Our week-long birthday extravaganza has officially come to an end tonight. Our precious Andrew turned 7 today...In many ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.
After the difficult time we had conceiving Matthew, we decided to get a jump start with Baby #2. We knew that it would be hard having to kids fairly close in age if it went quicker than it did with Matthew, but we also didn't want to risk it taking too long after waiting too long.
What I didn't expect was losing my father that summer. And finding out I was pregnant with Andrew just a month later. Or the terrible morning sickness that sent me to the emergency room several times during the first trimester.
I also didn't think I could love my second baby the way I loved my first. I didn't know yet what a mother's heart is capable of.
When we went to the sonogram, Matthew and John high-fived each other; another member of the boys' only club. Me, my knees went a little weak. I was glad I was laying down as my mind went crazy thinking. Another boy. Another healthy baby boy.
As the delivery date neared, I worried about leaving Matthew behind for the few days I would be in the hospital. I worried about how things would go in the operating room. More importantly, I worried about how Matthew would react to this brand new little boy who was going to demand a lot of his mother.
That morning, as I prepared to go to the hospital, I hugged my first born as I eyes filled with tears: tears of joy, love, fear, hope, sadness. Because I had a mother's heart.
And when my OB/GYN wished Andrew a happy birthday as she fished him out of my womb; my heart overflowed with emotion. When I saw my precious, healthy, baby boy, I knew that I loved him as much as Matthew. I just knew how much my heart needed this new life.
My Andrew is a series of contradictions, and I love that about him. He is the sweetest thing, and has a sixth sense relating to me. He knows what to say, what to do, when I am not feeling my usual cheerful sense. He can crack me up like no other, and there is a silent understanding between us.
And, as an added bonus, he is the spitting image of my dad, who never met him.
As for my irrational fears regarding Matthew's reaction to his new brother? Completely unfounded. When he met his brother and held him for the first time (picture, if you will, a 30 month old baby holding a newborn), Andrew started to whimper. He quickly said to his brother, "Don't worry, Baby Andrew, we'll find your mommy." So lucky to have had the video camera in hand, on and recording to hear those precious words.
Andrew's toddler years were hard on all of us. Any time I would broach the subject of a third child, John would silently point to Andrew and I would retreat.
But when Andrew left behind the terrible twos AND threes, he emerged a different child. Insightful, introspective, thoughtful, kind.
Happy birthday, Andrew! Seven is lucky and we are SO lucky to have you to call our own. Thank you for helping me break out of my comfort zone. Thank you for showing me that is always an abundance of love in my heart for all of you. And most importantly, thank you for always being who you are, regardless of anyone's reaction. You are my inspiration in helping me be true to myself. Besides, it's nice to have another brown eyed person in the house...I love you, baby!