Birthday Thoughts

>> 11.13.2012

There are a lot of things I'm reflecting on this week with Ada turning 1 on Friday. Most of all, I keep thinking back to last year at this time. Of all the unknown I had in front of me. That feeling of expectation and wonder that completely overwhelmed my mind for nine entire months leading up to her birth.

Last year at this time, I was waiting. Not so patiently, I might add.

I had taken leave from my job two weeks before my due date. "What will contractions feel like? How will I know it's time" I thought near constantly. "Will I get through birth? Will I get through without being scarred for life?"

And the ever, EVER-consuming: "How much will it HURT?!?!"

Toward the end of my pregnancy, all I could think about was ME and getting through that physical and spiritual rite of passage into motherhood. I didn't have much time to dwell on these questions since Ada surprised us with an early arrival.

Well, I've found out this past year, having a baby is far more than the physical act of HAVING a baby. (Though labor and delivery were certainly a mind and body growing experience.)

And here I am on the other side of it all. Unknowns are now knowns. (There's still PLENTY I don't know, though!) Like what it's like to be pregnant . . . and give birth. Understanding those feelings and emotions I have for Ada, my DAUGHTER, which to this day still feels weird to say.

That it's OK my love developed over time and not instantly as I thought it was supposed to. Then there's breastfeeding for a year and going through all the frustrations (part 1, part 2, and part 3) and different stages.

The first night,
first bath,
first week,
first month,
first smile,
first laugh,
raspberries, first time rolling over,
sleep through the night,
first tooth,
first solids,
first crawl,
and many more moments.

I now have this little buddy who dances at the mere hint of music, chases kitties from room to room while laughing hysterically, gobbles down grapes like it's her job, fashions the cutest itsy-bitsy spider with her two tiny hands whenever prompted, and says "ba-ba da-da" (bye-bye, daddy!) each night to Stephen as he leaves the room before we nurse to bed.

You've all been by my side along the way, offering your wisdom and advice. I thank you for that. There have been many times when I've seriously thought about quitting blogging about my life, my kid, etc. -- but this corner of the web has ended up been a quite a place of solace for me. A place to write about joy and also, yes, distress.

How did we get here? One cool thing about having such an extensive record of everything is that I can rediscover it one post at a time. It's good to keep the tissues nearby . . . and I'm not much of a crier.

Where are we going next? I guess we'll see soon enough!

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