Saying Goodbye to Your Babies

Growing Up

THIS WEEK I REALIZED MY BABIES ARE NO LONGER BABIES. ON WEDNESDAY CHARLIE HIT ME WITH A “HIGH FIVE – TOO SLOW” AND MY SWEET LITTLE THOMAS IS SHOWING SIGNS OF BEING READY FOR POTTY TRAINING.

THIS REALIZATION OF MY BABIES GROWING UP HAS ME THINKING BACK TO THE FIRST DAY MATT AND I BECAME PARENTS. WE THOUGHT WE WERE PREPARED BECAUSE WE HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE TAKING CARE OF OUR NIECES. BUT NO AMOUNT OF BABYSITTING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THE FIRST NIGHT YOU BECOME A PARENT.

CHARLIE WAS BORN AROUND 11PM ON VALENTINE’S DAY. THE  FEELING OF FINALLY HAVING A BABY TO HOLD AND INTRODUCE TO MY FAMILY GAVE ME A LOT OF HAPPINESS AND ADRENALINE AFTER 28 HOURS OF LABOR.

Charlie Newborn

BUT I WILL NEVER FORGET THE NURSE WHEELING ME INTO OUR HOSPITAL ROOM SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT. MY FAMILY WAS GONE AND IT WAS JUST MATT, CHARLIE, AND I IN A HOSPITAL ROOM. I HADN’T EATEN OR SLEPT IN OVER 36 HOURS AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I FELT LIKE I WAS HIT WITH A TON OF BRICKS AND A TIDAL WAVE OF ANXIETY. I WAS TERRIFIED.

FLASH FORWARD TO OUR FIRST DAY HOME WITH CHARLIE. SWADDLING, FEEDING, AND PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING BABY RELATED SEEMED SO SIMPLE WHEN OUR NURSE WAS EXPLAINING IT TO US IN THE HOSPITAL. TURNS OUT IT WAS THE OPPOSITE OF SIMPLE. THAT FIRST NIGHT HOME WE ENDED UP GOOGLING EVERYTHING FROM “HOW TO SWADDLE A BABY” TO “IF MY BABY IS SLEEPING ON HER SIDE COULD SHE ROLL OVER TO HER STOMACH AND DIE FROM SIDS?” AND THE FIRST TWO WEEKS AT HOME WERE INCREDIBLY HARD. EVERY NIGHT AFTER MATT FELL ASLEEP I WOULD GET PUNCHED IN THE STOMACH BY ANXIETY. I WILL NEVER FORGET MEMORIES OF HER AND I WATCHING THE WINTER OLYMPICS AT 3AM WHILE I NURSED HER AND WONDERED IF I WOULD EVER BE A NORMAL PERSON AGAIN.

THEN THE NEWBORN FOG LIFTED AND CHARLIE AND I FELL INTO A ROUTINE. I FOLLOWED THE CONCEPTS OF BABYWISE AND BY THE TIME I RETURNED BACK TO WORK 3 MONTHS LATER, OUR CHUBBY BABY WAS SLEEPING THRU THE NIGHT. THEN THE DAYS OF PUMPING BREASTMILK FOR A YEAR AT WORK AND JUGGLING BEING A WORKING MOM ENDED UP FLYING BY. AND NEXT THING YOU KNEW WE WERE WELCOMING OUR SON THOMAS AFTER A MOVE TO KANSAS CITY.

Thomas Newborn

THE NEWBORN FOG WITH THOMAS WAS NOT NEAR AS INTENSE, BUT HIS BABY DAYS WERE FULL OF EMERGENCY HOSPITAL VISITS FROM RSV AND A SURGERY WHEN HE WAS 6 MONTHS OLD TO GET TUBES IN HIS EARS.

THEN WE MOVED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND THE DAYS FLEW BY EVEN FASTER. AND NEXT THING I KNEW I WAS BUYING PULL-UPS FOR THOMAS AND CHARLIE WAS DOING FRONT FLIPS ON A TRAMPOLINE.  WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE HEALTHY AND HAPPY KIDS AND IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK BACK ON WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE THEM. REFLECTING ON THE PAST 5 YEARS OF BEING A MOM REMINDS ME OF MY FAVORITE QUOTE:

“THE BEST PART OF ME IS YOU”

BEING A PARENT IS THE HARDEST BUT MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE. NOW THAT THE BABY YEARS ARE ALMOST BEHIND US I CAN’T HELP BUT THINK ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT FEW YEARS WILL TEACH US. CHEERS TO THOSE THAT ARE ABOUT TO SPEND THEIR FIRST NIGHT AS PARENTS, THOSE THAT ARE SAYING GOODBYE TO THE BABY YEARS, AND TO THOSE THAT ARE PRAYING THAT THEY WILL SEE THAT SECOND PINK LINE.

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