Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mama's First Year

We all want to say that having a child doesn't change us. But IT DOES. It doesn't have to consume you but it still causes a shift in our worlds. Penelope turned one this summer. ONE! I started this blog post on her birthday back in July and in true baby brain fashion, forgot to post it.

So, it's over a month late, but here's "Mama's First Year"...

Over the past 24 hours I have been reliving and remembering the labour, the delivery and the oddness that was our first year together. I thought about posting my birth story to commemorate the event, and celebrate that we're both still alive, and then I read through it. All ten pages. TEN. So I'll save you the read and just tell you that parts of it were magnificent, like when the back labour stopped and I got to experience how cool contractions really felt without the searing pain in my back and hips.  And the part where my girl and I danced to West African drumming and her papa singing until she was ready to come out. And, some parts sucked, like the shitting during contractions. Jesus H, the poop part sucked. No one tells you about the poop. And the primal moments where I growled at my midwife... actually come to think of it, that part was horrible but liberating and awesome at the same time....

... what was I writing about? Right, the last year. (baby brain) Okay here we go...

A year in the life of a new mama

Month One You're so excited to have the baby in your arms instead of pushing on your bladder and kicking you in the pubic bone and ribs you don't even notice the chapped nipples you've developed. And if you have a summer baby, you sometimes don't notice that you're not wearing any pants! Plus it's still to early to really know what sleep deprivation feels like, so you venture outside as much as possible, showing your wrinkly-kind-of-looks-like-an-old-man baby off to the world. If you're lucky, people have left you alone for a week or two and then brought you delicious food, knowing that you're far too whacked on baby hormones to cook.

Month Two The midwives give you the okay to exercise again. This is exciting not only because you're body is screaming at you to do more than walk around the block but your skin misses the water. So, it's back to aquafit, where, after 3 years of taking class together, everyone wonders where you've been for the past 5 months and you have to explain that the pressure on your bladder while pregnant simply got to much to handle. Getting out of the pool 3 times in a 45 minute class to go pee just wasn't cutting it. Oh, and then you had a baby. Then there was the whole healing thing. yeah. You could tell them to stuff it and just go sit in the sauna but you're so excited to be talking to an adult you don't care. 

Month Three You realize that the baby weight isn't going away quite that easily but continue to swim and return to yoga classes in the hope that your sanity restores itself. Both are delicious escapes from the screaming that ensues through the night. 8 times Baby, really?

Month Four It's Hallowe'en and you are determined to make an awesome costume. One with meaning, originality and that is totally bad ass. You realize that no baby of yours is going to be a cute fluffy bunny (no offense to the bunnies). You also realize that your baby still isn't sleeping, so neither are you and the thought of actually sewing something hurts your brain. You then realize you can just glue things together to create a costume.... until you try to use a hot glue gun with baby brain. 

Your unique costume idea gets shoved aside and your baby ends up in a plush baby costume like the other 12 babies in your mama group. UNTIL you realize that underneath baby's wearing a black Harley onesie and black pants. Add the biker boots and you finally get your bad ass costume. Then you vow that next year will be different, and hope that you get to sleep before then. 

Month Five You discover the bumbo. And drooling (teething is awesome.) But the bumbo is your new best friend. It lets you shower. *cue angelic music It lets you eat with two hands. 
Best. Invention. Ever.

Month Six Ah, your baby enters her 6th month at xmas time. The perfect half way point. You check in with how you're making out during the in laws family dinner, and realize you've already downed 3 beers and aps haven't even been served. Turns out you haven't been drinking nearly enough over the past 14 months.

Month Seven Your baby has been eating solid food for a whole month. She's been picking off your plate for even longer so you figure she might as well have her own. Avocado is still being washed off the wall. But solid food equals solid poop and life just got much much easier. 

Month Eight After a couple months of comfortable (to you) maneuvers to go within a four foot radius, Baby has decided to start crawling. No more bum shuffles. No more reach and sits. You know it's only a matter of time before she's bombing around on hands and knees and you bow your head in defeat.

Month Nine You realize your child is nine months old already and you still haven't taken those professional shots you planned to do when she was 3 months old. And thanks to baby brain you totally forget to put on make up for the photo shoot, forgetting that family photos are going to include you too. 

Month Ten If you're like me you decide that since you're going to a wedding in Scotland, you might as well go early and see the UK... alone. Just you and the baby. Sure you have family for the first little bit of the trip but because they are new to her, you still don't ever get a break.

Seriously though, it was amazing and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Yes. For real. But it is hard, I won't lie. Like the time I screamed in frustration in the middle of the street in Dublin (in front of a group of junior high school aged kids) because you needed a car seat for everything and that was the one thing I didn't pack. Yeah, THAT happened.

Month Eleven Because you were so determined to enjoy the final month of your pregnancy sitting around in your new backyard and sipping non alcoholic sangria in the sun, you have to go back to work before baby hits one. It's surprisingly easy and you rejoice over being able to self identify as something other than a mama and realize you don't necessarily hate daycare. 

Month Twelve All you can think is, "wholly shit, it's been a fucking year!?!?!" as you relive every moment of the labour, and try to remember the last year. 

That and, "wholly crap, it's been a year and she is really determined to climb on EVERYTHING".

You also think that it's pretty amazing that your baby is sort of almost talking. Penelope says "Enya", "nah", "Mama", "Papa" and my favorite, "booo" which I'm pretty sure means "book" since she's removing every. single. one. off our bookshelf.

You also wonder how long it will take before you stop getting teary eyed over the intentional hugs and kisses. Yeah, she does that now. Ask my mom. She apparently needed to be warned because she cried in front of people when Penelope leaned in for a smooch. hehe SUCKA.

Don't judge me. I need someone to cry with over this stuff.

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