So much can happen in one year…
In one year I went from managing an office and dreading turning 30 – to a very inflated pregnant 30 year old – to a new full time mom sans the full time job. In just under a year you can grow an entire human being. And as if that’s not insanely amazing on its own, then in her first year you can watch that tiny little baby grow and develop her own personality and witness as she learns everything. That first time she found her hand and was blown away; The first time she crawled; When she first walked alongside the coffee table holding on for dear life; That first time she ventured away from the table and took a few steps on her own; or hearing her say the words “mama” or “dada” for the first time. In a year you can experience every holiday as a first – and commemorate them with hand and footprints. In a year you can take in so many great milestones. And all you can do after every milestone is hold back your tears and marvel at how in just a single year your child has already grown so much…and so quickly. It seems nearly impossible that one purely amazing and completely full year could go by so fast.
Sometimes I can’t remember what life was before her. Yeah sure, the stretch marks are an obvious reminder of the fact that she was’t always here…but then they’re also a reminder of my amazing pregnancy with her. (There was actually a time while I was pregnant that I wished I could just be pregnant forever). There wasn’t a day that I didn’t stop to marvel at the fact that inside me another human was growing. Every flutter and hiccup captured my complete attention and everything else faded into the background. From the moment that little blue line appeared nothing else mattered. Everything I would ever do from that moment forward would be for her. From the first time I heard that tiny heart beat, to her first cry in the delivery room, to her first words she has been the music of my heart. She is my song.
The pain I endured delivering her was nothing compared to the warmth my heart felt when I held her that first time. I would do it a million times over. No questions – No hesitations. The extra weight and stretch marks just symbolize our amazing journey to get her here. The months of physical therapy (after spending the first whole month of her life sleeping on the recliner with her on my chest) were and are still worth it. I remember the heartburn I suffered through during my last trimester and laugh about it every time I brush my fingers through her amazingly long hair. I made this. We made this. This is us. The very best of both of us. The greatest thing we will ever create. She represents our deepest love for one another and every fiber of goodness from our souls.
In one year I went from feeling insecure about my body to marveling at how amazing it truly is for having created, delivered and nurtured such a perfect little human being. My snacker who only liked to nurse for 10 minutes at a time every 2 hours. The one who convinced me pretty quickly to stop reading the breastfeeding books that insisted she needed to nurse longer and on both sides and just go with it, trusting her and my body to know what she needed. My healthy eater who started solid foods with avocados and absolutely loves salmon. And how ironic it is that I despise loud chewers so much but adore the sound of my baby smacking her lips with each bite. My little stinker who tries to butter you up to get her way by giving kisses hoping you’ll forget you told her no. Or how every day she points at everything and asks “Is it?”. So eager to learn.
In one year I have watched this miracle bloom into a smart, sweet, funny, dancing, laughing, singing, kind and strong little girl. I have watched her features develop and change and grow and resemble everyone in our family at some point. She is my stubborn determination and her father’s fearlessness. We have watched her take steps but still refuse to walk because she was too determined to get there quicker by crawling to all of a sudden walking and then practically running across the room. We’ve watched her learn new words and take her place as ‘Pup Commander’, the leader of the pack to our two fur babies. She makes us laugh every day with her quirky personality and expressions – and especially when she starts dancing as soon as she hears music. Or because I apparently played the Twlight Saga soundtracks so much while I was pregnant that to this day as soon as I play it she falls almost instantly to sleep. And in that regard it’s soothing to know that she finds as much comfort and security in remembering her time in the womb as I do remembering the joy of being pregnant with her.
A lot can happen in a year and there are really no words to describe that first year with your first child. In this first year I have never learned so much than watching this new little person learn everything. I have never been so awed, so reminded of my faith, so humbled and so alive. I have never felt so much love or protection or connectedness. I may be grayer than before or less perky in certain areas and my body has its own, self-made (and less attractive) tattoos to commemorate my pregnancy. Yet even still there is so little that is more precious than carrying your child…except, of course, holding them. And in those first years hold them as much as you can because even though a lot can happen in a year, a year goes by so quickly.
My baby is a year old. It’s hard to believe it’s come so fast yet I’m so excited to see all she does next – Forever her number one fan. No matter how fast these years may fly by I’ll always be there, in the front row, cheering her on (and undoubtedly holding back tears). And no matter how big she gets she’ll always be my sweet little tulip.
Adri, you are my biggest blessing. You are more than I ever could have wished for in this world. You breathe so much life and love into this heart of mine and bring me more joy than I can put into words. You are the sweetest song. And even though it’s your birthday, you are still my greatest gift.