Everything I've Learned My First Year of Motherhood

Forrest's first birth is September 30--that's tomorrow! Last year on this day, I went to a doctor's appointment after two days of bed rest and was told that my kidneys had continued to decline, my blood pressure was still very high, and I had a headache so severe my vision was blurred. I went to the hospital and started the process for induction. 

What followed was the most confusing, most hilarious 24 hours of my life, culminating in Forrest being born at 9:27am--almost exactly 24 hours after my doctor's appointment. He was absolutely perfect and I cannot believe it's been a year. Here, for your reading pleasure, is everything I've learned in the last year. 

1. It really does get easier. When people said this when Forrest was 2 weeks old--refusing to breastfeed, his little legs so thin I could wrap my hand around his ankle with plenty of room to spare, his feet so skinny that not even premature socks fit--I wanted to throttle them. But it does get easier. One day, I realized I could leave the house without the diaper bag--a spare diaper tucked into my car console, a bottle and a packet of formula in my purse--and it opened up my world. One day, he could sit in the grocery cart and I didn't have to stress about wearing him, about lugging in his car seat that took up all the room in the cart. One day, it just got easy. It really did. 

2. Things pretty much never go how I plan. I didn't breastfeed Forrest. I exclusively pumped for 6 months and it still eats at me. Some days, I still find myself crying about it: not having those moments together, not having any idea what that experience is like. But here's the things I do have: a kid who sleeps crazy good post-sleep training; a kid who eats solid food like a champ and will try anything; a kid who is independent and stubborn and not glued to me. I never imagined not breastfeeding, but I kinda hit the lottery when it comes to this kid. 

3. I didn't need any of this crap. I never used my changing table. I literally just use it to hold diapers and extra wipes. It's just a weird ornament in Forrest's room. The same goes for a mobile, the activity jumper, and basically any fancy baby toys. 

4. I take lots of pictures and if people complain, who cares? There seems to be this thing of people complaining about too many baby pictures on Facebook. And like, ok? And? Is it really the worst thing in the world to see pictures of someone's baby--who they're crazy proud of? Who they made with their body? I take hundreds of pictures of Forrest. I have an embarrassing 3000+ photos of him. And you know what? I love it. I can track his development and progress. I can look back. Were you annoyed by my constant photos of him on Instagram? Here's the thing: I literally don't care. 

5. I miss him. I look at pictures of Forrest when I'm at work, when I'm watching TV at night, when I'm lying in bed. I'll pick up the monitor that shows him usually lying face down asleep in his crib and say to Danny, "I miss him. I want to hug him." It's honestly ridiculous. 

6. I fight with Danny over the dumbest things. Honestly, truly stupid arguments. I can't even give examples, they're all embarrassing. 

7. It's all totally worth it. Listen, giving birth is... rough. Being pregnant is rough. Recovering postpartum while learning to hold a very fragile bag full of sand is ROUGH. Doing all of it on levels of sleep deprivation that equal those of prisoners of war is ROUGH. But the fact is, it was all worth it. The bloating, the puffiness, the bizarrely expensive clothes, the puking and days of nausea, the thousands of dollars, the diapers and blow outs and tiny outfits they wear twice... it's worth it. It's all totally worth it.