Secret sadness

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I wrote most of this post a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked and never posted it.  This past weekend, we celebrated my son's first birthday by having a rather large party with family and friends.  It was a really great time.  I was so proud to see my little son interacting with others and hamming it up for the camera.  Admittedly, those happy and proud feelings were mixed with a strong sense of sadness.  Sadness of no longer having a "baby".  Sadness because time moved so so fast during the past year.  Sadness because he may have been my only baby.

Without further ado, here is my post...

My son's first birthday is approaching the station like an out of control train.  I want it to slow down, it is going too fast.  No matter what I do though, the train is going to keep moving with my baby and I on it.  I blinked and my "tiny" 9lb 2oz sleepy baby was an over 22lb babbling little man.  Sound a little dramatic?  Maybe so.  Maybe not for mommies who are either done having children or are not sure that they will (be able to) have another.

This past week, I have been quite the weepy mess.  People mention to me about the impending birthday and I put on an ecstatic front of happiness when in fact I am actually filled with sadness.  Every time I think about my baby turning one, my eyes well up with tears.  Don't get me wrong, I am so incredibly happy that I have a very healthy and happy almost 1 year old, but I am sad because this may be it for me as far as babies go.  I'm just not sure that another baby is in the cards for us.  He may be my first and last baby.

When I think back to all of the firsts that I saw my baby accomplish, I wonder, did I really appreciate that enough?  The first time that I looked into his eyes?  The first time that he smiled at me?  The first time that he belly laughed?  The first time he babbled "dada"?  Was I really present enough?  Did I really appreciate all of his firsts?

I also have some mommy guilt over some things that I have not done, or have done differently than I had originally planned.  His baby book sits within the living room coffee table almost completely untouched and instead Baby Connect holds most of the data from his first year.  The regular videos that I wanted to take with our video camera have turned instead into short clips on the iPhone.  The hand-print ornament that I was supposed to make for Christmas to put on the tree turned into a purchased one from Hallmark.

I am incredibly excited for the years to come.  They will be filled with many more firsts.  First hair cut.  First trip down the sliding board.  First day of school.  First read/written words.  There is so much fun stuff to look forward to, but there will be no more infant moments with him.  My little baby is growing up.  Soon he will be a toddler.  In creeps the sadness.

It is funny how, in those early days soon after B's birth, that the days seemed impossibly long.  I feared that I might not make it through.  Everything seemed so hard, so new, so scary.  My days revolved around breastfeeding every 2 hours and changing the right amount of mustard colored diapers.  Getting out for a walk was a monumental fete.  I would drive 40 minutes to Starbucks so that I could go to the drive-thru and not have to wake my sleepy baby.  Baby music class was my only social activity.  I barely recognized myself, both physically and mentally,  and some days I was worried that I might not be cut out for motherhood.  I was worried I might not be a great mother and that I was too selfish, to impatient, and much of a perfectionist.  Looking back on that, now, I realize that I was just transitioning from my individual self to my mommy self.  Everything was ok.  I wish I could go back and reassure myself  during those, sometimes bleak, days.  Everything was ok.  It really was.  Just different.  Maybe then I could have enjoyed those early moments with my son just a little bit more and I wouldn't have this nagging feeling that I may have missed out.  I can only hope that I did the best that I could at the time.

So now the first birthday has passed.  The first birthday party was a success.  The #1 candle was blown out and the presents were opened.  It's on to the future.  I'm not sure what it will hold, but I know that I am going to be present and I am going to enjoy it.  So I'll keep my secret quiet, for now, and hope that the sadness dissipates.

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One Response to “Secret sadness”

  1. It goes by SO fast...I just can't believe it. My little man is 15 months now...walking, running, babbling. Hard to believe that he's not a baby anymore, but a toddler!