Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy 1 Month Birthday, Rafa

Time. It just marches on like an ant and you never even notice it's gone. It never stops moving does it? Days start and end and then next thing you know, a month has passed. Sometimes, many months roll by and nothing much has changed. But sometimes you can't imagine what kind of difference a month could make. This last month has been a month of incredible change.

In previous blogs I've mentioned how much change Mike and I have gone through in less than a year. With so much change, we were both looking forward to when we would finally have our baby so that we could start moving back into a world of normalcy, consistency. A world with some kind of routine. Little did we know...

Today, Rafa is one month old. And this month has been a lot of things, but normal, consistent, and routine is not one of them.

It has been a month of growth. All of my days have clumped together into one with all of the feedings, changings, and burpings. (Did I mention feedings?) If I get dressed and brush my teeth, it has been a successful day for me as a woman. My success as a mom is measured in much different ways. With all of these days rolled into one, you forget that days are passing by and that Rafaella is growing with each of those. Looking at pictures of the first few days seems like I'm looking at another baby. She already looks so different, so much bigger. Her eyes are clearer, more alert. She looks at us now a little more sure of who we are.

It has been a month of emotion. I read a woman say that "Raising a child is the very definition of ambivalence. I am overwhelmed at times by how something can simultaneously be so awful and so rewarding." I have to agree. It is so awful to second guess yourself everyday. Am I doing the best I can? Am I feeding her enough? Why can't I make her stop crying? Resilience is a quality that you have to acquire quickly as a mom and a quality that you have no choice but to acquire. Move on. Bounce back. You think that other moms have it figured out, that they're doing it right, so why can't you? And then you set an iPod next to her, playing music she might remember from being in your belly, and she gets quiet. She likes it. Genius! It's glorious. She's happy. You're happy. The world is good again. And then she starts to cry...

And knowing that all mothers have the same questions, the same doubts doesn't help. You have to find your own way through it.

It has been a month of amazement. It is something incredible to look at this perfect little face and know that Mike and I made her. She is half of each of us and a whole lot of perfect. We have seen her become more aware of things around her. Hearing her burp comes with a feeling of accomplishment that I can't even describe. Watching her sleep is pure bliss. Especially when she smiles in her sleep. Smelling her head and her milk breath does something to my heart that is indescribable. Most mornings around 7 am she will start to stir but when I take her to feed her, she falls back asleep. I put her next to me in my bed and sometimes we'll both sleep their for a little longer, snuggled up. That is amazing.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that she's ours. A month old baby is growing and becoming a person before our eyes, with our help. And just as it always does, TIME will keep marching into the next month, the next year. Before we know it, this month will be a memory. A time to look back on and remember how much really happened, how much really changed in just one month.

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