You know you’re behind when your baby turns one and no post shows up on your blog! Like Always Giving Thanks said, the request of the annual Advent Blogger Prayer Buddies campaign to post more has been a good kick in the pants. So without further ado…
KB turned 1 on 11/11/11. Such a cool birthday! I cannot believe a year has passed.
The entire day I felt like a Zombie. Looking at photos of her as a newborn compared to now just overwhelm me: joy at the gift of her life, a twinge of sadness that the baby days have passed so quickly. The metamorphosis from wife to mom has been rather steady. Here are 10 lessons that I learned in the first year.
- 1. Slow down and enjoy. So many of my mom friends and family gave this piece of advice. Seeing how fast this year has gone by, I agree with their advice 100%. IF’s many years of waiting and longing helped me value more greatly the time that I have. Also, there are no guarantees that we will be able to get pregnant or adopt in the future. Even if we do, there will be another child around to take care of and less of those quiet moments. So, I've taken extra time this year for more snuggles, holding, and ignoring some of the experts’ advice.
- 2. I’m glad that I worked part time to finish the school year. I didn’t want to leave my 2 classes mid-year. The experience of working helped me make an informed decision to stay home with KB full time. I was rather apprehensive about it. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m climbing the walls. But balancing a part time job, babysitters, and a baby was challenging. It also inspires me to help my friends who work full-time.
- 3. Things don’t always work out the way you planned. Good grief, I learned this in a big way with the IF journey. Even more so with the actual birth (C-Section instead of labor; but it was a great experience and I will probably do it again, Godwilling!), b-feeding, caring for a newborn, etc.
- 4. Babies need nutrition and love, no matter how they get it. I was only able to BF for 9 days. The lactation consultant (a mom of a former student) even came to my house 4 times to help me. KB just wouldn’t nurse. That wasn’t very bonding. We bonded far more when she began bottle feeding full time and her tummy was full. Most people were pretty accepting. However, the negative comments from some people really dismayed me. Many implied that I wouldn’t be able to bond with my baby and thought I was doing a HUGE disservice. Gosh, I hope they don’t say the same thing to adoptive mothers who choose not to breastfeed! And how do you think that makes a new mom feel? As my pediatrician wisely told me, babies need nutrition and love.
6. IF still causes guilty feelings. When KB is exasperating me, sometimes I feel bad for getting annoyed. After all, this was what I wanted for so long, right?
7. A baby forces a control freak realize that you really don’t have that much control. Need I say more?
8. I understand just a little bit more of God’s unconditional love. And I have more respect for Our Lady, especially thinking of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Can you imagine how hard it would be to know that your baby Son would someday die?
9. “Me Time” and date nights are absolutely essential. They have helped me stay grounded. My husband has been so great about watching KB when I go to Irish Dancing. Although those years of IF waiting were painful, we got lots of great "Me" and "Couple" time. Those memories impel me to keep it going! I look forward to someday taking KB to dance class with me.
10. Let the baby bring joy to others. Whether it’s the kind elderly lady at the store or a random customer at Starbucks, I’ve found it worth it to stop and let them.
Well, if you've read this far, congratulations. Thanks for walking this journey with me in the blogosphere. I continue to pray for my IF sisters who are still waiting.