|Bringing Shelby home from the hospital|
Why is it so hard on a mommy? And I don't mean the party planning. That part- at least for me- has been so fun. This post is about the milestone. The big FIRST birthday. We spend our whole lives as females imagining what it will be like when we have a baby. What will they look like? What will their name be? When will I have one?
The first year (in my experience) of a baby's life is an emotional roller coaster. From the moment that slippery baby is pulled from your womb and placed in your arms, a mommy's heart is overcome with an instant feeling of unconditional love. How does God do that by the way? Then, you bring that sweet baby home and the worrying begins.
Why is she crying?
When will she learn to nap?
If I swaddle her too long, will she become dependent on the swaddle?
She can't fall asleep being held- she will never sleep in her bed!
Why won't she take a bottle?
What if she's allergic to this food?
Why is her head shaped like that?
Is that enough tummy time?
Should I let her watch TV?
Is she gaining enough weight?
Can I eat that/ take my medicine? Can she have it in my breast milk?
Is she cold? Is she hot?
And between all that worrying, there are so many magical moments. The first smile that isn't gas. The first big belly laugh. (Hers was at our doggies of course). Cuddling and cradling her head while breast feeding. Oh how magical! Seeing those little hands learn how to feed herself. The way her fingers find her ears when she is sleepy and sucking her paci- or the way they sometimes find my ear too. Learning to crawl and then suddenly walking- I wasn't even kind of ready for that. The way her face lights up when daddy gets home from work. The excited reaction I receive when I playfully say, "I'm gonna get you!"
I've tried my very hardest to savor every minute- good and bad. I've learned patience this year in a way that I never thought I would. I've tried to be selfless and generous and nurturing every minute. Yes, I have failed many times in this quest due mainly to the fact that I'm human. (I had no idea my body could run on pure adrenaline and coffee.) But I loved every sleepless night- even though I wondered just a little bit when I would sleep again. Side note: I think those people that say their babies regularly sleep through the night are liars. Either that, or they have the 1 in a million baby who actually does that and to them I say, "Congratulations. You've basically won the lottery."
I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I was in no way prepared for the fantastic journey it would be. I have loved every minute of worrying- which has been most of the year haha! I have loved the instant adoration that God gave me for this special girl. I've loved watching Matt become a father. He took to it like a duck in water. I remember him being the only person who could soothe her in the hospital. I'm thankful for our siblings and the love that they have for our baby girl. I remember being so thrilled and a bit baffled by the love my sister had for Shelby and then being overwhelmed when her two boys were born later in the year. I understood at that very moment how she felt. I've loved seeing our parents become grand parents. It's been the most magical year of my life.
So, I can understand being a little bit sad to see it go. To say that I am "thankful" for the last 12 months would be an understatement. There isn't a word in my vocabulary that describes my feeling of happiness and thankfulness. But, I know that God gave me these feelings and these blessings and I can't wait to hug his neck one day and thank Him personally for the first year of Shelby's life and every year he lets me celebrate with her in the future.