One year ago today, I gave birth to a 7 pound 13-ounce baby boy via C-section. He smelled like home, fit perfectly on my chest, and made us a family. He was perfection.
Today I woke up with a little explorative toddler who shrieks as he covers my face in big sloppy kisses. He is perfection.
Throughout my pregnancy and the first few months of Wyatt’s life, everyone whispers the same telling advice, “Enjoy every moment!” To a new mom that hasn’t showered for 3 days, is running on two hours of sleep, and doesn’t know why on earth her baby won’t stop crying, that phrase feels more like a guilt trip than words of wisdom.
There were days that felt monotonous and never-ending that I wished away so I could sleep. There were nights of cluster feeding and a baby that refused to sleep that I wished away so I could sleep. All the while those little words, “Enjoy every moment” haunted me. I knew the year would go by fast but sometimes the days felt like years.
But most moments were blessed with happiness. We met each new month with joy and surprise over the changes it brought. Smiling! Rolling over! Sitting up! Grasping toys! Babbling! Crawling! Pulling up! Every day was a new adventure, we never knew what to expect. Life was full of fun and ups and downs and laughs as we bumbled our way together as a family of three.
We watched our little swaddled baby afflicted with torticollis develop into his own sweet little personality and it all felt unbelievably surreal.
Last night, on the eve of his first birthday, I nursed my baby before his bedtime and started to cry. In my hands was a long, lean, and strong little boy, holding onto my hand as he had his nightcap. This will be the last time that I lie my baby down in his crib before he is officially a toddler. Where did my baby boy go?
Despite all the warnings, I still found myself surprised to find that time had slipped through my hands.
I look around his nursery and I can clearly picture myself sitting in this same glider, rocking a little 8-pound newborn at 2 in the morning, almost in tears myself because I was so exhausted. I remember her well. She feels like this night will never end, that her baby will never sleep through the night. She fears that she is doing everything wrong. She innocently doesn’t think that one day she will miss peering down at her sweet baby’s delicate face. She is clueless has to what the year will bring. She is clueless as to how much bigger her heart will grow in the next twelve months.
It’s been a wonderful year of change and milestones and I can’t wait to see how much we will all grow as a family in the months and years ahead.
But nothing can compare to that bittersweet first year where so much change happened in such a short time; it seems like a weird lucid dream.
In a matter of twelve months I gave birth to a baby and then helped that baby grow into a sweet, calm, happy, and curious little toddler. I still have no idea what I’m doing as a mother but each day I learn a new lesson and love him a little bit more than the day before.
Happy First Birthday, Wyatt. You are our entire world. We love you so much!