8 days from today, my baby will turn 1 year old. And I will mark my 1 year anniversary of being a mother. 1 whole year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes (name that musical!) of pure bliss and debilitating sleep deprivation and unbridled joy and constant confusion. It was exactly like I imagined and it was nothing like I imagined.
Becoming a mother was so strange. The moment they put that little boy into my arms, I was a mother, but at the same time, I wasn’t. I did have the emotional rush, the instant love for him, but when I looked down at this little baby, who I just met, it was like that feeling you get when you run into someone in the store and you feel like, “I know you….how do I know you?” He seemed familiar to me, but I wasn’t quite sure why. I was able to breastfeed right away and with ease, I was able to wake up every 2-3 hours without a problem. But I still felt like while I loved him, I wasn’t IN LOVE with him. I loved him kind of like I love all babies, or how I love certain family members. It was instant and ingrained, but it wasn’t the deep overwhelming kind of love you hear about. I wasn’t depressed or having the baby blues (yet), but I wasn’t sure who he was yet, and how do you fall in love with someone you don’t really know?
In the days and weeks following his birth, I learned about my little boy. I discovered what he smelled like (heaven) and how he preferred to sleep (on his side, only because he was not allowed to sleep on his belly). I learned what each noise he made meant and how to tell when he was hungry (HE YELLS) and how to tell when he was wet (you better check, because he’s not saying anything). And I learned that when he opened his eyes and he looked at me, I melted like hot butter. I was in love. It wasn’t instant, and that was perfect for us. I experienced a more drawn out version of falling in love with my child and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.
Next week I’m hoping to put together a slideshow to share here for his first birthday. I realized I’ve never shared any pictures of the Goober, so that’ll be all at once. I’m also hoping to compile some list of firsts and milestones so that I don’t forget as the days, weeks, and years count on (baby books are a huge fail on my part.) But today, with just over a week left in this first year, I’d like to take a chance to acknowledge the amazing feat that is becoming a mother and surviving this first year and coming out the other side with a healthy and happy child. It is without a doubt the greatest thing I’ve ever done.