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One year on

It's a big day for our little family. One year ago, just before 5am, Mari leapt out of bed. Waters had broken! This was 5 weeks before Jacob was due, so we were certainly not expecting this to be happening so soon. Perhaps ironically, on our to-do list the day before was "pack hospital bag," but we'd decided to do it later because we just didn't need it so early. (In fact, when Mari told me the baby was coming, in a doze I essentially told her I didn't believe her and that we should go back to sleep.)

Once we realised that this was actually happening, we jumped out of bed, called the mid-wife, rushed to get changed, and then ran frantically in circles trying to gather everything we'd need for the hospital. We couldn't help but laugh at ourselves.

I guess that's a fair description of a first year of being parents. Unprepared yet prepared. Running frantically in circles yet being able to laugh in the midst of it all. ... and lots of waking early in the morning.

So, this time one year ago we were all at the hospital. Jacob was downstairs in an incubator but was relaxed and happy - and a big boy for being 5 weeks early! Mari was in the recovery room under a warming blanket, feeling dizzy and getting her temperature up - she had reacted to some antibiotics and went quite delirious and was unable to see for a while. (She was also anticipating the many trays of sushi she'd be brought throughout the day, as she couldn't eat it during pregnancy). I was running up and down between Mari and Jacob, taking photos and videos so Mari could see him. (Because she'd gone delirious, she had no recollection of seeing him earlier). It wasn't until that evening she was able to see him properly for the first time.

Despite quite an eventful arrival, things quickly settled. Jacob was able to come home with us after just two weeks and we began the process of adjusting to life as a little family. He's developed rapidly too - it's been a dangerously quick transition from being immobile, to rolling, to sitting, to army-crawling, to crawling, to standing up against things. It turns out that 'baby proofing' is an art form that takes a while to learn! Jacob's proven to be a very social little man, and seems to see himself as a 'mentor' to the younger kids he meets, teaching them important life lessons like how to clap. He loves having in depth conversations with whoever he meets (despite not being able to talk), and will happily spend time with new people.

In fact, as a little birthday surprise, we wonder if he said his first words this morning. I've been working hard to encourage his choice of first word ("daddy"), but it seems that hasn't worked. This morning he appeared to be repeating after us the words "tickle tickle."

Today we wanted to say a big thank you to the whole CMS family, for your prayers, your encouragement, your thoughts (and your patience!). Thank you! May God lead us as we discover what it means to be a family on mission together.

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