They Are Born Slugs...
You receive all kinds of advice when you're pregnant, "You better sleep now before you don't get to sleep" or "You better take some time as a couple because you won't get to for the next 18 years.." While all of this is grand and seemingly true, they fail to mention how terrible it will be.
The day we brought Oliver home was one of the scariest days of my life. Just making it to the house in the car was enough to give me a heart attack and have me spending another week in the hospital. I thought the scariness was over...I. WAS. WRONG! Do you know all of the scary stuff that can happen to your newborn? 1. HE CAN QUIT BREATHING. for no good reason. The doctor told us before we left that he could be laying in bed and quit breathing. There is nothing you can do or could have done to help them. How is that for telling a first time mom or any mom for that matter. 2. THEY CAN SUFFOCATE ON THEIR BLANKET. If you don't swaddle them...which lets be honest I could never swaddle him right. 3. HE CAN ROLL OFF THINGS.. Granted he has to be a couple months old to learn how to roll but that's assuming he doesn't suffocate or just quit breathing.
While all this scary stuff is happening you're also not getting enough sleep. Whoever thought one person could last on three hours of sleep a night was severely mistaken...you can but, you start having laughing fits then your husband thinks you've gone mad...it's no way to live. So take being scared almost 24 hours a day with little no sleep and then add in the fact that your child does absolutely nothing but cry and maybe smile in his sleep..what do you have? HELL. That's what you have.
Granted, my child was probably the cutest baby in the world. I know every parent says that but, mine is the real deal. His presence in my life was a whirlwind that I would never give up for a million years. He has been the greatest blessing in my entire life. Sometimes, even at ten months, I still stay up late just to watch him sleep and see his little smile during his dreams. Even though he was born pretty much a slug and I don't honestly understand how people like the newborn stage, he has been a miracle in his entire family's life. I'm just now getting a glimpse of the beauty of God's children through my own..
Within days my little baby turns a whole year old! I've talked to many mothers whose response to the year birthday is almost identical "My baby is no longer a baby" and then they are pretty distraught. This will not be that identical response! I'm overjoyed! I'm ecstatic! I'm relieved!
I'm a first time mom so every little thing this past year was terrifying. From changing a boy diaper...to giving him a bath...to even holding him. Let me not mention sleeping with him. I think for the past year I have been more terrified than I care to admit.
Babies are resilient...they can fall on their heads and be okay. They can tumble off of toys and sugars make it all better. They can get scratched by the cat and not even cry. I'm not that resilient anymore...and any little thing that happened to him in the past year broke my heart and scared the hell out of me. I don't for a second believe that for the rest of his life it's not going to feel like that...but now it's no longer keeping him alive. It's teaching him to be a good person. Teaching him to be polite and courteous. Teaching him not to tell me no...
So let's rejoice! My kid made it through the first year! He's alive! He's thriving! And let's not forget he's a snot!
I'm passed the baby stage! I no longer have to put him to sleep in my arms. I no longer have to give him bottles! I no longer have to button up stupid onesies at three thirty in the morning! I no longer have to put him on a stupid changing table to change him...when he only wants to roll off of it!
Oliver's birthday is really a celebration that my husband and I kept him alive! So on his birthday I will have a glass of wine to celebrate our achievement and to celebrate that we will never have to do this again!!!
Growing up I wasn't brought up in what you would call a traditional family. My birth mother had three children by the time she was 19 and my birth father only publicly claimed my younger brother. When I was five years old my father passed away from "unknown causes." Lucky for us, my birth mother still being too young to be a mother, had left us in his care and we were the first to know of his death. After that my birth mother turned to hard drugs and like any drug addict, did whatever was needed to get the drugs. This was at the expense of her children. Any therapist would tell you that after having that much trauma at a young age you would be, for a lack of better words, "screwed."
Miraculously my father stepped in when I was seven years old! My dad is my birth mother's oldest brother. My husband likes to call my childhood as "spoiled." Although I'm quick to tell him different, I can't but secretly smile because that's exactly how my childhood was. I got to grow up naive to the world. I got to grow up with a mother and father. And unlike most children taken away from addicts I was able to live with my younger brother and sister. My life sure didn't start the way most would like but I think God chose it for me. What the reason is I don't know but someday I will find out!