I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, as my daughter’s birthday approached. Reflecting on my due date, on the circumstances leading up to her birth, on the pregnancy and then those first few weeks after she was born that just seemed like a blur. It feels as though it is still December 2011, but suddenly here we are, December 2012, and I have a one year old.
My daughter, Penelope “Penny” Ann, was born at 1:05am on December 16, 2011. She was a skinny 6lbs 12oz, though I wasn’t surprised by the weight, and only 18 inches long. You might think she would’ve stayed skinny, but that girl beefed up. Now, at a year, she is about 11lbs and 30 inches tall. My little baby isn’t so little anymore.
I remember bringing her home and having no idea what to do with her. Well, other than feed her and change her diaper, in any case. But what does one do with a newborn? I ended up watching a lot of TV as I recovered from my surprise c-section with her lying on my chest, her favorite place to be. She was a mama’s girl from the start, even if I tried to pass her off as a daddy’s girl. She still is all about her mommy.
Each month on the 16th I would prop her up somewhere in cute clothes and take another photo. One month, two months, three months… I had no idea that one year would sneak up on me like this. I feel like it was just September and my baby had just started crawling. Now I have a walking, talking, one year old. A toddler, in most cases. My baby is a toddler now.
I was never one of those people who was stuck in the past, reminiscing about days gone by and about my baby growing up too fast. I like to live in the present and keep a keen eye on the future. Sometimes, though, I give myself those few moments to reflect on how far we’ve come, to flip through photos of her as a newborn, with her hair sticking out and her skinny legs all over the place. What a doll, my Penny was, and still is.
Here I am now, a mom of a one year old, and proud of it. I am soaking in every moment of this little girl’s life. I am laughing with her father while she toddles around the room blabbering about this and that. I am chasing after her as she is running into the street for the millionth time. I am cuddling with her in the morning when she just isn’t ready to wake up all the way while we watch a show or two. I am letting myself think about the past year with happiness. look how far we’ve come, baby girl, and look how much we still have ahead of us. I am proud to be a mom of a one year old.
Chantal Shelstad, a self-proclaimed “crunchy” stay-at-home mom who lives in Alabama with her daughter, Penny and her husband, a pilot in the Army. Chantal is more than happy to own up to the fact that cloth diapering parents have to face plenty of difficulties, transitions, stigmas (and yes, plenty of poop!) …but it is still worth it in the end.