Today, the Knight of our household, the bug killer, the quality cuddler, the non-stop talker in our family...today, he turns five.
Actually, I should say he turned five at 1:35 this morning. The night I went into labor with Jace, I was 35 weeks pregnant. I was sure it wasn't labor at all, and we went for a typical nightly walk downtown. My contractions kept coming, though, and finally, after I made sure Ava was in bed and asleep, I agreed to go to the hospital just to check things out. I stood at the door, waving.
"We'll be back soon!" I said, smiling. "I'm sure it's just a false alarm!"
On the thirty minute drive to the hospital, though, things got more intense. I remember holding onto the bar at the top of the Jeep. (Growing up, we called them Oh Shit! bars, and for the life of me I can't think of a better name for them, so there you go, I've just sworn on my blog.) I was hanging onto it for dear life, thinking that this labor thing...it was not so fun. But before I knew it I was in a room. I was obviously in denial about being in labor, and so when my water broke right there in the room, I said to my husband "I guess you can call people now. I don't think they can send you home after your water breaks." Then I immediately turned to the nurse. "Or can you?" I asked.
She assured me that I was being admitted, which made me realize that I was having a baby. As I was laboring, I turned to John, whose birthday was the 22nd. "I'm sorry. I haven't had a chance to get you a present!" He assured me it was okay and shortly thereafter, Jace was born screaming. I should have known right then that a baby who was yelling before he was even out would never stop talking.
It was a while before we noticed anything was wrong. Jace was seven pounds and six ounces, a nice, big size for a 35 weeker. His apgars were good. But over time we noticed he was really struggling to breathe, and he just kept getting worse. After five hours he was finally taken to the NICU and before we knew it he was on a ventilator. It was nearly a week before I would hold him again.
Pneumonia and premature lungs combined to throw Jace some rough curve balls, but when he finally recovered and came home, it was like he'd never been sick. Jace was an incredibly happy, self sufficient baby. He crawled before he was six months old, walked and talked (and talked and talked) on time, and then he turned one and went completely insane.
I'm telling you, we didn't leave our house for a year. Jace was the most stubborn, independent toddler I had ever seen (until his brother Seth came along, who learned all his tricks and then some). Finally, when he turned two, he found some self control and we were able to go out in public again. Life with Jace has always been exciting and never ever boring.
My five year old is sweet and loud, exuberant and sensitive. He is funny and a great dancer. He tends to hide food under his bed so that he can have a snack at night and then blames it on his sister. He is his sister's twin born a year later. I have never seen two siblings more bonded together. He loves fiercely and intensely and will stand up for anyone. He says he's going to live at home with me until he's eighty, then get married. Maybe.
I'm pretty blessed to have such an amazing oldest son!
Happy Birthday, Jacie!