There is SO MUCH TO SAY with so little time to say it.
2012 was a fantastic year for us. And a challenging year.
We spent just over the first half looking forward to the baby. The first couple months included ongoing nausea and vomiting for me on an almost daily basis — it boggles my mind to imagine just how long I felt so bad. We announced the baby to the world in February and all was well until March, when we had a scare that something very serious could be wrong. Made it through that okay (and just in time for a trip to see family) and spent the next several months in high gear, preparing as much as we could for childbirth and the aftermath, getting the nursery together (building a closet! painting! hanging light fixtures!) as well as enjoying our time as a family of two + Wonderdog. Despite super hot heat, swollen ankles, and fifty new pounds of weight, I thoroughly enjoyed the last weeks of my pregnancy and spent the day before giving birth on a walk, at a child’s birthday party in a park, and shopping.
The end of July brought the beginning of our new reality. Labor was fast, intense, and unbelievable (I still marvel at times that that was me, that I was that pregnant, that I had the baby, and that I am a mother — STILL — I sometimes look at pictures in amazement, like it was a time from a different reality, which I suppose it was). We had a hospital birth and outside of some trouble we all had sleeping, I found the hospital to be just fine and a nice break between the world that was and the world that was becoming.
When we got home on the very last day of July, we started a whole new set of adventures. We functioned better than ever as a team – I would nurse, C would change diapers (and do so much more those first weeks – like pretty much everything while I got the hang of nursing). We visited with families and introduced K to her world (and Wonderdog to K). We made it from the hospital to home, from home to nearby places, from nearby places to distant places. C went back to work after 6 amazing weeks, my relationship with the baby got deeper, and just before I went back to work, C officially adopted K so there is no doubt in anyone’s (legal) mind where K belongs. K stared daycare and thrived and I returned to work and made the best of it, enjoying it some days, longing for my baby on others. I contemplated nursing, working, marriage.
We celebrated the holidays, holding three of the four gatherings that we usually hold from mid-October until today (and we were grateful that we have held these gatherings so many times before that we were able to incorporate K in instead of trying to create a gathering AND manage the baby). We took our first set of flights with the baby and agreed that four months old was the perfect flying time. I took tons and tons and tons of pictures and videos, recording each moment for K so that she can see herself with her family and see their love for her even if relationships change, even if people die. She celebrated her first Christmas, opening presents if we tore a small piece for her. I felt simultaneously happy and nostalgic, recognizing that these moments are so precious and so distinct from all the other moments we will have with K in her entire life.
Last night, rather than gathering with friends and preparing a large meal (and cleaning up after it) as we usually do, we ended up at my parent’s house, having an amazing meal, watching television, and just relaxing. And it really was so relaxing. When the ball dropped (which has never been such an amazing thing to C and I), K was in the den with her grandparents, asleep in grandma’s arms. A good beginning to what will hopefully be a great year of growth, development, and discovery for us all.