Attachment Parenting, Babywearing, Birth, Hopes, Pregnancy

Oh What a Year…

Hard to believe her first birthday party has already come and gone!
Hard to believe her first birthday party has already come and gone!

I am sitting in the carnage of a first birthday party. The living room is strewn with presents and bits of wrapping paper. Cards are scattered across the floor, each animal picture carefully kissed and then thrown to the carpet. Somehow the scary stuffed dog that talked to me in the darkness found her way back home.

It reminds me a bit of Christmas and how my dad likes to leave the mess in the front room for days. I get it now. Some messes slow down time.

Two more days until E is officially one. A year ago I prepared for battle. With leaking fluid and a ticking clock, I knew it was just a matter of time before she arrived. I dragged my feet in hopes I could avoid induction. I napped and ate pizza and timed contractions. I cried when the rhythm slowed each time I got into the shower. I cried again when they told me Pitocin was in the cards.

We ate the same pizza at her birthday party yesterday. I had wanted to throw a small celebration at home, but it grew bigger than our little house, so we headed to the park instead. The weather gods were on our side, a glorious spring day outdoors, trees blooming and sun shining bright. I handed her over to her adoring fans despite my desire to hold her close and never let go.

I also walked her home for a few more sweet, sleepy moments on our own.
I also walked her home for a few more sweet, sleepy moments on our own.

It hit me yesterday, as I strolled her to her party (another attempt to slow down time); I have no choice but to share her with the world. With each coming year, she will be more independent. She is not mine to keep forever. I sobbed a deep and unexpected sob as I typed those last words.

This year has been so precious. Ours and (mostly) ours alone. Hours of cuddles and milk, kisses and books, walks and doggies, giggles and sweet time spent curled up together in bed. When I think of all the letting go my parents have had to do with me and my siblings, I begin to wonder if they love(d) us with that same intensity. I know they must and then my heart aches for them and for me and for all parents and all people who deeply love the children in their lives.

Sometimes I worry myself to tears over what would happen if I died without leaving E a lasting impression of what she means to me. Luckily she will always have my words. I print these posts and put them in her baby book just in case the internet disappears but somehow her baby book survives (turns out moms worry about every eventuality).

I am just beginning to grasp the enormity of it all. This past year has ripped me inside out. Gratitude and awe does not even begin to describe it.

One year.

365 days of wild emotion.

I think I will leave the party mess a little longer.

Balance, Birth

Month Eleven: Almost One.

One more month...
One more month…

Each month is faster. I thought maybe it was the holidays, but even January with two and a half weeks of sickness disappeared too quickly. I always imagined a year at home to be enough. Now I am holding on to every extra moment even as I contemplate what comes next.

E is changing every day. She is cautious in her cruising but not in her climbing. In addition to the stairs, she has mastered the side tables and can often be found about to knock the lamps from their perches.

Her language acquisition is also accelerating. You can tell by the expressions on her face she is beginning to understand what we say. And sometimes, it almost sounds like she answers back.

“Are you having fun?”

“Yesh!” Arms high in the sky.

So far she will only take steps when she thinks we're not looking... So close!
So far she will only take steps when she thinks we’re not looking… So close!

One is around the corner. We are planning her first birthday party, a small but happy celebration, just like her. Then these monthly updates will be over. I will still blog, but already trying to find a theme for each month feels like a stretch. We have sunk into a rhythm, sometimes messy, sometimes smooth. Our lives have adapted to a new normal.

When I think back a year, to all the waiting and preparation, it is incredible to realize how much our lives have changed. I was so nervous. All I wanted was a healthy baby in my arms. Now she is practically out of my arms already. As I held her screeching at a party this weekend, I talked to an expectant mom and could not put into words how much her life was about to change or how much it would all be worth it, even on afternoons when the baby skips a nap and won’t allow you to finish an adult conversation.

11 months, almost one year. Laughter, words, and even a few small steps. My favorites, though, are all the loves and kisses.