I can’t believe how fast a year has gone by. One year ago today I was in the hospital anxiously awaiting the birth of my daughter, with nothing but excitement and fantasies of a perfect baby running through my brain.

After a relatively easy labor — I slept through 10 centimeters of dilation (thank you, epidural!) and pushed 4 times — little Annabelle Grace was born. I cried tears of disbelief (I’m a MOM!) and happiness (she’s finally here!) as I stared at her staring back at me. I caressed her little pink face and poked at her dimple chin and told her it was so nice to meet her. This is the true meaning of love at first sight. From that point on, life would never be the same.

In case you missed it, check out Annabelle’s birth story.

That first week of parenthood was a little rough, as I’m sure is the case for everyone. I definitely had my moment of crying in the bathroom as my husband was standing in the kitchen holding a screaming baby who only wanted her mommy. I wanted to comfort her, but I knew what she wanted…and my raw, scabbed over nips seriously needed a break!

Over time though, I started to get the hang of things. I learned how to get her to nap during the day, sleep through the night, and nurse pain-free. That’s pretty much all you need to know in the first 6 months! Then, around 6 months your little blob starts to actually do stuff, like react to you and your husband and OMG, sit up on her own! They start eating solids and that brings on a whole new host of anxieties about whether you’re keeping your baby on track with food and whether she’s going to choke on her next bite. And just when you get the hang of this phase, the baby starts to crawl and ay yi yi, they’ve gone mobile! Life just got HARDER! Now you’ve got to baby proof, constantly redirect her from getting into stuff she’s not supposed to, and deal with a newly formed attitude! Yep, babies start to assert themselves and test limits way before age 2!

Now here we are at 12 months and Little Miss is starting to walk! I seem to say this at every milestone phase, but 12 months is such a fun time. She remembers stuff, understands certain things we say, giggles all the time, sort of says “mama” and “dada”, feeds herself (with her hands!), and sleeps like a champ. She’s all growns up now.

 

Erasing all signs of baby

I know I should be excited and happy about all this — and I am, but I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy about the speed of changes taking place, even in just the last week. I’ve packed up her swing and put it in the garage, replaced the infant car seat with a new toddler seat, taken the baby gym out of our room and put it in her closet, cut the nighttime bottle, and moved her to cow’s milk cold turkey — no more expensive formula (yay!). And if all that isn’t enough for ONE WEEK, I’ll be ending my year long nursing relationship with Annabelle after Wednesday. I wanted to go birthday to birthday and we did it! It’s bittersweet, but we’re ready.

Do you see why I’m feeling a bit sad this week? It’s like I’m erasing all signs of my baby! It’s too much for mama to take! Annabelle doesn’t seem to mind any of the changes, but I suspect this will be the case for the rest of our lives. She’ll always be in a hurry to grow up and I’ll want to keep her my baby for as long as I can!

I feel so blessed and lucky to have such a wonderful first year of motherhood, with (knock on wood), a fantastic, perfect baby girl, er — toddler. Annabelle is seriously the sweetest little thing. She’s full of personality, laid back like her mama, and a little ray of sunshine. Being the Leo that she is, I’m positive she will be center stage someday hamming it up for whatever audience will pay attention! I’m excited to see her grow and enter new, fun stages in life. I just wish it would all happen a little slower!

Happy birthday, Annabelle! No matter how big you get, you’ll always be my baby girl. I love you, little one.

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