My firstborn turned 5 years old today. This occasion has led me down memory lane -- join me, won't you?

Seems like it was just yesterday I found out I was pregnant -- it snowed that weekend, in Texas. I vividly remember all the doctors appointments where the baby (and I) grew bigger and bigger. I remember the fears that he'd get too big (which I now believe to be ridiculous, but that's a different soapbox).

We scheduled our induction for Monday, October 18 at 8 AM. The week before I coordinated, and Matt taught at, a conference for children's pastors. It was huge, so was my belly, and my ankles. I was rather miserable, but Matt kept singing to me "Come Monday, it will be all right. Come Monday we'll be holding him tight . . ."

The conference ended on Saturday and our families started arriving. (A definite benefit to scheduling the birth, everyone could plan to be there!) Matt's parents flew in from Kentucky. My mom flew in from Poland. And my sister flew in from Africa. Mom and Joni had only seen pics of me pregnant and Joni almost screamed in the airport when she saw the giantness of me.

Joni hadn't eaten an American meal for years, and I wasn't supposed to eat the morning of the induction, so at midnight we went out for burgers, fries, and ice cream. That was the last meal I ate before my world totally changed.

We got to the hospital and started the paperwork and pitocin. The day progressed slowly. The family played cards while I napped and watched Dr. Phil. Finally, around 7:30 that night, it was time to push. I had chosen to not take any childbirth classes, for fear that they would freak me out, so I had no idea what was normal. Turns out, we weren't. I pushed and pushed but he didn't come. My doctor explained that he had gotten stuck on my pelvic bone, so each push was pressing him into the bone, rather than out the canal. They used a vacuum and out he came. His little face was bruised and squished, but he was otherwise perfect.

(BTW, during all of this pushing business, the doctor was more concerned with Matt than me. Apparently Matt wasn't handling all of this well. Dr. White kept sending him out to get juice and suggesting he sit down. Hello, people, I'm trying to have a baby here!)

I'll never forget the sunny fall day we drove him home from the hospital. I've found a Maya Angelou poem that describes how I felt that day -- and still do.

The moment you came into the world
I tried to see it through your young eyes and
Everything became new again.

The moon became brighter,
The sun warmer,
and the stars even more mysterious.

Yet nothing is as glorious as you.

Happy birthday, my Patriot!