On the eve of Myra's first birthday, I can't help but reflect on the last year. I will say I'm left speechless, but that's not entirely true since I'm about to keep writing.
I've lived through many "one years" already, most notably in relation to deployments. One year til he's (or she's...love you, Michelle!) home, one year til they leave again, you get the picture. One year til I graduate high school, college. This one is different. There's something so tangible about it. One year ago tonight, I was bouncing on a yoga ball, walking on the treadmill with Rowdy, and painting trim as we scrambled to finish our basement before this new little person decided she was ready to meet us. At my appointment that day, I had a membrane sweep and we had our fingers crossed it would work...although I was skeptical to say the least. I was entering a world of unknowns trusting my mama instincts would kick in when I needed them. I was FREAKING OUT about how I would know when contractions were real (versus Braxton Hicks, or practice contractions) and everyone (literally everyone) told me, "you'll know." And I did. I waited in bed timing them on my iPod app from about 2:30am until 4:30am when I woke Trevor up. I won't go into the rest of the birth story, if you want to read it in all its glory, click here.
Maybe I am speechless. I'm literally aimlessly clicking around thinking how I could wrap up this last year into words. We've gone through many of the struggles, learning curves, growing pains, joys, cRaZaY moments, and excitement that most first time parents do. We've had unique struggles with nursing (ok maybe that one isn't so unique), a yeast infection and chicken pox (ok, maybe not so unique there either, at least not the yeast infection), reflecting on past pregnancy loss as the due dates were 360 days apart (hmm... okay so pregnancy loss is pretty darn common, too, but each of these experiences have been unique because they're ours), and most notably our journey to Myra's FPIES diagnosis. We've had a LOT of fun this year getting to know our fun (have I said fun yet?), happy, personable, smart, beautiful little girl. Not only did she make me a mama, and make Trevor a daddy, she led me to some absolutely phenomenal people. We have made so many friends through ECFE, our babywearing group, an online due date club (my "January baby" group), fellow FPIES families, and even connecting more with friends and family as our families grow together.
I feel like I should be able to go on and on and get all mushy gushy about motherhood and the lessons I've learned, patience, priorities, appreciating the small things (sleep? I'd consider that a big thing), the realization that there is no such thing as a "normal" baby, but I honestly don't know how to put it into words (I know, hard to believe). I can totally relate to the saying that there is no way to be a perfect parent and million ways to be a good one. Myra is teaching me every day how to be a mom. I've spent the last year learning how to trust such a tiny person to know just what she needs.
I would be remiss to ignore the difficult days (weeks? months?) we've had before we knew exactly what was going on with Myra (although we knew all along something was wrong), but truthfully (not just a mushy first birthday statement, but truthfully) this has been such a good, happy, and fun-filled year. Seriously...I don't even know what I'm saying. All this mom stuff is hard work, but it rocks. It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done. <Insert all the other cliché parenting phrases that are totally true here> And the best part is, we're still just getting started.
I must also point out that, even though it's just been one year, we're so very fortunate to get even that much. Some family friends lost their 6 month old, Jameson, this past summer and he was just three weeks older than Myra. We know of many families who are struggling or have struggled with infertility and miscarriage. So, while in many ways the fun is just getting started with our girl, this still feels like such a huge milestone in so many ways. We are so thankful and Myra reminds us often how lucky we are.
I'm off to reminisce and read Myra's birth story again myself. And get some of that hard earned sleep! Happy Birthday (in a few hours) baby girl!