A Year Of Joy and Growth

The amount of sheer joy I felt as I held her for the first time is immeasurable. After a painful pregnancy full of nausea and personal struggles I had given birth to a perfect little girl.

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Her birth, just like her presence now on earth, was joyous. It is a story I have held close, sharing with very few the details. It has been the singular thing that has gotten me through some very dark times this past year.

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Today is my baby’s first birthday. As I type this she is happily playing and chattering away to herself. Her older sisters as fighting. Always fighting. The juxtaposition of their bickering and her serenity are the perfect representation of how I feel.

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This birthday has been a flood of emotions. It has been a hard year for me in so many ways. Possibly the hardest ever. My baby is one and it is such an honor to be here to celebrate with her. There were a few times, for a few reasons, that I wasn’t sure how this milestone would look.

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I am so grateful for today, even with the fighting, the yelling and the screaming. The eye-rolls and the stomping are hard to handle but, I am trying. I am figuring out how to parent my oldest child, she is our trailblazer. I have never been a mother to someone her age. The baby has an advantage there. She is my third, I know how to parent a baby, I have confidence and endless patience.

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But my oldest? She gets the unsure, impatient, triggered version of myself. I am working incredibly hard to break some serious ancestral baggage without any framework as to how to handle anything. The work is really challenging and exhausting. It takes up a lot of my emotional capacity so by the end of the day I am left feeling drained but hopeful. This work, it is worth every tear and every dark moment.

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The baby, she is such a gift. She has been a balm for our family. She has such a kind, joyous, and refreshing soul, something I have never witnessed in someone so tiny. She gives me these looks like she KNOWS. She gets it, whatever it is. God, the Universe, sure did know what we needed, who I needed, when they sent this little one to us.

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All three of my daughters are playing together now, building with blocks. I am breathing as deep as I can, hoping that I can breathe in the peace from this moment, put it in my reserves, and tap into it later when a challenge arises. I know I will falter, I will fail. I also know that I will try with everything I am made of to be the very best mother to these children that I can be.

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A year ago I gave birth to our third baby, something I didn’t think would ever be possible. Each of our daughters we have had to work for, each coming after a loss, sometimes three. Even in the midst of the hardest days, I am grateful to have them. So incredibly grateful.

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Spring is mostly here and it feels like we are beginning a new year, our baby’s second. I have decided to take stock of things. I am inspired by my children and my husband. I have found a renewed sense of faith and belonging and am working on my purpose. As I sit here, feeling ALL the feelings that come to me, I am grateful.

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I can hear the baby looking for me. She is bored with the blocks, her sisters won’t let her knock their castles over. She is cruising and crawling around the family room, her tiny voice repeating, “Momma?!” It is time to go scoop her up and breath in the last of her baby-ness. In moments she will be a toddler and a whole other world of adventures will open up and the memories of her infancy will fade into soft-focused memories.

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It is bittersweet, the passing of time, the celebrating of birthdays. I wish I could freeze time but am also so grateful for the transformative powers each rotation around the sun brings. It is in this bittersweet gratitude that I think motherhood exists and I am working to honor that. I am trying to let go of the paradigm that motherhood is all rainbows and butterflies. It can also be tears and pain, light and darkness.

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Motherhood has been the biggest blessing and the hardest trial of my life; each birthday is a reminder of how far we have come.

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Happy first birthday, Luna Wren, you are such a bright and joyous and loved light in our lives.

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