How eight years makes you feel super old

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Looking back…

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It was early early morning…..Like five am early…is that even morning? I don’t think so.

..I had gotten up extra early because I wanted to eat specific energy giving foods…Today we would welcome our daughter into this world. I was scheduled for an induction to start at seven am. It never occurred to me that she would not be born that day. It never occurred to me that labor might actually take longer than there are hours in the day. After all, this daughter of mine had been trying to come out since twenty three weeks.. But we were at the finish line. thirty eight weeks and four days. She could come out anytime now.

They had told me at thirty six weeks if labor started they would not be stopping it. Of course that was when my daughter decided to close up shop. Tighten everything back up. NOW she was content to stay where she was.

Twelve hours and half hours later, one shot of nubain, a very determined baby to stay inside later…..we had a daughter.

I look back at pictures and think…Gosh I was soooo young then. I had it all planned out then. Really I should have known this was an illusion when delivery did not happen anywhere close to my birth plan.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade it for the world and some of my favorite moments are the two of us snuggled up together. That was what I clung to when I was faced with a squirming pile of baby who had pooped from the back of her neck to the tips of her toes. This is what I clung to when she had to have tubes. This is what I clung to when she announced she had pooped outside like the dogs…Image

This is also where my scrapbooking actually paid off. What a great way to keep all these memories…Much better than a baby book in my opinion. I never bonded with the baby book thing….I tried four different ones. But I always had my camera near by or my phone camera. I could snap a picture and make it all pretty and you know they do say a photo speaks a thousand words.

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Anyway as I look at her now….I see myself in her in many ways. She is very creative, she likes things neat and orderly but doesn’t always have the brain to make it so, She has anxieties (alot of what she tells me she worries about I remember worrying about at her age), she doesn’t let things hold her down for long.She is generally happy and outgoing.  I also see my husband in her, her ability to observe things and to be very logical, Her ability to remember things for a really really really long time.(sometimes I don’t really like this feature) I see my sister in her, in her nose and in her desire to wear dresses and make up and jewelry. I see my dad in her, in her ability to talk to just about anyone. I think about how all this came together to make this child who she is.

She was a long awaited child. After the loss of  pregnancy. After trying for years. After month after month of getting my cycle. After well intention questions that hurt to answer.After thinking that maybe we weren’t meant to be parents. Maybe we should look into fostering a child. The day we were told our schedules were too busy for a foster child was the day I found out I was pregnant with her.

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She has made me grow in ways I never even imagined. She has made me look at life differently. She made me slow down and appreciate more. Enjoy more.. Be more.The love between a parent and a child can not be fathomed until you experience it. Its one thing to say you would die for your child its another to believe it with every fiber of your being and know that you were only dying for that child after you had fought with everything you had.

That’s one of the things that makes parenting with chronic pain so hard. If it was pain  I was saving her from I would carry it without a hesitation.

As long as I can remember the one thing I was sure I wanted without a doubt was to be a mother. I couldn’t even focus on what kind of career I was going to have. I was going to be a mother , beyond that I didn’t care.

Eight years…..Eight years has never felt so short as they do in this aspect.  I am having so many emotions about this birthday. I am not sure what it is. I have noticed her baby fat is melting off. She is transforming before my eyes. All I can think of is I am not ready. I am not ready to cross over to this next stage of parenting. She is no longer a baby. She is no longer a toddler. I am just not ready.

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It seems like just yesterday it was the worst thing EVER if Winnie got left at daycare. He is still around here but is mostly ignored. Poor Pooh bear. When she is sick though or just out of sorts I catch her snuggling him…

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Now swimming is no big deal to her. No longer fearful of the water. She is willingly going underwater. Even JUMPING into the pool.  Really its for the best because now I could never hold her like that and swim. Progression of arthritis makes that impossible.

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This seems like just yesterday. How was that five years ago?

It seems like every day she is changing….again.  I had definitely slowed down on taking pictures. In being so immersed in the moment I forgot how quickly it was going by. I am back up to taking pictures of everything. I don’t want to miss a second. The changes are almost noticeable day to day.

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I look at these pictures and think about the memories and how she is now and I think…Yeah…this is good.

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There are nights that when she is asleep in our bed, I see the baby that she was. No matter how big she gets, no matter how sassy she gets, she will always be my baby.

That to me is never so evident to me as when she is sleeping. I can stare at her as much as I want and she won’t say : “what?”  or “stop staring at me mom!”

Then there are even more special nights when she wants to snuggle to sleep. They are not very often anymore. So when they happen. Its golden.

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I think its so much harder because its never been more evident that she will be an only child as it has been in the past year. Constant chronic pain has not been nice to me. I know I am not up to parenting a second child the way I would want.  I always pictured when I was a mother I would have more than one child. Two….possibly three. I know if it happened we would be fine. We would adjust. We would make it work. Something that chronic pain has taught me is every day things can be exhausting. We forget how exhausting those first two years are.  We forget how much work it is. We block it out because of love.

All I can think is I am not ready.  I am not ready in many ways. Thats the biggest difference from August 1st 2005 to August 1st 2013. I know I am not ready. I know I don’t have it all planned out. Just when I had adjusted to having a toddler/young child she is now growing into a new stage.  I am not ready to move to the next stage.

If you have read this all the way through…thank you for putting up with a mommy’s musings on the last eight years.

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