One year ago yesterday, I pushed a nearly 7 pound little human out of my body and just like that Nolan was born!

I guess I made that sound way too easy, and it’s somewhat true what they say – our brains and bodies are designed to forget pain. I can’t remember the pain itself but I made sure to make a mental note to myself and log it in my memory as the most painful experience of my life. I was never any good at rating my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 but when I was in labor and Nolan was in the wrong position pushing directly on my spine I felt like my pain was at a 15. I kept clinging onto the thought that this pain is only temporary and in a few hours it will be over and we will get to meet our little guy. I kept asking my nurse how much longer it will take and she kept telling me that she doesn’t know, it could take days – not very helpful! But it was a very quick labor after all, which I’m thankful for. The pushing part was actually less painful than the back-labor, maybe because I was hopped up on adrenaline and knew I would get to meet Nolan shortly. The funniest part of it all was when the nurse asked Deon if he wanted to take a look and he promptly said “no thank you” but then he took a little peep and said “it looks like you are pushing out an alien”.

From the moment he was born, he was looking around squinting, taking in the world outside his cozy little womb that nurtured him for 9 months.

Deon and I were instantly in love, we just kept staring at him in awe of the fact that we created a little human. He was just perfect!

We called him an ‘angel baby’ because he was really easy. He nursed and he pooped and he looked around and he slept. I took his newborn pictures when he was 9 days old and he slept through the entire thing.

He barely ever cried. For the first month.

Then overnight it was like someone switched out our angel baby and left us with a crying machine who could not settle and could not sleep. We wore him in a wrap pretty much 24/7 because that’s the only way he was happy. We did whatever worked to make him stop crying and get him to sleep. But we were creating awful sleep crutches and after 4 months of holding him in our arms all day and night, we were exhausted. Parents need sleep too! So we called Bemama (my mom) for help and she taught Nolan how to fall asleep in his crib and it was wonderful! But I would like to add that Nolan never became a great sleeper. He STILL wakes up at night, but it’s OK, I cherish these early morning cuddles.

It’s been a tough, exhausting, but wonderful journey watching Nolan grow and learn this past year.

He loves reading books and is starting to read on his own, flipping through pages saying “ba ba da ba da”. He loves inspecting moving parts like wheels. He absolutely loves anything that’s metal – spoons, screws, keys, and anything and everything else. And most of all, he loves people. He goes up to anyone and everyone at the playground and starts ‘chatting’. He also knows when he is being a ‘bad boy’ because when I say his name he looks up and crawls away really fast giggling. He developed a bad habit of biting us (really hard!) and then laughing maniacally and it’s super hard to keep  a straight face and tell him ‘no’ because he is just so darn adorable. I’m hoping he won’t be that kid in kindergarten who bites the other kids..! We better teach him some manners.

I wanted to do a smash cake session with him for his birthday and my mom baked him a beautiful swirly cake.

He put his hands in it right away but then the next minute he crawled off and didn’t really want to go near the cake anymore. My mom put a little bit of frosting in his mouth and he started gagging! I guess it was way way way too sweet. We tried to get a few more shots of him with the cake but he broke down crying. It’s alright though, we managed to get a couple of great shots!

Happy 1st Birthday My Little Man! I love you more than words can describe.