today, January 12th, at 8:32pm, I gave birth to our oldest son, Cole Gregory. Labor began with my water breaking at midnight the night before, and 20 very long hours later, he arrived. He weighed 9lbs 3oz and was born in distress, not breathing or crying, and was immediately whisked away. I recall being too exhausted to quite know what was going on. He had fluid on his lungs and a slight heart murmur, all attributed to not getting that "first big cry" and he was transferred within 90 minutes to the Mayo Clinic's NICU. (I'm honestly having a hard time remembering all this.) A pretty scary deal for both of us. I was able to leave the next morning for a few hours to go see him; I had delivered at a different hospital and discharged the next day. After all was said and done, (and that was A LOT!) he ended up testing positive for Group B Strep and subsequently spent the first two weeks of his sweet little life in the NICU to receive IV antibiotics for that infection. He never really displayed symptoms of illness, so was never in any imminent danger but it was still a scary experience as first time parents. We were in the newly added Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital and they had small furnished "sleep rooms" available were I could spend the day resting and hanging out with him. Despite the fact that we weren't home with our newborn baby boy and it was all big and unknown and scary, it really wasn't a bad way to start out our journey as parents. I mean, he had 24 hour nursing care in a world renowned medical facility. We had access to top-notch Doctors to answer all my questions!! (Incidentally this would not be our only experience with the Mayo Clinics vast and amazing medical expertise)
We brought him home and obviously life hasn't been the same since! He had us all to himself for 4 years and 4 days (until the little sisters arrived -watch for that birthday post on the 16th!) He's always been a great sleeper (sleeping overnight at 6 weeks!), a great eater and a real charmer! He was always a really good boy, not doing most of the mischievous things his siblings have done. He was easy going, friendly and always had an amazing "go-with-the-flow" way about him. We were in the throes of the early years of a new church, still doing lots of theatre and we just dragged him along to everything, or left him in capable hands of some wonderful caregivers and he was always good to go.
Cole, you are thoughtful, and sweet and sensitive. You have a wonderful sense of humor and I love your smile. You crave fairness and justice. I love how you can charm your way into getting something you want. I especially love how much you love your dad. I know you love me too, but you and your dad have a got a really special bond and I truly wouldn't want it any other way. You are a thoughtful and kind big brother and watching the 4 of you have fun together is one of my favorite things. You are in the unfortunate position of being our first born, therefore paving the way for us through this whole parenting adventure - whatever you do, we are doing for the first time too.(and for that I am terrified!) I am so afraid of messing the whole thing up and making a mess of you. I can only continue to pray that you will always seek God first, make good choices, strive for excellence, be filled with compassion for others, and always, always know we love you. I am so blessed to be your mom. Happy 12th Birthday Cole!