Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Boy!

Tate turned FOUR today. 

I cannot believe it.  I simply cannot. 

This is what I wrote in 2006 shortly after Tate's birth:

With every day that passes, my mind blocks out more of the details of my son's birth, so I thought I'd write them down so that I don't forget how wonderful/painful/incredible the entire experience was.
Very rarely does anything change your life instantly.  I can remember a few specific grandpa's accident at the lake, the moment Mark told me he had feelings for me, and very few others.  Getting married was more of a process, a gradual change, and accepting that Christ loved me and choosing to follow him, while the most significant change in my life, was also more of a gradual realization than an instantaneous change.
The birth of my son, however, was an instantaneous change.  I loved him the moment I laid eyes on him.  The birth itself was awful.  I was induced at around noon on the 28th, and he was born at 1:55 on the morning of the 29th.  I had horrible back labor, so I never stopped hurting during the entire labor process.  That part was almost unbearable.  We had chosen prior to the birth to have a natural childbirth, so there was no medication to numb the pain.  I felt everything.  The last three hours of labor was the worst.  I was transitioning for about 2 hours, and that part tends to be the most painful.  After about an hour of pushing, Tate's heart rate started to drop during the contractions, so they were in a rush to get him out.  I got an episiotomy (didn't even realize it) and he was here in two good pushes.  It was amazing.  I felt like crap, but emotionally I can't even begin to describe the high I felt.  I didn't understand why the doctors were still so concerned, but I soon found out.  I had torn severely, and the episiotmy was a fourth degree (deep) one.  I was taken into the OR in order to sew me up.  Before I left I was able to hold Tate, but only for a moment.
The 45 minutes or so in the OR was the longest in my life.  I only wanted to get back to my bed and be with Mark and our son.  Mark, who was the best coach ever during the process, was all alone with our son and I wanted to be together as a family.  Soon enough we were back together and the love in the room was overwhelming.
My son, Tate, looks just like his father.  I love that.  He shares the same lips, nose, and eyes.  His feet are large, just like daddy's, and some of his expressions are identical.  I can't imagine loving any two people more.
This whole experience has brought into a new light the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.  I'm sure you have heard that before, but when you have a child, it really sheds light on the vastness of the love God has for us.  I would sacrifice myself for those I love, but never, never my son.  That is asking too much.  Yet, this is what he did.  He gave part of himself, his son, to die for me.
"How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure
that He should give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure"

And today, let me just say this:

Tate, I love you more each day.  You are smart, sensitive, loving and kind.  You like people, love cares and trains, and I believe Jesus will do amazing things in and through your life.  You are a treasure, a joy and your laugh makes everything in the world seem right. 

I am so proud of who you are growing up to be.  I will continue to guide you as you grow.  

Love always,