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Bittersweet Birthday

In February of 2010, I would have described myself as a career-driven woman. I was working as the Curriculum Specialist for two locations of a Children’s Center in our area. I felt like I was finding a groove in my career, working in a managerial position and making decent money. I was interviewing for a promotion to become the Center Director of a new location that was set to open later in 2010. I was finally reaching a respectable point in my career and it felt good. I was also a newly-wed, six months into marriage. My husband and I were selfish – not in a negative way – but we didn’t have children and we were indulging in things that childless people do. Like going out, smoking cigarettes, and spending money on nice dinners and expensive cab rides home from the city after too many cocktails at trendy bars. My hobbies in 2010 included sleeping in on the weekends and running. My husband and I were training for a half-marathon in our spare time (somewhere between the drinking and the smoking… impressive, now that I think about it….) And we definitely took all of that free time for granted.

In February of 2011, I had been in my new position as Center Director for six months. It was going well, but it was definitely more responsibility than I had expected. I was working late in the evenings hosting staff meetings and center events. I was taking work home on the weekends to catch up. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it. My husband and I had been married for a year and a half and we were hoping for a baby. In February of 2011, I took the first pregnancy test that I actually hoped was positive. Now that is a mind-blowing moment. You spend the majority of your adolescence trying to avoid pregnancy and then all of a sudden you are hoping for the opposite. Kind of. I remember taking that test and waiting FOREVER (which was actually two minutes) for the result. It was negative. I was disappointed. And relieved. I wanted to have a family but I wasn’t totally ready. Thank God for a few months of negative tests to ease into the idea of a baby.

In February 2012, I was pregnant. Very pregnant and very large. In general, I would have described myself as slow and tired. I can remember vividly that the challenging part of my day was walking my heavy and lopsided self from my office chair to the bathroom and back. I was still working long hours and hoping that the activity would put me into labor to end this insane ordeal. I missed being one person. I missed drinking coffee. I missed seeing my feet. I couldn’t wait to meet my son. I remember my last day at work like it was yesterday. I worked a full day and headed home around 5:30. I felt like I was having chest pains all day. When I got home, I vomited twice. I was convinced I had the stomach flu. FYI – when you are 40 weeks pregnant and vomiting, you are in labor. It’s not the stomach flu. When Greyson finally arrived two days later, I knew things were about to change. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to leave him and go back to work. I was overwhelmed, but I knew that I loved him.

February 2013. I cannot believe that my baby is turning one tomorrow and it feels so bittersweet. He’s not even a baby anymore. He’s walking and talking. He’s like a small person with little opinions and preferences. It’s incredible how much a baby changes in one year. And as for myself – I am a completely different person. It’s amazing how much I have changed in one year as well. Three years ago, I was striving to advance in my career in education and I spent the majority of my time at work. Nowadays, I’d describe myself as a mother and a writer. I spend my time playing with toys, changing diapers, and then blogging about it. And I love it. Motherhood is more challenging, more tiring, and more rewarding than any other career I could have ever imagined. Tonight, I will throw myself a little birthday party to celebrate the fact that I have survived the first year of parenting. Cheers to that. Now, we have the terrible twos and toddler tantrums to look forward to…

 

 

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