Every year on my birthday my mom starts remembering what she was doing that day in 1979. Now I know why. It’s my baby’s first birthday today and my mind has been replaying the scene from this time last year all day-well and yesterday, too.
My labor started around 2:30 on a Saturday-right after picking up my free gift from Clinique and going to a baby shower for another friend. I’m still not sure what was going on, labor for me felt like continual cramps-not contractions, but by the time we got to the hospital I’d so freaked myself out (in true me fashion) that they admitted me for preeclampsia. Haha. So they induced, and I worked hard to calm down. Since we were promised a baby by daybreak (and I wanted my Valentines Day apple fritter) we stayed up all night catching up on Lost episodes. Unfortunately, labor drug out a total of 26 hours and we had our sweet girl at 6:00 pm after 2 hours of pushing. Life was forever changed.
It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by. It’s hard to believe my little squirt is not my little bitty baby anymore, but my big girl. In the last year I’ve learned a lot, grown up in ways I didn’t know I needed to, regressed a little, fallen down, rallied, cried some frustration tears, laughed hysterically, and fallen in love with a little girl named Charlie.
In short some thoughts on motherhood so far…
1. My baby is my baby and she’s unique. I found out really quickly that this kid had some spunk. I’d done a lot of reading on stuff like sleep, and breastfeeding, and you know, other baby stuff. I’d talked to a lot of friends about labor and cloth diapering and food…and what I’ve learned is-with each kid you’ve got to make it your own way. And it starts from conception. Every pregnancy is different. Every delivery is different. Every breastfeeding experience is different. Every person is different. So, pretty soon-I threw out all of my books and went with my gut. It serves me a lot better than the “experts.”
2. I’m way more selfish than I thought I was. When you get married, you find out that your life isn’t your own. This is WAY more pronounced if you are single for a substantial amount of time as I was. But then again, your spouse, in most situations, does not DEPEND on you for LIFE! Your baby does. It is a huge responsibility to have a child. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it’s been really difficult to give up little things like sleeping in, and having a cup of coffee in the morning (an uninterrupted cup that is), and date nights without hunting down a baby sitter. BUT life is not about me and I’m grateful for a little life that forces me out of myself and out of my comfort zone. With the challenge, comes growth and sometimes I think she teaches me more than I’m teaching her.
3. Being a mom helps me understand God just a little better. I have an unexplainable, incomprehensible, self-sacrificing, emotional, beautiful love that for that little girl. This is how God must feel for me-yet I still can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s amazing.
4. Watching my husband with my kid is bliss. There’s nothing more BEAUTIFUL than watching my husband rock our little girl to sleep and pray with her before bed. I love watching him with her and I love seeing how God is using him already, to be a wonderful dad. I think some guys are made to be little girl daddies and I married one. Not that he wouldn’t be a great dad to little boys, (I know he would) but he is so gentle and tender and kind with her, it would have been a waste not to give him at least one girl. 🙂
There is nothing about the last year that I would ever change-even the hard parts. There’s no joy like a child. I am blessed beyond words.