The paradox of motherhood – the push and pull of very conflicting emotions, of holding two truths that feel far apart but also very much both real – is never more apparent to me than it is during the big milestones.
My last baby turned 1 year old on Wednesday.
I feel both happy and also devastated that I’ll never have the experience of having a baby again.
What a relief it is to know I won’t have to go through the delivery and recovery process again – either via C section, like Riese, or VBAC, like Wes.
And – how sad it feels that I’ll never get to meet my child for the very first time again, to see their tiny fingers and toes and their wrinkled face and say, “Wow, it was you in there all this time.”
That most magical moment – more magical than anything I’ve every known – will never be mine to experience again. It’s there in my memories, but it’s fading, and that makes me well up with tears.
What a relief it is to know we won’t experience the crushing and constant fatigue that it is having a brand new baby who is up all night day after day.
And – my heart breaks that I’ll never hold my newborn baby to my chest again, feeling their tiny weight resting again my body, listening to their grunts and soft inhales and exhales. I could have stared at their little sleeping faces all day – sometimes I did.
On Tuesday night, on the eve of Wes’s birthday, Matt and I went out to dinner (without the kids – always a big treat, and also kind of weird to just be able to sit and focus and have a real conversation that isn’t interrupted every 12 seconds by a child).
“I wonder what we were doing exactly one year ago right at this moment,” I said to Matt, feeling nostalgic and rosy about those last few days when we were parents of only one child.
In my mind, I was imagining us on a big adventure with Riese, all of us smiling and holding hands, the calm before the chaos.
Matt looked at me like I was a bit nuts, and said, “Well, I think about this time was when you were spending all day and night for multiple days in a row in serious early labor pain.”
My rose colored glasses suddenly cleared.
“Oh, wow, yeah. That was terrible. Clearly I have blocked that memory out already… glad I don’t have to do that again.” I said.
How quickly we forget, right?
Thinking back to last summer feels like much longer than a year ago. It honestly feels like forever.
I miss being on the precipice of all that excitement, and I also am relieved that we are now 1 year out, at a place where we have all settled into the new routine vs. being on the cusp of massive change.
On Wednesday evening, we marked the completion of Wes’s first year the same way we marked Riese’s – with a muffin topped with Greek yogurt.
The guest list was small: just me, Matt, Riese, my mom, and the birthday boy.
Riese and my mom and I made the muffins after school, we ordered pizza for dinner, and Riese very selflessly offered to open Wes’s presents for him since he couldn’t do it yet. 😉
It was simple and low key and felt just right.
Happy birthday to our sweet, cheerful, and go with the flow little man. We love you so much.
And now, on to the next phase we go. <3
(In case you missed it – I shared a very long and detailed update in my last motherhood post -> Wes: 10 Month Baby + Mama Update.)