Monday, March 2, 2015

One Year Old

Ten days ago, my little boy turned one year old! He is no longer a baby, but officially a toddler. I can't believe how fast this year has gone, and that I have not updated this blog in almost 9 months. I always mean to, and then get busy at work or home. But the one year mark seemed as good as any of a time to check back in.

What can I say? This year has been one of the most challenging yet one of the sweetest. From an easy pregnancy yet an upsetting birth and even more distressing troubles with breastfeeding, we moved on to my return to working full time and some of the typical challenges: trouble with sleep, missing him during the day, exhaustion at night after very full days, and never being more sure that I made the right decision. This boy is my sweet, sweet answer to why I struggled for so long to have him.

I was lucky enough that many of my friends from my infertility support group had babies around the same time as I did, and many of my regular friends also experienced a baby boom. So at his 1st birthday party last weekend, there were at least 10 other babies who had been born within a few months of mine. It's so interesting to see them reach their milestones at different times, and have such different personalities. I am so curious to see if how we view them now remains the same. For example, a friend with a baby a month younger than mine has a boy who is way bigger than my son, and way more rough and tumble. L is very gentle, very much still the baby, and though he loves to play and explore, he is most content in my arms. He's very cuddly and I'm not sure if it's just his nature, or if I've somehow made him this way. Nature versus nurture is an interesting question.

Anyway, he is exactly the boy I had wanted (well...I guess I do wish he slept a little better, but you can't have everything). He's gentle and sweet and loves to cuddle up to me at night, reaching out an arm or a leg to make sure I'm there, and nuzzling my face with his when I pick him up at the end of the day. He loves his buddies at the nanny share, but he loves to sit in my lap when we get home and have me read to him. Yes, we're still cosleeping, though only after his first wake-up, which can be anywhere from 10 pm- 3:30 am. And though it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, giving up breastfeeding was also one of the best, and I have zero regrets. And now that's not even drinking formula anymore, it seems so long ago that it was even something I agonized over. He's big into every food I offer him now, with his favorite being sweet potato puree with coconut milk. He also loves blueberries, pineapple, and my morning oatmeal. Well, pretty much anything I am eating! He gives me those big eyes and his little bird mouth, and suddenly he's eaten half my food.

I am selective in who we talk about donor egg with. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it's also his story just as much as mine. The infertility is my story, but his origins are his. So I don't want to post a photo of him, but he does look remarkably like our donor. He has my husband's coloring- his olive skin has lightened as he's gotten older, so he's now quite fair, with sandy brown hair and blue-grey eyes. But his features- those are the donor's, no doubt. When I compare photos, I see the resemblance. Although people are always saying they see me and my husband, I don't. I see the donor, and it does not bother me. I am grateful for her gift of her egg. But this boy, he is clearly my boy. He's cuddly and sweet and reaches for me and sleeps with his head tucked under mine. We're attached, deeply attached.

Of course, I am still me. Now that's older, I've gotten more of my life back. No doubt that it's definitely not my old life. I find it hard to make it to the gym once a week, unlike my old three times a week goal. I do still cook a nice dinner many nights, and we watch Netflix now that he's sleeping better, and I still read a ton and work full time and make yummy food to send with him to the nanny's. We see friends, though it tends to be playdates, but sometimes I sneak away for brunch with a friend who doesn't have a little one. I am looking forward to spring and returning to walks in the woods as a family. He loves to be worn in the Ergo and we love to take him along to see the trees and hear the birds and spot some deer. Although having a baby can stress a marriage, we are good most of the time. Not like the old days- no travel, not many dinners out or movies or shows, and no lazy Sunday mornings in bed. We spend quite a bit of time talking about cute he is, even after he's in bed.

So, overall, things are pretty good. We have jobs, a beautiful boy, and life is more or less stable. But no, no I cannot imagine having a second child. We are stressed much of the time. Two working parents is hard. I end up missing a lot of work just to get life done- doctor's appointments, rushing to and from the nanny's, basic house maintenance, etc. Although we do intend to have a second, it seems unimaginable to me right now. We said we'd discuss in the summer, but I don't know. Sigh. Life is busy, and there are always things to do, and I'm slacking at work and sick with colds all the time.

But overall, life is sweet with this baby. I have something to look forward to each afternoon. This baby was worth the wait.