Embracing the Change: From Baby to Toddler ( & Beyond )
Hello, I’m Cathrine. I suck with change and letting go, and moving on. How are you today?
It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling emotional the last few weeks *cough -months - cough* about Baby Bear’s First Birthday. I’ve let tears fall while watching her sleep or play. I’ve talked about making those final babyhood days count. I’ve put pressure on myself to get the pictures from her first year organized before next year’s start. (This is still a work in progress btw.) And I’ve been obsessed with the firsts. Or rather my thoughts on the lack there of ahead. As well as the inevitable lasts.
“Last bath as a baby.”
“Last trip to the park as a baby.”
“Last nap as a baby.”
I have been driving myself crazy. (Believe in Mercury Retrograde or not, I blame it for my over-emotional recent state of mind throughout July.) My emotions have been getting the best of me so much that I’ve even been considering the thought of potentially discussing the idea of a second baby. I have sworn up and down that I will not be having another biological child, and even though it would be alright to change my mind...I’m not going to.
Because what I am craving is not to experience all the baby stuff again with a new baby. What I am truly, honestly craving is just to relive those first beautiful baby days with my daughter. I could have a million babies and still feel like this a year later.
What I want more then anything is to travel back on demand. Like to that first moment on the operating table when the doctor pulled her from my womb and I heard her incredible voice. When I felt that life changing shift inside my soul. When our eyes met for that first time and I pressed my lips to her forehead; the first of a billion kisses. I want to travel back to that moment of the nurse placing her on my chest. Her first latch, and the relief of knowing we were going to be okay.
If I could not do over the nausea and vomiting following our cesarean though...that would be fantastic. And the pressure of the gas building up inside my shoulder following surgery...yeah, no. That shit can happily stay in the past where it belongs.
Everything else though. The good days. The hard times. The firsts. The lasts. Give it all to me again. A Netflix show for my life, where I can stream and watch the moments of this past year. To experience them all again.
But... unfortunately that does not exist. All I have is this moment. And despite little Baby Bear blowing through quite a few firsts the last year, I do have countless firsts left to cherish. To start, we get to do all the firsts she already accomplished, but now we get to do it as a one year old, and a mama of a one year old.
There is still so much left to do with life. She has yet to go on an airplane. Yet to leave Alberta. She’s never been to the water park or ridden a carousel. She’s never been officially baby sat while mom and dad go out on a date. She’s never seen Frozen. She hasn’t made a snowman or rode a horse yet. She hasn’t gone on her first date. Had her first crush. Drove her first car. Gone on her first sleepover. And so many more I can’t even think of right now.
The first year may be done, but the firsts are far from over. In a recent chat with my future sister in law, she reminded me that this past year has been a year of intense growth. And Mama Wolff also reminded me that however I’m feeling is normal and it’s okay. The truth is, I’m feeling a lot better now about Baby Bear being one. I might still have a cry or two as the days go on and she gets further and further away from me. And though she’ll grow up one day...she will always be my beautiful baby.
I have done my best to live our days intentionally. Dropping whatever I’m doing to sit on the floor with her and read books if she asks. Even if I’ve already read that same book fifteen times that day. I don’t think this is the key to slowing time down, it certainly didn’t slow our days down. But it did make them feel full. I collapsed into bed exhausted almost every night. But happy. And excited for the next day. I suppose that excitement is what I need to remember. That there’s tomorrow to look forward to, a today to enjoy right now, and a yesterday to remember fondly.
Babies don’t keep, and that is both the saddest and most beautiful thing in the motherhood world. I am so incredibly proud of far she has come. How far our family has come. And so utterly excited about just how far we have left to go.
-Mama Bear 🐻