Today is Madelyn's 365th day of being her own person. I can't believe that a whole year has gone by since she was in my belly. This time last year, I was frantically finishing painting her nursery mural knowing my C was booked for the next afternoon. I remember my belly feeling super tight and even the smallest kick or nudge to my ribs felt like being hit with a bowling ball. Maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. I also remember all of the excitement I felt for getting to meet my little angel (boy or girl was yet tbd), I wondered who baby would look like, would baby have hair, would baby be a good baby? I remember being so happy to be on the 2nd day of my Mat leave. I had the first year all plotted out in my head. Being the Type A person that I am, I planned that: baby would sleep in the bassinet right away (no co-sleeping), then move to the crib at 2 months; there would strictly be no bottles used until over 2 months old; I would have a 100% organic diet while I nursed; baby would eat 100% organic food and absolutely no gluten/dairy in first year; and baby would never eat french fries.
Well, it turns out that once little baby Madelyn (girl, looked like dad for first 6 months then started to look like me, still doesn't have hair, and is a text book angel baby except for when teething) entered the world a lot of the ideas I had in my head became fluid as the year went on. I quickly learned it's okay for a mom to change her mind.
As parents, our first mindset change was with regards to co-sleeping. Madelyn slept with me for the first month of her life while poor daddy was exiled to the spare room (he was actually okay with that since it meant uninterrupted sleep). I will forever hold those memories close to my heart. There is nothing like the joy of holding a sleeping newborn in your arms. Watching their eyelids flutter and having a little pool of drool build up on your chest. And the smell of a sleeping newborn, complete heaven.
I've also learned that it's okay for Dad to change his mind as well. At the beginning, dad was pretty comfortable with the idea of me breastfeeding our baby until a year old, but wasn't really into the idea of me nursing a toddler. Recently we had a talk and both agreed that for our family, and our baby, the right thing to do is to continue breastfeeding into her second year of life. At the present time we have no intention to wean and we're both feeling great about that decision.
Probably the biggest game changer has been my decision to go back to work. Yes, that's right, as of May 16th, 'ftm' hilaryinalderwood, will be changed to 'swm' hilary in alderwood (i.e. 'superhero working mom'). For some of my readers this may come as a big surprise, others probably saw the writing on the wall. I have always loved my career work as a Market Research Consultant. As the year went on I found I started to miss the different stimulation that comes from working in a fast-paced, number-crunching business job. If you asked me 364 days ago if I would ever go back to work, I would have said very firmly, "no". But the first half of my mat leave was completely different than the second half, and I've learned that it's okay to change my mind. It's okay to nurture myself while also caring for my family and my baby. We can all be happy in this new arrangement, where we all get to focus a little bit on ourselves.
So how are we going to make it work? Insert super nanny! She is everything we could have ever asked for as our new addition to our family. Nanny A started 2 weeks before my return for a gradual transition. Maddy and Mason have both taken so well to her, like she's been a part of our family for much longer. Although we are early into this new phase of our lives I can tell it's all going to work out just fine. And that's a really good feeling.
I will end this post with a sneak peak picture from Maddy's 1st birthday party last Saturday. While she was literally a total party pooper (eye teeth coming in, sick, cranky, clingy, poopy, the works), we did get one picture of the two of us sans tears.
I love you little baby Madelyn and I can't wait to celebrate your real first birthday tomorrow!