Kent. My darling chunk of a babe. You are ONE. Wow, did that year fly by! Gee wiz. I blinked and you are one!
Big fat lie. Laughable, actually. It didn’t fly by. Not for me. Not for my husband. Not for Kent (just assuming) and not for my mom who I would call regularly
for advice to complain.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Our first year:
Day 1: Boom. For about 15 minutes of my life I wasn’t sure if
the little human growing inside me was alive or not. It’s a memory I wish I could forget. And it’s enough to put me in therapy (for real, I’m in therapy now.) He arrived via emergency c-section at 35 weeks after we learned he wasn’t moving. Not even his little toesies. Brad wasn’t able to be there. He was born at 8:41pm. (birth story here) Amazingly, he was healthy. A skinny, beautiful baby. The night was a nightmare and a miracle all in one. Magical. But hard. And sad. But happy. And scary. And confusing. And a lot of sadness. Did I mention, sadness? It’s a big one I still feel about this day. But gratefulness, too, of course.
Day 2: Ok, so this really happened. A 5 pound stranger needs me to hold him. I felt distant. And not the attachment I expected to feel right away. But I learned later that, for me, this would come with time. Brad got there as soon as he could but not until around 4:00pm. Seemed like time stood still without him there. When he arrived it was a moment of instant relief. I’ve never needed him so much. My family is together now. We’ve gotta get our minds wrapped around what just happened… not to mention learn to breastfeed, order the breast pump, buy diapers, call my insurance to figure out how many days I can stay, call my work to tell them I’m not coming in for the next 3 months… the list goes on. Life just hit us. Hard.
Going home with baby: My anxiety was at a record high. Driving home in a car with such precious cargo was enough to make me have a panic attack. Brad remembers driving home with white knuckles holding on the steering wheel so tight. Life felt chaotic. Hectic. Stressful. Every breath Kent took made me nervous. And I have never been so tired. Emotionally exhausted. Physically exhausted. Exhausted exhausted.
The first week: No sleep. Only stress. Brad and I took shifts holding the baby through the night. I can’t remember now why we did that. It sounds like a freakin’ terrible idea. I think because he was premature I felt like I needed to hold him because he should, technically, still be inside me. Whatever the reason, it was exhausting. Every time he would cry I jumped out of bed forgetting about the fact I just had abdominal surgery and feeling like my insides were about to gush out. This was not a peaceful time. Not to mention, hormones. Reality was setting in as I prepared for Brad to go back to work… 2 hours away… for 30 hours shifts… the entire month. #GirlPower?
Week 2-6: Blur. Anxiety was still very high. I was also desperate for some normalcy. I remember watching an episode of Friends and thinking “okay, let’s try to pretend this is just a normal day.” Kent was a notably fussy baby but nothing worth worrying about… not yet anyway.
Week 6-12: The fus bus has officially arrived. If I put him down he screamed, usually. His first colic episode was at 8 weeks. It was freakin’ horrible. We were confused and didn’t know what to do. Sadly, this was just the beginning of a colic baby. And he was always sick with a cold. And so was I. I remember trying really hard not to wish away this time but I was ready for the newborn stage to move out. He ate every 1-2 hours during the day and every 2-3 hours at night. At 11 weeks we finally learned I had a milk protein issue (read about it here). Within 24 hours of correcting this issue the daytime fussiness was gone. He also started to smile and laugh during this time. We saw glimmers of light that things were going to become more enjoyable soon.
Month 3-5: Gas drops. Motrin. Gripe water. REPEAT! Ok, so now we have a true, real life colic baby on our hands. I’m talking unconsolable screaming like he’s being burned by a curling iron… for several hours in the evening. Every evening. That poor baby just cried and screamed until he’d pass out and then he’d wake up and do it again. To add to the drama he slept terrible. His sleep actually got worse as he got older, not better. He was up every 1-2 hours. Every. Single. Night. Sometimes as much as 12 times. I would wake up to go to work and just cry because I was so tired. Crying was a major theme in our house at this time. I remember repeating “thank God you’re cute” and really living off the fact I could dress him in whatever adorable clothes I wanted because well, he was a baby after all and doesn’t give AF.
Month 5-6: Peace out, Colic! Hello, Sleep/Life/Happiness! Finally. At last. Life just got a LOT more enjoyable. The colic officially left the building at exactly 5.5 months. And the sleep
improved significantly after I did cry it out. Best thing I ever did for myself, my baby, and my sanity. Read about it here.
Months 7-12: Pure bliss. Every single day gets better and better. Time really is flying by. He learns something new every day. He’s a faster crawler than I ever could be. He is almost walking. He waves. Says “ball.” And smiles at anyone and everyone. He is a chatter box. He has a good sense of humor and is always laughing. Oh, and the swing. Obsessed with the swing. A bit of a risk taker on our hands, I think!
I walked by his room in the early morning and he was awake but playing in his crib so I left him while I made coffee. 5 minutes later: SCREAMS. Oh, shit. I ran upstairs and…
Yep. He puked everywhere. Clothes. Stuffed animals. Floor. Crib. Hair. Everywhere.
What the hell? Is he sick? Do I need to cancel the party? What is going on? #Panic
I gave him a bath (which really pissed him off, by the way) and he looked super tired so I put him down and he slept for 2 hours. This is weird.
He woke up from that nap relatively normal. Maybe it was just a one time thing. So I gave him a bottle and…
Puke. Again. Everywhere.
Crap. He’s sick. Officially. He went right to sleep and slept for another 3 hours. He woke up about an hour before his party started. And he woke up like this:
Ok, on with the party. No idea what’s happening but let’s roll with it.
People started showing up and with every minute that passed his mood kept getting better and better. He smiled. He laughed. He wasn’t fussy. He wasn’t tired. He was perfect.
He was happy!
And he even got peer pressured into doing a cake smash. It was awesome!
I started the nightmare of a cake smash clean up and carried my sweet one year old into the house to get ready for bed and…
I mean, frankly, it’s really not a good birthday unless you puke afterwards, right? I can’t imagine a better way to end a crazy year than seeing my baby vomit all over the kitchen floor in front of all our guests. Albeit, with a smile.
You are the light of my life. Just know I will always love you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t sleep. If you cry for hours. Or if you puke all day on your birthday. You are mine. And perfect. And fill my heart with more happiness than I could’ve ever imagined. And with every smile you grant me, I love you more and more. Thank you for teaching me patience, love, resilience, love, and more love.
Cheers to you. #PassTheWine