Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Here We Are, One Year Later

We made it to one year.

For the past 365 days I have been thinking about his First Year of life. I have thought in terms of weeks, months and This Year. But I haven't thought beyond today. I just wanted to get this far. Because, honestly, when he was born, getting through this first year seemed insurmountable. I couldn't imagine being an accomplished mother to this walking, laughing, joking, one-year-old toddler boy.

But here we are.

This post could be about Owen and all the marvelous things he can do. Because he is - marvelous. And he does a lot of amazing things. But that's not what this post is about.

Or it could be about his party and all of the adorable and creative touches I put into it. And it was - beautiful and perfect. I am so proud of him and the party and all that it symbolized. But that's not what this post is about either.

This post even could be about me and how I've changed as a woman and a mother and a human being. Because I have - he has changed me in so many deep and intrinsic ways. But this post is not even about that.

Instead this post is about those first few moments of his life. Because the way he was brought into this world was so traumatic, so intense, that I can feel the memory gripping my muscles as I write this. I spent today telling him how loved he is and how excited I was to meet him one year ago. And then I nursed my baby to sleep and kissed him good night and whispered Happy Birthday. Thirty minutes later, at 8:39, was the exact moment of his birth one year ago. And I felt myself rushed back to that moment. The moments before when I was absolutely sure I was going to die. The doctors and nurses yelling, my husband crying, me feeling oddly detached and just a strange acceptance. And then...the doctor cutting me, his heartbeat dropping, the unbearable pain of the vacuum being forced in...and then the amazing, shocking feeling of him sliding out of me.

I had no idea.

I had no idea.

I want to go back and shake myself and say, Savor this. Take this all in. Look at him. Hold in. No, don't put him down even for an instant. Enjoy these first few days with him. Just the three of you, alone in that hospital room. That quiet sanctuary where you spent the first few moments with him. Because I didn't understand. I was overwhelmed, traumatized, literally in shock and shaking from the the trauma of his birth. And that makes me angry with myself for not fully savoring every second of the resounding emotion of his newborn-ness. I miss it. I want to go back and relive it.

But how could I know? How could I know that this little tiny, beautiful baby with those deep eyes would become... everything? How could I know what a year with him would do to me? How could I understand in a hospital room filled with bright lights what motherhood really is? I just...didn't know.

And so here I am, at the anniversary of his birth, remembering. Paying homage to that moment. Being grateful for the blood and the pain and the emotion that was put forth so he could come out of me and into this world. Because I didn't get it then. I didn't understand.

But now I do.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Day In Our Life

I've wanted to do one of these for awhile. Not sure why, because I don't know if anyone else really cares about the minute details of my day, but I always enjoy reading about others', so I decided it would be fun to try it out. I chose a day when we were home all day, nothing special planned, so you could get a sense of what it's like in the glamorous life of staying home with Owen. So here goes:

6:38 - The puppies downstairs wake up all three of us an hour before Owen usually gets up. In desperation, I tried to nurse Owen back to sleep. Failure. I lie in bed while Owen plays with the cat, in complete denial that I need to get up.

7:01 - I give up. Get out of bed.

7:10 - After getting myself dressed, I carry Owen downstairs to his room and change his diaper. He screams and fights me. I give him one of the letters from his name train, which he throws on the ground. This must be why his train now only says "Ow." I put his pjs back on over his clean diaper. Then I realize we have a playdate at our house today, so the house needs to be clean. Damn.

7:14 - I plop myself onto the couch in the playroom while Owen "plays Xbox" and I check FB. I'm probably winning some Lazy Mother of the Year Award here, but I figure he's up an hour early, so what the hell.

7:36 - I peel myself off the couch and give Owen some breakfast in his high chair while I frantically clean the kitchen.

7:47- Owen is done with his blueberry waffles and bananas, so I give him a fruit puree pouch so I can quickly finish up the kitchen. Again, really Desperate Parenting here. Owen, who isn't hungry any more and doesn't like pouches, makes modern art on his high chair tray.

8:01 - I start in on folding the three loads of laundry dumped all over the couch. Owen plays happily by himself. I am repeatedly interrupted to rescue the 8 week old puppy from the 4 month old puppy. The cat cries incessantly for no reason at all.

8:13 - I give River (the bigger puppy) a bone that smells awfully like a dead animal to keep her from tormenting tiny puppy and stop stealing all of Owen's toys. I give Owen a quick hug, then contemplate giving up on the damn laundry. Cat still crying for no reason.

8:16 - I am distracted by sheer adorableness as Owen tries to catch sunbeams on the wood floor.

8:20 - Owen is fussy and bored. Probably because he got up too damn early! I ask him if he wants to fold laundry. He declines by arching his back and falling to the floor.

8:21 - B comes out and gives me the tiny puppy (Red) in exchange for taking Owen. I take Red outside to go potty, then finish laundry super quick while B has O. I briefly feel excited, then discouraged when I realize I now have to put all of the folded laundry away.

8:26 - I bring the puppy in from outside. Immediately River starts harassing him. I am ravenously hungry, so I make B and I some breakfast while he plays with Owen in the office.

8:40 - I take Owen into his nursery to play while I eat my toast. Owen immediately steals some of mommy's toast. I watch him pull a piece out of his mouth, look at it, then put it back in. I wish this were acceptable behavior for adults.

8:44 - my mom calls on the phone.

8:50 - 2nd poopy diaper of the day. I finally get the baby dressed. He cries whole time in extreme protest.

8:57- I step in puppy poop on the floor and then almost fall on water River spilled from her water dish while going to clean up the poop. I drop Owen with B for a second so I can run to the bathroom. I realize this downstairs bathroom is out of toilet paper. I hear Owen fussing through the door. Grrr...woke up too early!

9:10 - We go play in the playroom. Exciting games like, "Let's take the necklace on and off over and over again!" Owen and River then play nicely together with a cat toy. I am amazed to see that Owen can correctly point to "Mickey's eyes" and "Mickey's nose" at least 80% of the time. He is a genius!

9:41 - I decide to give up on our one-nap schedule and take Owen up for an early "first nap" because he is so fussy.

9:54 - After a brief nursing session, Owen seems completely revived by breastmilk and boobtime. Give up on naptime. Back to playroom. The puppies are playing nicely together for once.

10:11 - The highlight of my sister arrives with Starbucks! No pic. I drank it.

10:30 - The dog trainer from the Invisible Fence company shows up to train River on "How Not To Be Shocked By the Invisible Fence."

11:15 - I contact my business partner and make final decisions about our logo and business cards. Yay!

11:30 The mail arrives. I unpack one of Owen's birthday presents. He notices, points, and says "Ooooo!!" I crumble, and give him his present a month early. I cry watching him play with such a grown up toy. A toy that is for his 1st birthday. A toy I picked out for him and he is now obsessed with.

11:50 - Ok, damnit, it's nap time. I have to wrestle the toy away from him. All out tantrum ensues.

12:00 - I turn on soft music, get in bed with him, and read him stories while we cuddle. The tantrum moment turned into a sweet moment. He is asleep ten minutes later.

1:27 - I waste the whole nap time on relaxing things like eating lunch, playing on my phone, and reading my book. I feel happy and content and the cat sits and purrs on my feet. In other words, I get nothing done.

2:00 - Owen wakes up. I put him in his highchair and feed him lunch while I frantically (again) finish cleaning.

2:30 - Mom friend and her baby arrive for playdate.

4:09 - Guests leave and Owen goes to socialize with his daddy and auntie in the office.

4:28 - Snack time.

4:54 - It's cooled off enough to go outside. Owen, River and I go out and enjoy the backyard. We play with the water table, play with sticks, and all around get dirty. I vacillate between feeling so happy my son is playing in nature and being on alert for all possible dangers (snakes! sharp rocks! little rocks to eat!).

5:26 - Our furniture gets delivered from Ethan Allen!

5:57 - Owen briefly nurses. He's really ready to drop feedings.

6:10 - I start chopping garlic for dinner.

6:15 - B comes out and asks if I want to go on a walk. We load up baby and puppies for a short neighborhood walk.

6:42 - Back to chopping veggies.

7:10 - Dinner time. Owen avoids everything but fruit. As usual.

7:36 - B takes Owen for a bath. The pets are fed, dinner is put away, I have nothing to do but relax.

8:03 - I nurse Owen in his nursery.

8:15 - He's asleep.

8:29 - The best part of my evening. I have a big glass of wine, Grey's Anatomy, a bag of candy corn, puppy in lap, and a husband to cuddle with. Heaven.

10:00 - I get into bed to put this blog post together.

10:41 - Good night!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just A Kid

Before I had a baby I had all sorts of thoughts about parenthood that I would never say out loud. Things like, "Oh well, she's just a stay at home mom..." or "He's just a kid, nothing special..." I didn't mean anything hurtful, I just didn't put a whole lot of stock into pictures of other people's kids or the importance of "little things," like a toddler learning how to run. No big deal if your children just learned how to do a cute little dance....'Cus you know, he's "just a kid."

I knew I would love my child and I knew I would love being a mom. But I had NO idea how much it would take my silly, stupid little thoughts and crush them into a million pieces. There is no such thing as "just a kid." Because for every kid, there is a mom. A mom who loves the curve of his neck. A mom who watches him sleep. A mom who devours every little thought he has. He cannot possibly be "just a kid." He is so much more. His eyelashes tell her stories. His smiles gift her his happiness. His tiny hands paint beauty into her tired face. His nonchalance as he plops into her lap teaches her contented stillness.

This is not "just a kid." At least, not to her.