So, apparently I'm feeling a little sappy tonight. I planned to post a few pictures that we took last weekend for the first birthday invite - I started to write a little post about how she's already 11 months old, and well, yeah. I guess I had a lot to say. :) Feel free to skip the babble, and just look at the pictures if you'd like, I won't tell.
My girl is 11 months old today. ELEVEN MONTHS. I am in major denial that I almost have a one-year-old, but as I am knee deep in first birthday party plans, and putting together so many things to document the memories of her first year, I’m feeling very reflective. I can’t help but remember back to about 4 years ago, when we had just gotten married, and were just starting what turned out to be quite a journey of trying to start our family. I was so naïve then, I had no idea what it would actually take to finally see that positive pregnancy test, and to finally hold my baby in my arms. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, so I know that there was a bigger reason that it took 3 years before that positive test came up. I spent so much of those 3 years imagining what it would be like to be pregnant, to give birth, to actually be a mother, to hold a baby, MY baby in my arms, to watch my baby grow in front of my eyes, all of these things that I’ve now done. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever be in this place, reflecting back on my first year as a mama, so I must say it comes with a great deal of emotions. The past year has been so crazy, so fun, so tiring, so AMAZING. About this time last year I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable in my pregnancy, but was scared to death of what I would do with this baby once she was on the outside and was perfectly fine with the idea of her staying inside forever. I had this love for her that I could not describe, I felt so bonded to her already and I hadn’t even met her. We were in the midst of a move, life was crazy in every aspect and I just tried to focus on preparing for getting through labor and delivery, and bringing a healthy baby girl home. Looking back, as prepared as I thought I was for going through labor, I had absolutely no idea what I was up against. I think in my case that turned out to be a good thing, though. :) The two days I was in labor with this girl were easily the most difficult two days of my life, and at the same time the most rewarding. If ever I doubted my own strength, getting through labor and bringing that beautiful baby into this world with the help of my unbelievably supportive husband proved that I can do anything. It also opened my eyes to how amazing a woman’s body is, and how it is built to be a mother. There was a long time where I doubted if it was even possible for me, but I now know that I was made to be a mother, and I feel so blessed and so proud to be given that role. I have never known a love like the love I have for my daughter, and I can’t imagine my life without her. This past year, watching her go from inside my body to this tiny little person with her own personality, has been absolutely incredible.
When we first brought her home I was terrified that I was not fit to take care of her, that I couldn't possibly be responsible for another person’s life, I felt so much pressure that this little person relied entirely upon me to survive. Once the first week or so went by (and the hormones settled down), I realized how amazing it actually was that not only did I give birth to this little person, but that I could provide everything she needed all by myself. I was so blessed that we had (and still have!) a great breastfeeding relationship, and it was just another way that I realized how amazing my body can be. The first 3 months that I spent at home with her were a bit of a whirlwind, just trying to figure out how to live life with a baby – everything was so different. I spent so many days just sitting on the couch with her, nursing her, watching her sleep, sleeping with her, just soaking it all in. Going back to work was incredibly hard, but it was so much easier knowing she is with someone who loves her more than she will ever know. She is surrounded by love all day, every day, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. Every month she grows and changes so much, and especially lately is learning something new just about every day. I am constantly amazed at her little mind, how smart she is, how much she soaks in everything she sees. She has a personality like her mama, laid back and a free spirit, always watching the world around her. She looks just like her daddy, and has him wrapped around her finger already. In the past 11 months, we have had the joy of watching her go from a tiny little baby, dependent on us for everything, to a little girl who has a mind of her own.
She’s one of the happiest babies I've ever known, and she puts a smile on my face every single day. When I think about how quickly her first year has gone, I’m sad that it’s flown by so fast, but excited for what the next year will bring. I can’t wait to watch her continue to grow, and to see her personality continue to develop. I know my journey as a mama is only just beginning, and although it’s been a wonderful ride already, I know it will only get better.