Thursday, March 11, 2010


Tomorrow morning, Lydia will turn one. The past week has been full of reminiscing, reliving, and remembering the week before Lydia was born and reflecting on our birth experience. My parents have been here all week which has been fun since they were here last year during this time also. We have gone to several of the same places, and it is a lot of fun for me to be able to share the memories of Lydia's first hours and days with them as well as the week before the first anniversary of her birth.

I have found myself tearing up at the thought of singing her "Happy Birthday," as well as at the end-points that this birthday brings. I have received my last "Your Baby This Week" email from Babycenter; next week, it will read "Your Toddler..." We are gearing up to cut out her last few breastfeeding sessions during the next few weeks, and today her booster arrived, so the high chair will be relegated to the garage and brought out only when needed for guests that are eating with us that have little ones. We have a carseat ready to be installed in my car, facing forward not backwards.

It is impossible to get my head around all that this year has brought us. I had hoped that I would get my head together enough to write a profound post, something that reflected how profound the pat year has been. I just can't do it. As cliche as it sounds, I just can't put my thoughts and feelings into words in that way. Hopefully when I do Lydia's official birthday post, I'll be able to do it in pictures, but I did want to post my reflections, what's been on my mind during the past week.

My greatest fear when I was pregnant was that I wouldn't love my daughter. I didn't enjoy being pregnant, and when I heard other people describing their feelings towards the experience and their children, I just couldn't relate. Kristin, my doula, told me that she didn't think I needed to worry about loving Lydia--that I didn't appear to be a sociopath, so I would probably be okay. She was right, and so were the people that say that it just gets better. When I looked at Lydia for the first time--when she was seconds old, I didn't feel the rush of love that so many people describe, but wow, has it come over time. This year has taught me to love like a mother.

This year has also taught me to roll with the punches in so many ways. Babies and children teach you that a lot of good fortune in life is just that--good fortune. I used to be a person that believed if you plan well enough, try hard enough, obsess enough, it would all work out perfectly. While I still am guilty of obsessing, I think I've realized that in a lot of ways, especially with kids, the cards fall where they do, and we love our children no matter what.

Similarly, I used to believe that if we just worked hard enough, stayed dedicated enough, pursued our desires with enough consistency, we would get what we want--that it was all a neat equation. If I still believed that, I would be searching frantically for what in the world we did wrong; we've been slammed pretty hard this year in lots of ways, and I'm pretty sure it is just how it worked out, not a reflection of my or Robin's work ethic, or anything. We happened to be relying on and working hard in a field that was hit hard by the recession; we were vulnerable and were nailed. Not like some people have been, but enough so that it's been stressful, frustrating, and just difficult.

What does this have to do with Lydia's birthday? Because through it all during this year, Lydia remained to be the best thing we had going. When people have said things like, "You've got so much on your plate--and the new baby," Robin and I have both shared the feeling that the new baby has really been the saving grace, not a source of stress. I don't say this very often, largely because so many of the people that read this have little ones of their own, but in case you weren't aware, she's pretty much the most perfect baby ever. I don't know if we'll ever separate the economic anxiety from Lydia's first year in our minds, but today as I reflect, I think the thing we'll take away is that family, love, all of those things matter more than anything related to a recession, and I'm not sure we would have learned those lessons without Lydia.

One year ago today, it was raining and I spent most of the day on the sofa. After eating dinner with my parents, Robin and I crawled into bed, ate ice cream, and watched TV. I thought to myself, "I think I can handle this for a few more nights. This whole cuddling with my husband, eating ice cream, and watching Friends isn't so bad." I went to sleep, and two hours later at 1 AM, my water broke and labor started.

One year ago tomorrow at 7:55 AM, well... we got this:


  1. Well, now you've got me crying. What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday, Miss Lydia!

  2. Sooooo is it plagiarism if I substitute "Josephine" for "Lydia" but otherwise copy and paste this whole post onto MY blog in three weeks? It wouldn't TECHNICALLY be the same... :-) I loved these thoughts and identify with so many of them. Thanks for sharing!
    And Happy Birthday, Lydia!!

  3. Laurie,
    Thank you for this post. I don't have a child, and I don't know if I will, but it is somehow comforting to read your words about young motherhood and expectation. As someone on the fence about parenthood, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one unsure, maybe even until birth. On another note, I've been an obsessive planner all of my adult life (and before). The past few years have taught me that all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for certain turns of fate. Congratulations on Lydia's 1st year.

  4. Oh I'm crying! Thank you Laurie! Happy birthday to Lydia!

  5. Remember BL (before Lydia) when we had a conversation about someone who wrote that parenting often brings out a wonderful side in your spouse that you wish you hadn't waited so long to see? Both of you shine as parents and I'll bet you're glad she came into your life when she did. I am so proud of all 3 of you!! Happy birthday Lydia Cecille. I wish Grampa Dale & I could be with you today!

    Love & Kisses,
    Gramma Mree

  6. I, too, did not enjoy being pregnant, and after my son was born, he had colic and couldn't nurse. The first 6 weeks of his life were so, so hard. I'd hear all these stories from other moms about how they bonded with their babies right away, and I was so scared that I had made the wrong decision by becoming a mom. If only I could have seen into the future and realized how much I could possibly love my child, it would have made those tough times so much easier. Happy birthday Lydia!