Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Final Thoughts--My Last Post

As Aubrey turns 1, I feel like I am ready to officially "finish" my blog. It has served its purpose for me, and I hope that it has served some purpose for other moms out there.

I started this blog for a variety reasons. I first wrote it because I was so surprised by motherhood, that I wanted to share my experiences and feelings with other new moms so they knew they weren't alone. As the months went on, I also liked the idea of having a documentation of Aubrey's first year-for both her and for me. It will be really entertaining to go back and read my experiences as a new mom with Aubrey when she is older. And lastly, blogging has been very cathartic for me. I've always expressed my thoughts and feeling through writing, and the blog gave me another means besides journaling to do that. It's a lot faster to type than it is to write!

Some final thoughts for my last post. Obviously, those thoughts will be about my baby girl, Aubrey, since it's the eve of her first birthday. For the last few days, I have been replaying all of the details of this time last year in my head. My mom and I going to my doctor's appointment where he said, "It's time to go the hospital", me telling my mom that I guess it's too late to change my mind, eating a "last" meal at Scotto’s pizza (broccoli pizza with ricotta, a breadstick, and a huge Coke), calling my husband and him not answering (don't worry, he called me back right away!), being induced and having to wait forever for contractions to start, screaming for an epidural when they did start, pushing for 35 minutes and thinking I was going to die right then and there, and the biggest moment of all...seeing Aubrey-healthy, beautiful, perfect. Exhaustion, relief, joy, and love all rolled into one big feeling.

As all moms know, you can't put into words the love you feel for your baby. What has been even more surprising to me is that my love for her triples every single day. My real life started on December 8, 2009 at 7:12pm. From that moment on, I finally felt a true sense of purpose and joy. Everything in my life is better because of Aubrey. Having a child gives you hope, joy, and a profound love that you've never felt before. It's 100 times more challenging than I thought it would be, but honest to God, it is 100 times better than I thought it would be.

Thank you all for reading my blog, commenting, voting, and your support since I've started. Good luck on your journeys as moms, and maybe I'll be back when #2 comes along! (That is NOT a pregnancy announcement!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Finally got to Make my Christmas Cookies

Last November, I was delusional. I'm not sure if I ever told this story on my blog before, so I apologize if you've already heard this.

As I said, it was last November. My mom and I were sitting on my couch, a few weeks before my December 3rd due date. I gazed starry eyed across the room and excitedly proclaimed, “I can’t wait until the baby is born! It will be so great to have a baby at Christmas time! I’ll bake chocolate chip cookies and decorate and watch Christmas movies while she sleeps. Maybe she can even go shopping with me. I can’t wait!” My mom gently smiled and softly shook her head, “Oh, Christie... I wouldn’t plan on it. Having a newborn may not be exactly as you envision it."

I felt like a seventeen year old who was just told, “Oh, wait until you get to the real world." I convinced myself that my mom (a woman with three kids and thirty years of parenting experience) had no idea what she was talking about. My experience would be different.

Well, my mom was BEYOND right. Last December I averaged 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Aubrey's naps ranged from 15 minutes to an hour, and they weren't very often. When I did have a spare 45 minutes, I certainly wasn't whipping up Christmas cookies. I was in such a fog all month that I probably would have forgot the oven was on and burnt the house down.

Well, I am happy to say, that THIS year, I finally got what I had envisioned. I just finished my first batch of Christmas cookies while Aubrey napped (because now she actually naps for 2 hours, instead of twenty minutes) and Aubrey and I have been shopping together all week as we drive around listening to Christmas music. My house is decorated and we even put lights up outside this year. I am in SUPER Christmas spirit mode this year, because I feel like I missed out on Christmas last year.

This time last year I had no idea what I was in for with a newborn baby. I had no idea that the first four weeks of motherhood would be the most difficult four weeks of her first year. The December ’09 “fog” feels like it was years ago, and I am so happy to be able to enjoy the holidays in full force again—with plenty of sleep and plenty of Christmas cookies 