My miracle baby is no longer a baby. She turned one on Friday.
I haven’t been sure how or when to post on here anymore. I don’t feel a calling to be a straight-up mom blogger. And, more importantly, a lot the people who read this blog are still going through infertility and loss, and I want to be sensitive to that. But I feel like this milestone is too big to pass by, so here I am.
One year, holy smokes. One year of looking into the face of a baby I never thought I’d meet. Some days I still ask myself if this is really a dream. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every day with Winnie in our lives feels like magic. I am up to my eyeballs in gratitude. This life, this family–it is all I’ve ever wanted.
Grief still lingers, of course, and probably will for a long time. On a recent road trip to South Carolina, it hit me hard that Winnie’s twin should be traveling with us. I miss my mom, I miss my brother, I miss all three of those babies that I’ll never get to meet–at least not in this lifetime. But so it goes, right? There can’t be light without darkness. The last few years were very dark and very long, but how can I begrudge them when they brought me here, to this place right now?
I quit my job after Winnie was born. I had been unhappy there for a long time, and I just couldn’t fathom leaving this hard-earned baby every day to go to work. I’ve been doing a bit of freelance writing here and there, but mostly I’m just spending time with my girls. Lettie is in pre-school three days of the week, but I have her home with me the other two days. Winnie is with me every day, all day. I never thought of myself as the stay-at-home mom type, but so far I’m loving it. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. I have no plans to return to work at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the future. I’m considering going back to school at some point to be an infertility nurse. I eventually want a career that allows me to help others who are going through what I went through, but I’m not sure what that will look like.
Other than than hanging with Tim and the girls, I’ve mostly been doing things that feel good to me. I started writing creatively again, which I haven’t done for years (aside from this blog). I even took a memoir class to get some ideas going. I’d like to turn my experience with infertility into a book, but alas I am slow and lack focus, so we’ll see when or if that happens. I’m trying not to pressure myself. I made a mosaic the other week out of an old recycling bin. I’m planning on painting my front door an eggplant purple soon. Every morning during Winnie’s nap, I take a nap, too. Slowly, I am healing. I am returning to the person I used to be before infertility took over my life–or, maybe more accurately, I am learning who I want to be right now.
If you can believe it, Winnie is still breastfeeding. She had the same exact issues as Lettie (tongue tie), but for whatever reason she just fought for it harder than Lettie did, and we were able to exclusively breastfeed pretty much from day one. To have that nursing time with her was and is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Personality-wise, Winnie is happy and very laid back (like her dad–she did not get that from me; I have zero chill). She’s shy, but she likes to smile at people and say “hi” from a distance. She eats everything, and I mean everything–pate, tapenade, filet mignon, you name it. She was a terrible sleeper, but thankfully we seem to have finally worked that out through sleep training. Today, she dropped a big, wet open-mouthed kiss on me and said, “Ah-la-la-la.” I’m telling myself she said “I love you.” You never know.
I have so much more I could say, but this seems like a good place to stop for now. I’ll leave you with some pictures of Winnie’s first birthday party. I’m not the crafty type, but I ended up making all of the decorations (along with tons of help from my mother-in-law and her friend). I had so many conflicting feelings about my baby turning one that I had to channel it into something…sooooooo crafts it was!
Even though I’ve been silent on here for so long, I think of you all often. I am grateful to you, and will always be grateful to you, for being there for me during the hardest time of my life. I’m not sure how much I’ll post on here going forward. Maybe I’ll pick it back up again at some point, who knows. Regardless, if you need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, or if you have any questions about immunology treatments or anything else, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here.
‘you are in love
what does love look like’
to which I replied
‘like everything I’ve ever lost
come back to me’