I'm a bit behind the mark, I know, but I couldn't let another day go by without reflecting on Gabe's first year. When Tommy turned one I put together a web site for him (some of you may recall... ), and now that he is old enough he has looked at it a few times. He LOVES reading the stories. Here, my best attempt at Gabe's first year in review. (Prepare yourself; this may be long; I'm copying the format of the written parts of Tommy's site.)
It was a Thursday morning. I had been on watch for elevated blood pressure for some time and was finally pulled out of work and put on full bed rest one week earlier. I brought my list of BP's with me to the doctor that morning, and when she saw the list of diastolics in the 110's and how close my due date was approaching (they had my due date at January 28 at the time; my original due date was January 22), she asked why they would sit, watch, and wait while my readings continued to rise - or at least for how long anyone should let that go. So, she asked if there was anything I needed to do before heading over to the hospital (a one minute drive around the corner) and sent me over to be induced. I called Brian from the car and gave him a pretty good excuse to cut out of his meeting early! I mean... I interrupted him during a meeting, and he had to leave... I told him to take his time getting Tommy where he needed to go and not to hurry as I expected to be at the hospital for a while. (Why? Who knows. I guess I assumed my super quick labor with Tommy was just a fluke.)
As I checked in at the hospital, alone at first, which was a little weird, the receptionist asked if I was at all nervous or jittery. She thought I seemed so very calm for someone who was about to have a baby and kept asking if I was feeling okay or if I was getting uncomfortable. Of course I was in no discomfort since I was really only about to be induced, and I had gone through one induction before, so I found it mildly amusing, but we worked through the paperwork and I soon found myself in Room 5. (I think.) With a nurse named Sarah. (My nurse with Tommy was also named Sarah.)
They didn't waste any time. Sadly this time they went straight to Pitocin (evil stuff, I tell you). It worked quickly, and every thirty minutes the dose was increased. As quick as it was, it wasn't fun. I wanted a natural childbirth, especially after the wonderful experience I had with Tommy's natural birth, but with Tommy I only needed Cervadil. The Pitocin was different. I don't think it would have been bad if they hadn't continued to increase the dose so many times, but I hit my threshold this time around. Of course I didn't want to ask for anything, so I put it off, and then when I finally said something it took forever (or so it seemed) to go find the doctor, who recommended medicine that I refused (why tell your doctor what you want ahead of time if the other doctor in the practice isn't going to read your preferences in your chart when the magic time comes?)... which delayed things even more. By the time the anesthesiologist came in for the epi things had progressed much farther and faster than expected. In a matter of a few hours I had gone from 0 to 7. As the doctor was just starting to insert the needle in my back I got that telltale overwhelming urge to push, and as soon as he lay me back and walked away, Gabe was out with a quick push. He was shocked when he came back in the room after and saw that the time of birth was within a few minutes of administering the epi. To be honest, so was I.
Yeah, the epi was useless. By the time it kicked in all the hard work was over and I just had to lay in the hospital bed with tingly legs for three hours.
But Gabe... Gabe was so perfect. 6 pounds, 7.3 ounces and 20 1/2 " of pure sweet lovable baby boy. Born at 4:57 PM, all within a work day/afternoon.
Gabe's Apgars were 9 and 10. He did have to spend some time in the warmer, and I'll never forget the strange feeling I had after he nursed for a while and then was taken away. He wasn't inside me anymore, yet he wasn't in my arms either. He did look so peaceful though, in the tiny little nursery room, all sprawled out in his diaper, arms out wide and fast asleep. So precious.
I remember that his take-home outfit turned out to be eons too big, and that it was cold. The morning after I heard salt trucks out my window, and I later discovered that my car had become completely encased in ice. I tried to go home early but the doctor wouldn't have it because of my "condition." When we did arrive home it was such a great feeling. Enjoying Gabe's company in the hospital was so memorable and special, but sharing that enjoyment with Brian and Tommy was especially amazing - and still is!
While we aren't always entirely sure where to draw the line between words and sounds, Gabe does now say " Mama," "Dada," and attempts "kitty cat." When he looks out the window every morning he says "ca" (car), and I could swear he has said "baba" for bottle once or twice. He has also recently started saying "ball." I'm pretty sure he also said "Nana" the other day while playing with his phone. Yesterday and today he has been saying "oh" nonstop! (It's the cutest when he looks up to the ceiling at his birthday balloon.) I know he wanted to say "uh oh" last night.
Oh, how Gabe dances-and sings! La la la la la. He shakes his head and points and crawls with some serious speed. (He did start crawling at six months.) He stands alone and walks with furniture and the stride-to-ride. He throws a ball and turns the pages in all our books. Then again he also folds the pages and then tries to stick them back on the shelf.
Gabe has seven teeth. He eats like a champ, much to our surprise following his battles with reflux early on. He drinks from a sippy and eats with his fingers. He waves and blows kisses. He plays his drum and wrecks block towers. He climbs everything from stools, stairs, and ladders (gasp!) to toys, people, and pillows. He loves the take-it-out-and-put-it-back-in game and has recently learned how to stack cups. He opens and closes doors and cupboards and pants like a dog when we ask.
BOOKS: Goodnight Moon, How to Make a Rainbow, Percival the Caterpillar, Dave the Duckling Gets Into Trouble, and his V-Tech Rhyme and Discover book
TOYS: Stacking rings, stacking cups, rolling drum, stride-to-ride, shape sorter barn, the mailbox at daycare, Baby Einstein (soft) blocks, Peek-a-Blocks, cardboard bricks, anything with wheels, all his bath toys, and more
FOOD: Sweet potatoes, squash, ravioli, lasagna, meatballs, pizza, bread/toast, puffs, mum-mums, soup with rice and/or veggies, pancakes, cheerios, and just about everything else we have given him!
GAMES: Peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, dancing, singing, chasing, and many more
Right from the start Gabe sneezed in sixes (or was it fives). Such his father's son.
As a baby he always loved climbing on Daddy's face.
When he was too little for a high chair and I would occasionally sit down to a meal with him on my lap, he would climb his feet up onto the table. As soon as I took them down, he put them up again. He also watched my food and the fork going into my mouth and opened his mouth up wide, fully expecting the food to go in his mouth. (It felt torturous, but it was cute!)
We call him Monkey for a reason. It all started because he was picking up things with his feet at least as early as he learned to use his hands. Goofball. And when he did hold things in his hands he almost always transferred them to his feet before letting go.
Gabe LOVES his big brother, and every time he sees him he gets excited. In the morning he sometimes wakes up grumpy, but as soon as Tommy comes in the room he sits right up with an ear-to-ear grin and bounces with excitement.
Gabe's favorite way of alerting us to the fact that he's done with his meal is by taking pieces of food and slowly dropping one at a time between the high chair and the table so that they land on the floor. He looks so innocent when he does it, too.
He loves the put-it-on-my-head game. It all started with rings, but blocks, toys, and clothes work too. He tries to balance them on his head, and then he shakes his head to drop them again.
Gabe dances with all the bounciness of any sweet little 12 month old, but what's funny is when we bob our heads to the side with the music. He hasn't quite figured that out yet, so he just shakes his head from side to side and laughs. He looks up while he does it, of course looking incredibly silly.
If you want to send a message to Gabe for his album (I eventually hope to put all this together in a website or album to save for him), just leave your comment here. Before we know it, he will be 2!