Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday.

Dear Baby Bird,

One year ago, at 6:30 in the morning on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, you were born.

At only 4 lbs, 1oz, you were just tiny, but we could tell right from the beginning that you were a fighter. One of the residents in the NICU where you spent the first weeks of your life said that he wished all babies were like you.  You have amazed us every single day since your tiny beginning by the rapidity with which you have grown and learned and developed. 

You have been good for our confidence. Every time we successfully got you to sleep, or successfully got you to eat something new, or recorded an impressive weight gain, or taught you something new, we were almost as proud of ourselves as we were of you.  Your first word (BALL), expressed so clearly and so repeatedly at only 11 months old was a particular moment of pride! And crawling! Oh my gosh, when you started crawling it was the most amazing feeling of accomplishment!

Of course, there were moments of worry and anxiety. We, like most new parents, have over-thought things and fretted and fussed. But the more you grew and developed and learned, the more confidence and certainty we have gained. You've been good for us, little one.

Up until about Christmas, you were very shy. You sat quietly and watched the world around you, playing strange with anyone other than Mom and Dad.  At Christmas, seemingly all of a sudden, you decided that you were going to be an outgoing participant in the world and you haven't looked back. You engage with everybody, waving, chatting and playing with anyone around you.

We love all the goofiness in you, including your goofy facial expressions, your goofy moods, your goofy games. There is very little frustration when things don't go your way; you just turn around and head for the next thing. You smile all day long (most days) and you have a wonderful infectious belly laugh.

I have loved being home with you.  But a new stage in both of our lives is right around the corner! Back to work for Mommy and off to day care for you. We have chosen a place where we think you'll thrive, where the staff are warm and kind. It will undoubtedly be a hard transition for both of us, but I have a feeling that you'll adjust sooner than I will.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the new things that you'll learn from the teachers and the other babies at the day care. It will be so good for you. And going back to work will be good for me too.

I'm just going to miss you so much, baby girl. So I hope you'll forgive me if for the first few days, I hug you a little tighter, kiss you a little harder and hold you a little longer.

Happy Birthday, sweet sweet baby.

I love you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Flying Time...

It's almost unfathomable to me that Baby Bird is already almost a year old. A YEAR! Seriously? In fact, it's been almost exactly a year since that fateful doctor's appointment where we discovered that I had a placental disfunction that was causing high blood pressure for me and was likely going to result in an early birth. Without question, the month that followed was the most frightening of my life but I can't begin to quantify the daily joy that has filled our lives since she was born.

We have been entirely blessed with a relaxed, happy, goofy and altogether chill little baby. She sleeps well, she eats well and she is thriving in all ways. She has a big toothless grin that is plastered across her face almost all the time except when that face is being washed, which from the sound coming out of her, you'd think was akin to some kind of torture. She loves the cats and they mostly tolerate her.
I still look at her with a sense of disbelief that she belongs to us and that we created her.  It still seems like a crazy miracle. 

There have been two other babies born in the family in the last year and I am looking forward to this coming summer with great anticipation, already seeing visions of three little ones playing together outside. What a difference a year makes to the shape of an extended family!! When we all get together, we talk about poop a lot. 

In about six weeks, I'll be going back to work.  My feelings about going back are by no means consistent. I have moments where I feel almost ready and moments of definite dread.  We have a spot for BB in a day care in Prairie Hamlet and I'm not actually particularly worried about her ability to adjust to this new situation at all.  I'm sure that it will take a few days, but I know she'll be fine.  We'll be starting her out at the day care full time but the hope is to move her to three days a week later in the summer and to have WH stay home with her for the other two. I think that this will be a great thing for both of them!

In the meantime, I am trying to work through a long list of household projects that I wanted to get done before I go back.  The approach for now is to take on one project per day. Yesterday, the project was sorting through all of the many baby-related resources that we've acquired in the last year, throwing away duplicates and filing the rest.  I had hoped to take on further paperwork sorting today, but a sick baby may waylay that plan.

I also plan to blog more, as a means to both work through the conflicting feelings associated with going back to work and get back into the swing of writing. There is a significant amount of writing in my work and I'm badly out of practice.

And with that, I hear the sad sounds of a snotty baby bird waking up...