My life is more different that I could have imagined. I didn't think I would still be breastfeeding at this point. I couldn't imagine my body being taken over by another creature for so long, but alas, here we are with no plans to stop. I didn't think I'd have a one year old in bed next to me every night, and wrapped onto my body for many hours a week. Now I couldn't imagine her being anywhere else. I didn't know the feeling of heart-stopping panic I would feel every time I check her breathing and it takes a second or two to feel her chest rise and fall. I didn't know how the smile of such a tiny being could make time stand still and my heart melt. I couldn't fathom that I would gladly forfeit sleep to hold my baby, that the middle of the night bonding, those tiny fingers curled around mine and she nursed back to sleep, would be some of my favorite moments. Yes, we all know that parents love their children, but that knowledge is nothing compared to actually feeling it for yourself.
Before I had her, I read a cliche that says "Having a child is like forever living with a piece of your heart outside your body." I've never read truer words. This year has gone by in the blink of an eye, although I can honestly say I've made a conscious effort to enjoy every single day of this journey. Some days are harder than others, and the joyful moment is a sense of relief at seeing her face peaceful in sleep at the end of the day while other days are full of laughter and play. Part of me would love to be able to rewind to this time last year and live this all over again, but I'm also looking forward to what the next year brings. I feel more secure in myself as a person and in myself as a mother with each passing day.
Happy First Birthday Lucy Susannah!
Then: about one hour old
And now: one year old: