To my Zakary, on your 4th Birthday!

September 16, 2013. I was waking up from an overnight of stalled labor and entering hour 21. I was tired, sore, and I wasn’t sure I had much left in me. The doctor came in, broke my water, and told me to prepare for the worst of it. Within an hour I couldn’t breathe I was in so much distress, and you were feeling it. Although I didn’t want to have any medication during your birth, I knew we both needed it. I had a partial block and you and I slept comfortably for three hours.

2017-09-10_0001When I woke up, my doula told me that she was pretty certain you were ready to make your grand debut, as my contractions were increasing, even during our mutual nap. The doctor came in to check, and sure enough a full head of dark hair indicated that you were ready to meet us. The nurse asked me to take a practice push, and when she saw how ready you were she told mommy to stop so the doctor could prepare. It was almost time…

2017-09-10_0002I was very nervous, but oh-so-ready to see your sweet face. The doctor came in and casually guided me through three pushes. That’s all it took. I pulled you out and brought you up to my chest and immediately exclaimed to the room that you looked just like my dad (your Pop Pop). I cried tears of joy as I listened to your cries and watched your eyes open for the first time. You were perfect.

2017-09-10_0003For two hours after you were born I didn’t let anyone near you. The nurses were extremely kind and allowed you to lay on my chest and nurse until I was ready to get up and shower. I wasn’t ready. You were my perfect, precious boy, and even when family arrived a short while later you held tight to my shoulder while everyone met you for the first time.

2017-09-10_0004Zakary Andrew, there are things I want you to know. Things I want you to remember. You are strong and powerful. For the first three years of your life you had a 40% hearing loss. We weren’t sure what was going on, but after months of tests and trials we figured it out. A week before your third birthday you had tubes put in and your adenoids out to correct the problem and from there you became unstoppable.

2017-09-10_0005You are joy, and passion, and fire, and fierce. You love big and play bigger. You have the most vivid imagination and are “all boy.” Dirt, mess, superheroes and capes – you love them all. You love your family, the O’Neill’s, your friends, your church family, and your teachers. You have an incredible sense of humor and you even find yourself funny. You look like your mommy, but the red hair and hazel eyes set you apart as your own unique gift to the world.

2017-09-10_0006Every. Single. Person who meets you falls in love with you instantly. We walk into school or church and everyone knows your name. You are special! You make your mommy so incredibly proud to have the opportunity to watch you grow and flourish. And I know in my heart that you are destined for greatness.

2017-09-10_0007Keep laughing, and smiling, and making mommy laugh. Keep teaching me how to love and how to be the best mommy I can be. You are a gift and need to remember that you are a warrior for God’s kingdom. Keep seeking adventure and never stop believing. I am so, so proud of you and all that you have accomplished in your four short years.

2017-09-10_0008You have moxy, kiddo! Never stop chasing the next fun adventure and never forget that your mommy will be here, clapping and cheering you on, the entire length of the journey.

I love you, Scooch! Happy, Happy Birthday, my boy!



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