Last weekend, we had a big first birthday party for Eva, with about 35 guests (including many of her superfriends) and a big ol' cake, of course. It was really fun, and I'm not entirely sure what Eva thought, but I was really touched that so many people came to help us celebrate. It was a really tangible sign of how many people we have in our lives that love this little girl and are here to support us when we need it -- and that doesn't even count all the people who live farther away. Anyway, it was fun if a little crazy. Example: I forgot to let Eva eat any of her cake (after I forgot that we should sing happy birthday before I started dismantling it!), so she had a slice of cake the next day. However, during this, her first opportunity to have refined sugar, she never did consent to even the tiniest speck of it entering her mouth, as you can see in this series of cake "eating" photos (don't view as a slide show if you want the captions).
I spent a lot of time the week prior to Eva's birthday thinking about what I was doing "a year ago, right now...". A year ago, I was was at the hospital in Austin with Larry and my midwife pre-registering for my scheduled c-section (it took me three tries and lots of crying before I could check the little "c-section" box on the form). A year ago, I had just spoken with the doctor in Dallas and was packing to head up there that afternoon -- we threw the car seat in the back of the car on a whim, good thing. A year ago, I was having an external version attempt and then waiting around for the epidural to wear off, while denying my early labor signs despite the look on my doctor's (and Larry's) face. A year ago, my water broke as we were pulling up to Taco Bell, and I made Larry run in and get me food while I was on the phone, informing the doctor's office that they needed to page Dr. Graham even though it was her night off, because "no, you see, I'm that breech woman up from Austin". A year ago, we were working to get labor started. A year ago, I was in transition (but didn't know it) and pacing back and forth in my labor room, clutching the "short list" of boy names yelling at Larry that we had to have a name now! A year ago, as I scooted over onto the operating table (as I was in the OR just in case), right in the middle of a contraction because there was no time to waste, I noticed that maybe I should be scared -- but then was too distracted to bother. A year ago, I was concentrating on the most important momen of my life, when Eva's body was out and I needed that one last push to really count so that her head would emerge and she could take that first breath. A year ago, I held my baby in my arms and Larry and I exchanged that kind of look that says everything in an instant. I spent that last week recounting these moments while doing the usual daily routine, changing diapers or chopping vegetables or nursing Eva, and that juxtaposition between those moments of incredible transition a year ago and the tasks of someone firmly established in motherhood today... it made these memories all the more powerful. What a difference a year makes.
I love you, Eva. Happy Birthday.