It’s almost been 365 days since I went to my last doctor’s appointment before I was put on bedrest. Which means it’s incredibly close to my daughter’s first birthday and I’m trying to wrap my brain around where the heck the last year went.
It’s been such a year. In so many ways. More than just with the addition of a child, there were so many changes, surprises, frustrations, victories and everything in between.
I remember the day my maternity leave started abruptly. It was a week before I planned for my leave to start and it threw me through a loop. What was supposed to be a routine visit ended with me heading to the hospital for monitoring and testing.
Monitoring and testing became my new normal until my daughter was born. Every Monday and Thursday I had to go to my doctor’s office for an NST scan. I sat on the monitors for 30 minutes or until the nurse was satisfied with her movements and my readings. The same comment was made every time one of the scans started, “If we don’t get enough movements, I’ll have to send you to the hospital.” Nothing like some nervous energy and a pep talk to your baby in utero before the machine started going.
Those twice a week appointments and days of staying home lasted for a little over 2 weeks. I was getting used to bedrest when my water broke that Wednesday night. 36 weeks 5 days, and my water is broken. My husband is at work for the night. Friend is out of town that lives nearby. I’m panicking. My brother saves the day!
Off to the hospital where the reality sinks in that I won’t be going home until I have a baby in my arms. I prep myself for what labor will be like and how I think it will be until I’m in labor for 33+ hours and we decide to have a c-section. Now I have to mentally prepare for surgery.
Everything goes perfectly! She’s here! Holy moly…I’m responsible for this little human. How do I do this?! Euphoria, joy, happiness, every emotion known to mankind, I’m feeling over the course of the next few days. We get the hang of it and it’s time to go home from the hospital. Wait…we’re going home ALONE to take care of a baby?!
There’s not much sleep for the first few days. Our little girl is nocturnal. Party all night and sleep all day. Only way to get her to sleep all night is to hold her. We take turns. We try to stay awake but we fall asleep while we hold her and jolt awake. It’s HARD. A few days in I remember looking at Anthony and saying, “What did we do?!” The sleep deprivation was getting to me. She started sleeping at night, so we did too. We fell into a groove.
Bliss! For several weeks everything was so simple and we had it down until cluster feeding began and the newborn sleepiness wore off. She wanted to eat All. The. Time. She was more aware and I felt like I had to entertain her more. Trying to figure out the right thing to do was a lot!
My maternity leave came to an end. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact I was going to be leaving my baby behind. How could I? Am I a bad mom? Google, how to become a stay at home mom. I cried to work, once I got to work, and on my way to pick her up. It got easier to drop her off but I still wasn’t adjusting.
Work was hard to get back into. I felt like I missed a lot and I couldn’t get my feet under me. I felt defeated. I felt like I was only good at being a mom. What was I doing?! New organization, new team members, I was so lost. It took me months to find my way. In this time Anthony had new jobs too, it felt like we were never on solid ground. When will it all just stop.
April. It stopped in April. By now we had a babbling, rolling and crawling baby. Things were fun but oh were they tiring. Always on the move. Wanting to eat more real food. Growling at us while we ate. Separation anxiety starts and I can’t leave the room without tears if we’ve been apart all day. It’s draining. But I’ve found my groove. I learn how to work hard at work and when it’s time to go at the end of the day I put my mom/wife hat on and handle it all. I finally feel like I’ve got it all working together.
Until, something else changes. A work schedule. A late meeting. Daycare hours shifting. SOMETHING. There’s always something. What I’ve learned the last year is that especially with the addition of a child, things are always going to be ever changing. Having a plan is good, but it isn’t the FOR SURE thing. Being able to adapt to change has been my biggest friend in this journey. It will continue to be. I’ve come to terms that my type-A self can’t beat life as a parent. There’s always going to be a curve ball and I’m going to have to adjust to it.
Now…in a few weeks when my daughter turns 1, I will be a hot mess. My baby will no longer be a baby and we take the next step! Which…is she a toddler or not? This is the great debate but if she’s walking, I’ll go with Toddler. 🙂