Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The End of a Beautiful Year

"Swimming" for the first time

I just went back and read my very first blog post, from January 24, 2011. When I was just starting to believe that I might actually have a real live baby... some day. I was twelve weeks pregnant and had just seen my Lentil looking relatively human for the first time, via ultrasound.

And here I am, a year later, with an absolutely live baby. Who is such a darling.

We got home from our trip to Florida this afternoon (through a glitch in scheduling, we ended up being driven home in a stretch limo! too bad it was wasted on an infant who didn't know the difference) and I was tired so I just plopped us both down on our freshly made bed (love having the cleaning lady come while we are gone!) and after a relaxing nursing session, I just lay on my side and watched her grin at me as she experimented with waving her feet in the air, sucking on her "taggy" blanket, and making exploratory sounds.

When I had a bit more energy, I filled the tub and we both got in for a nice year-end cuddle together. At one point I was lying down and she was sitting astride me and she kind of leaned forward so I cuddled her on my chest. She kept trying to find my nipple but would miss by an inch, then lurch back to the center of my chest to find her thumb for a few moments of contented sucking, then lurch back to the right and again miss my nipple. Back and forth, over and over. It was pretty entertaining to see her land in the same WRONG spot over and over, and to keep giving up and going back to her thumb. I knew she wasn't particularly hungry but eventually I took pity on her and guided her to the right spot.

After the bath she went down for a nice long (still going) evening nap. She's been sleeping like a champ during our vacation despite a total break in routine. I've ended up waking her for bedtime most nights and after nursing her somewhere around 9 or 10, she's been sleeping until 7 am. Wonderful!

Anyway, what an amazing year it has been. I think my pregnancy was mostly pretty easy, apart from the nausea of weeks 6-11 (no vomiting though! which is luckily because my brother just gleefully informed me that I am emetophobic -- having an intense, irrational fear of vomiting. I already knew about the feeling, just didn't know there was a name for it.) Of course, what I mostly remember of pregnancy is the very end, when I was lurching around like a yes, beached whale, in the thick heat of August, grossly swollen ankles and sore back. Things got better once I passed my due date -- it was like I finally gave up "meeting my deadline" and just rolled with the punches (and kicks). And then, yes, labor.

Labor sucked. So bad.

But whatever. It didn't last all that long (18 hours) in the grand scheme of things. And it's over now. Long since. A distant memor.

So labor sucked but my baby... wow.

I was very glad to be prepared by others' stories of not falling instantly in love with their baby.

I didn't feel repulsed or anything like that. I was happy to see her and "meet" her, but it's not surprising to me that just being handed a naked and crying baby doesn't a relationship make. It didn't phase me at all. I was excited to get to know her.

But now. Ah.

With every passing day my heart swells a little more. I know I have a million more discoveries to make about who she is, I'm just at the proverbial tip of the iceberg right now, but what a little darling!

Tonight, my first night home from work after our 10 days of vacation together, was just perfect. Except for the failed attempt at an evening nap (she just cried, which made me feel bad). So when I rescued her from the crib, we lay on the bed in the darkness for a while. I nursed her for the second time since arriving home, and then we just lay there quietly, grinning quietly at each other in the dim light of the nightlight. She played with my fingers while I reveled in the fact of her. Then I turned on the lamp and left her lying on the bed while I put away the remaining pile of stuff from our trip (it had been stored in the bassinet until Baby Eleanor came for daycare... and then dumped on my bed). I put a couple of toys on the bed for Calliope to play with while I tidied but she was uncharacteristically mellow and just lay there.

So when I finished cleaning up, instead of rushing her off to the bath, I brought a stack of board books to the bed instead. We lay on the bed with her head cradled in the crook of my arm and read. She loves her bath, but it was so nice to not rush into a blur of activity, but to just slow down. So we read all the books, with her turning her head every few seconds to sniff my chest, and then nursed again. Still no sign of sleepiness. So I carried her out into the entryway to the changing table, where, miracle of miracles she peed on the potty (we practiced making lots of "Eh" and "Ah" sounds while she was on the potty, me copying her) before being zipped back into her new Sleep Sa.ck. Then we nursed one last time in the glider (lucky for me she was unusually interested in nursing tonight because I forgot to bring the breast pump membranes to work today, and hand expression totally sucks, but not in the way one would hope) and then snuggled and rocked in the glider for a few more minutes before carrying her back to her crib where she settled right down and went peacefully to sleep.

It was just perfect. She was unusually snuggly and I did a really good job of just slowing down and being with her.

Someone shared a new expression with me, "the days crawl but the years fly," that I really liked. I already had the idea in my head but it's good to always be conscious of it.

I remember a year ago New Year's. My mom and I were supposed to drive to my sister's in the Berkshires but there had been that blizzard (remember that?) and it was too snowy to drive. We had been stuck in the house for several days and my mom, never a great conversationalist to begin with, and I had just run out of things to talk about. On top of that, I just couldn't get warm that entire winter... I'm not sure if it was pregnancy related or just the fact that I was further north and couldn't get acclimated to it. So my mom and I went for an early dinner out (quiet and cold are what I remember) and then came back to her house. I was so cold and tired and headed up to my room. I think that was the first time I talked to my Lentil. And I wished her a happy new year, and told her I was so excited to spend the next New Year's Eve with her on the outside.

So this year, Amy and Baby Eleanor came over on New Year's Eve and we put the babies to bed and watched a movie, and then they went home and at 11:50, when I was ready to go to sleep, I gazed down at my gorgeous sleeping babe and blew her a kiss and gloried in the amazing year I have had.


  1. Great to see how things can change so wonderfully in the span of a year! Happy new year!