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Portrait 7/52: One

My little baby boy turns one today. At 21:30 to be precise. Happy birthday my sweetie pie :)

The year of 2013 started with waiting. Weeks and weeks of waiting. My mind was all made up that Alvar will be born in February . The due date was 23.3, but my reasoning was that Ingrid was born 4 weeks before her due date, so I was sure, 120% sure that this little one will be born even earlier. But he took his time. And we waited. And waited. And waited. I think this was the longest winter in my life. I remember thinking of calling all my past doula clients who went over the due date and were getting antsy and apologizing if I ever said “just be patient” or some other such rubbish. These last weeks were truly a torture- hypertension, a lot of extra weight (really, A LOT), constant check ups and, most annoyingly, very frequent contractions. I lost count of how many times I got up at night, woke up my husband and almost went to the hospital. Not fun. My mom flew over from Poland- it was great to have moral support and just knowing that she will take good care of Ingrid (and the dog) when we leave to the hospital. We thought she will stay a few days, ended up being over three weeks. The lazy Sunday morning started with kids ringing the doorbell in search for candy- the wonderful and quirky virvonta tradition of Palm Sunday in Finland. Then around 10am I felt tired and went to bed. Woke up to some contractions, but decided to absolutely disregard them as it happened so many times and I didn’t want to ring yet another false alarm. But they continued. At some point my husband said “you know, they are pretty regular and long now”. So I called my doula and the hospital and they both said it would be a good idea to come over. I thought they were all crazy, but decided to pack and go.  And so he arrived indeed. After six hours of fairly intense, but in some ways easy labor (the “easy” was being supported by my wonderful team of hubs and Anu) and a messed up birth (messed up by the doctor of the butcher variety) he arrived. It shook my world and turned it upside down. It left me shattered. Quite a few unnecessary medical procedures were used during the pushing stage and after all that I felt that my body failed me, again. It took months, very long months to recover physically.

But bigger than that was the shock of being a mother of two. I don’t think anything prepares you for that- for the positives and the negatives. First off, it’s amazing to realize that it is in fact possible to love two people so fiercely. And so differently. When I think about my children I can literally feel it differently in my heart. Alvar’s love is creamy, flowy and ticklish. Ingrid’s love is sweet, with rounded but firm corners, a bit like candy maybe.

It’s so surprising to realize my children are two different people. I mean, of course I know it on a conscious level that they are different, but I still kind of expected the same things to happen. So it came as a surprise that he likes his pram, hard-boiled eggs and bread, and that is not diggin’ the day nap routine.

His smile is like sunshine. It’s completely contagious, he smiles and I cannot help but smile back even if I’m having a bad day.

Alvar, my sweetest. Please keep smiling and being the bubbly you. You are curious. Brave. Gentle and loving. Soft. Squishy. Stubborn.

Love you so much.

Disclaimer: it was *extremely* difficult to select photos for this post. So it’s fairly random and haphazard collection of my favorites.

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Brooke - Beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy! I enjoyed this series of images so much.

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