and to do all we could to point you to Jesus. We have tried so hard to follow through with that commitment. I love that your favorite stories are from the Bible. You could hear the story of Joseph 10 times an hour and would never get bored with it. You talk about Jesus and Heaven a lot. I pray that you come to know Jesus as your Savior at an early age and follow him all the days of your life.
Six months later, you turned one year old. We could hardly believe the tiny baby we left the hospital with was a whole year old. But, you were and we celebrated like you were the first child in the entire world to turn a year old. I prayed that God would use your little life to bring joy to people and that prayer was a reality. Your little life brought joy to so many. That was evidenced by the number of people at your party. You stole the show that day. I've never seen a happier baby!
Would you believe that you kept growing and just one year later turned 2 years old? You were all about Mickey Mouse (Gickey Mouse) so we took advantage of that and had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party. You had the time of your life at that party and we just beamed with pride over how sweet you were. Everyone warned us about the terrible two's but they never came. Whew!
That clock kept ticking away and you proudly marched to your third birthday with confidence and such a sweet spirit. We celebrated with a bounce house party. You played your heart out that day. You never frowned which was such a wonderful example of your daily life. You were such a happy little guy who loved life and loved people. We were so proud to be your mom and dad. We spent that day wondering how you would adjust to the many upcoming changes in your life. We knew a 14 hour move was in your future. We were taking you from the only house, church, friends, school, town and state you had ever known. We knew we were following God's will for our family but I would just weep when I thought about what this would mean for you.
Here we are a year later. You are turning 4 years old and have never skipped a beat. You still talk about your old friends, church and house but you are totally adjusted to your new church, friends and house. We totally escaped the terrible twos and threes but I'm thinking the fours might be the year that you really begin to explore who you really are. I've seen an independent side of you over the last couple of weeks that hasn't been there before. You are pushing limits and exploring your boundaries in ways that I haven't seen in the past. But, you are still the sweet, tender hearted, empathetic, precious little boy that you have always been.
I know that you have to grow up. But, it is hard for your mommy. I love this age. I loved all the ages actually, but I have to admit, 3 has been the most fun. You were still close to being a baby but beginning to grow up. You wanted to spread your wings but at the same time wanted those wings to keep you very close to us. You see nothing but good in this mommy and daddy. You have innocent eyes and such a pure heart.
I try to imagine what I will write this time next year when you turn 5. But, I can't. I can only think about today. I can only think about how much I love you and how sometimes the very sight of your smile brings me to tears. It won't be long until you will be a big brother and I know you will grow up immediately. So, for the next 17 weeks, I'm going to baby you all I can. I'm going to continue to crawl in bed with you after you are asleep just to stare at you. I'm going ask you to get in my lap and be my baby boy so you can ask me to tell you stories about when you were a baby. You never get tired of those stories. I'm going to tell you every day just how special you are, because you are! Jonah, I begged God to let be a mommy and granted my heart's desire by giving you to me. I love you sweet boy! Happy, happy birthday!