One year ago today, my water broke.
One year ago today, we went to the hospital.
One year ago today, we met out firstborn baby boy who changed everything forever.
One year ago, I officially became a mother, and watched my husband transform into a father.
Photo by R.Gardner Photographs
Is it cliche to say that it went by way too fast? Well, it's true, it did. I could feel the time speeding up the first week of Sawyer's life, and it hasn't slowed down one bit since.
It's hard for me to not think about the little time I have left with him. It aches. The knowing that every day I have a little less time before he is 18. Only 17 more of these short little blips of time we call years where he is mine and that someday, I will have to let him go. Someday, he will become someone elses. That knowledge is always somewhere in the back of my mind.
This little boy, little perfect angel baby, is so much of everything. So much work, so much noise, so messy and busy and so into everything. And so so so so so much joy. That is the word that describes this child to me the best. Pure joy. I don't think I have ever smiled as much as I have this past year. Every time he looks my way, I have to smile. To make sure he sees a happy mama. Or because he is already grinning at me. Or because I need to see him smile back at me. But mostly, because I can't help it.That's what his face does to me. Even if I am in a depressed, stressed out place, that is what seeing his little face does to my heart. It just instantly melts and there is nothing I can do about it.
Watching him never gets old. Seeing him play and talk gibberish to himself, and work things out in his mind is enthralling. And those moments where we watched him learn to hold his bottle, or roll over, or crawl or to put the ring on the stick without ever being shown how were more exciting and fascinating than I ever thought those things could be.
Being a mother has been an overwhelming rush of emotions. Many times I have felt my heart feel as if were about to burst at the seams with love, and at the same exact moment, unbearable aching because I could see him growing up more and more each day and being helpless to slow it down.
It's a roller-coaster, being a mother. A beautiful, wonderful roller-coaster. At times it has been a very difficult battle that I wasn't sure I could go through ever again. Those thoughts came during the intense lows that are postpartum. After the sleepless nights where he refused to sleep and preferred to cry for hours upon hours. After wrestling him to sleep night after night before finally giving in to letting him cry it out alone in his crib. And after what was the disaster of breastfeeding which was, to be frank, a traumatizing nightmare that partly prevented me from bonding with my baby.
Since getting off of the postpartum part of the ride, things have been a lot easier and more stable. Although I do see the importance of having such intense highs and lows after having a baby. Mostly. I think I could have bonded just fine even without the not-being-able-to-get-through-a-single-verse-of-Baby-Mine-without-bursting-into-tears-with-overwhelming-feelings-of-"I love him so muh-huh-huch" levels of love.
But that was a real part of it and I will never forget the first time I laid my tiny newborn down next to me for a nap at home, in his tiny onesie and mittens and for the first time out-of-womb, sang him Baby Mine as he went to sleep. His eyes were closed and a smile crossed his face as if he recognized it from the many times I sang it to my growing baby bump.That single moment will go down in my personal history as a very important moment. Because I waited for what seems like a very long time to sing that song to my own baby as they drifted off to sleep in my own arms.
Another moment that sticks out is a little more recent. A month or so ago I brought Soy Bean in from playing in his kiddie pool and brought him in the shower with me. He sat on the floor as I washed us both up and then I picked him up. My sweet, energetic boy laid his head down on my shoulder as he felt the warm water fall on his back. He stayed like that for a while before we got out. I wrapped him in his towel (towel-wrapped babies are decidedly my favorite form of baby) and I sat down with him on my lap. His head continued to rest on my shoulder, but every few moments he would quietly look up at me and smile. Just smile as he studied my eyes, and then he would lay his head back down on my shoulder. He did this over and over. I could see the love he has for me in his big blue eyes, pouring out to me.
Saying that I am blessed to be able to have this little soul in my care is a very big understatement.
Watching Cody become a father has been absolutely amazing. He is and will continue to be a great daddy to Sawyer. He is such an awesome role model and I know Cody is going to teach him how to be a good, hardworking man. He knows how to make Sawyer laugh uncontrollably and can always make mundane situations into fun, hilarious, silly time.
Photo by R.Gardner Photographs
Sawyer, I love you more than life and this past year has meant everything to me. We will always love you unconditionally. Happy Birthday, little one.