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Katherine Heigl is counting her blessings this holiday season, starting with the little bundle of joy that she and husband Josh Kelley welcomed into the world just one year ago.
The actress shared a heartfelt post to Instagram Wednesday in honor of her son Joshua Jr.’s first birthday, pulling together a series of photos from her pregnancy and from moments both pre- and post-cesarean section.
In one particularly arresting image, Heigl stands before a snowy window, looking contemplative as she poses topless with one hand supporting her pregnant belly and the other covering her breasts.
“At 9am one year ago today I had @joshbkelley take this photo of me so I could remember how incredibly pregnant I was right before we left for the hospital and my 12pm scheduled cesarean,” she captioned the collection of images. “Joshua Jr. had been in the breech position for over a month and had still not moved an inch a week before his due date so I made the decision to have a cesarean and was incredibly nervous and a little scared this time last year.”
Heigl, 39, explained that she had never been hospitalized or had surgery before, so she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Once she was numbed and underwent the C-section, however, everything happened in a blur.
“When (my doctor) finally pulled him out at exactly 12:33pm he didn’t start breathing and they worked quickly to get oxygen in him and start his tiny lungs,” she wrote. “... That day, as I slowly came out of the morphine haze and clutched my tiny man to me I thanked the heavens for his breath, his life and for making me a mother three times over.”
She added, “He was so tiny and new, so fragile and tender. As I lay him down to sleep that first night in his very appropriate ‘welcome to the world’ sleep sack I thought the moment would last forever.”
And yet, the former "Grey’s Anatomy" star noted, the year has flown by and Joshua Jr. is already “26 pounds of rolling, tumbling, grasping, giggling, shouting, curious, jolly energy.”
The final image in the series shows Heigl and her baby boy in the present day with matching, beaming smiles.
“It’s been a hell of a year and I could not be more grateful for it or him!” Heigl wrote. “Happy Birthday to my little man! Maybe I can make this next year go a little slower!”
Heigl and Kelley, 37, are also parents to two adopted daughters: Naleigh, 9, and Adalaide, 5.