A few days ago, Declan asked to nurse for the first time. I was lying on the couch and he came over, tugged my tank top down, looked up at me and said, “Kies?” (I refer to nursing as “Milkies”) I was completely taken aback, and spent the rest of the day thinking. My baby is not a baby anymore, and I’m sad that it went by so quickly.
I’m going to be completely candid and tell you that I really don’t remember the first six months. Declan nursed every 1 1/2 hours up until around 6 months, once he regularly began eating 3 meals of solids a day. I got practically no sleep, and did fine at first, but it eventually caught up to me. While I remember major events and milestones, I’m very hazy about dates and definitely have to cross reference with D’s baby book. It seems that while I was constantly feeding Declan, Declan was constantly growing…at an alarmingly fast pace.
It seems I was so anxious to see him hit certain milestones that I never stopped to think that each of those milestones was a step towards independence…and a little further away from being a baby. Some of Declan’s crazy “accomplishments”:
- Pushing his upper body up and away from a nurse when he was 2 hours old (he was really fussy because I wasn’t getting the hang of nursing and the nurse took him from me to give him a moment “cool off”). Little did we know that D’s personality was there in that moment! Declan’s only now, at almost 13 months, starting to get a little snuggly. But, he is still stubborn and fiercely independent.
- At 1 1/2-2 weeks old, D started rolling over (scared the heck out of me because the first time he did it, I had looked away and he was on his stomach/back when I looked back).
- At about 2 1/2-3 months old, Declan would pull a towel, blanket or his penis cloth over his face when lying on the changing mat…and start flailing his arms and legs. It took me a month to figure out that he was not distressed, he was just playing a game (it takes me a little while to get things…)! Again, D’s personality was shining through, as he’s still a mischievous and playful little bugger!
Like Declan, I’ve learned so many new things this past year. I learned how amazing my, and every woman’s body is, as I carried life within me, and nourished and cared for my baby once born. I learned how to breastfeed, which is likely the most difficult and rewarding thing I’ve tackled yet (more difficult and stressful than my Masters thesis, for sure!). I learned how to love, in an entirely new and different way. I learned how truly amazing humans are, in how quickly they grow, learn, and adapt in just one year!
It’s been a year, it’s been a lifetime, it’s been a blink of an eye. Yesterday Declan went into his room, selected a book from his bookshelves, brought it back out to me and said “book”. I. am. amazed. And surely, will continue to be amazed as Declan keeps growing into this amazing little boy. I will force myself to stop and reflect and enjoy the moments as they truly are fleeting. I am so lucky to be this cool little kid’s mom!