Tuesday, January 01, 2013

12 For 12

Let’s be real, reality, I don’t have a lot of time for resolutions in 2013. My brain still hasn’t recovered from pregnancy, labor, delivery, and new mommyhood, so thinking through goals and shit just isn’t at the top of the priority list. Other than the obligatory “working on my fitness,” I’m not even going to bother. I will, however, attempt to come up with 12 highlights from 2012.

You’re welcome!

1) I spent most of the year pregnant. After the first few weeks of January, I felt good and had an uneventful, complication-free pregnancy. I made being healthy a priority as long as you count Chipotle burritos as healthy (I do!). And, I was able to stay active until the very end.

2) I gave birth to this little bug. Despite being convinced that labor would be induced once I reached 42 weeks of pregnancy, our little girl showed up only three days late, no induction necessary. After expecting a long haul, my labor was a mere 12 hours. I was lucky enough to “enjoy” a complication-, intervention- and drama-free birth experience.

3) I dove headfirst into new motherhood, immersed myself in newborn-ness, and emerged on the other side only slightly (?) worse for the wear. Did that actually happen? Because it seems like it was EONS ago. And it was hard. Hard in ways I was not expecting, and I was expecting it to be hard. More than anything, I struggled with the loss of freedom that comes with becoming a first-time parent, particularly a first-time mom who is tethered to her child by the boob. Of course, I’ve loved my babe from day one, but it’s gotten so much easier as we moved past the newborn stage and become more comfortable with a new routine for our family of three.

4) Our extended family grew. Not only did I become a mom, I became an aunt! My little sister gave birth in October. Thanksgiving this year featured not one, but two new, little, perfect faces.

5) We stayed close to home. We traveled a few times, but the most part, we spent our time at home, preparing for baby. We managed to finish about half a dozen house projects prior to Em’s birth. Maybe it was the nesting, or maybe it was just getting more comfortable in our suburban surroundings after leaving the city in 2011, but by the time we welcomed Em into the world, our house had never felt more like a home to me.

6) We went on a babymoon to Austin. It was the first time MM and I had traveled by ourselves, as a couple since our honeymoon--no race, no wedding, no family--just a vacation. It was awesome.

7) Our marriage weathered the tough times that come with having a brand new baby (so far). Having a baby is hard on a marriage--stop me if you’ve heard this one. I found myself, early on, feeling resentful of my husband and his ability to come and go as he pleased. This may not have been reality, but a version of it skewed by raging hormones and sleep deprivation. However, my husband has a tendency to take on quite a bit. He has a demanding job; he’s working on a degree; he ran a marathon this year; and that’s not to mention his various other commitments up to, and including, his family. But, he heard my grievances, made an even bigger effort to be an equal partner in this child-raising thing. And, in an attempt at growth on my part (compromise and shit), I have accepted the sacrifices we both have to make (i.e., sometimes he has to go back to work after we put Em to bed, but the important thing is that he was home to spend time with her and help me, and I need to be OK with sitting on the couch watching 90210 by myself, which he wouldn’t agree to watch anyway).

8) I found a way of preparing meals that truly works for our family. Freezer meals! Freezer meals! Freezer meals! I cannot stress enough how freezer meals have changed the way MM and I eat. This has been so monumental that I decided to take it to the next level and asked (and received!) a chest freezer for dinner. We currently have 35+ meals ready to be reheated and eaten in 2013.

9) It was truly the year of the babies and mommies. So many of my close friends gave birth this year, which provided me with a ready-made support network of new moms who were all willing to spend endless hours talking about B.A.B.I.E.S. While this might sound annoying as hell, it’s a great defense against things like postpartum depression. At least it was for me. I needed to talk about it. And talk about it I did. And with the exception of the first few turbulent weeks (when you really can’t trust your feelings anyway), I never felt alone.

10) I did not emerge from all this unscathed. I know, I’ve made this whole pregnancy and birth thing sound so easy, right? Well, it wasn’t a total breeze, and I struggled to get active post-Emme. But now I’m taking care of business and have started working out, including running, again.

11) I did not lose myself. Or at least, I don’t think I have. I seem to be able to have conversations that do not revolve around BABY (though I can do that too). I’ve maintained all friendships that are meaningful to me. We’ve continued to get out of the house to socialize, though we make more plans for brunch than we do for dinner now.

12) I realized how blessed we are. I know the economy is bad, but the truth is my family is very lucky. My husband and I both have good jobs. We have so much more than the average household, and I rarely stop to recognize this. I never have to think about how we’re going to pay the mortgage or buy groceries. If we did run into trouble, I know we have a family support system that we could fall back on if we need help. This is of course not to mention that we were blessed with a healthy, strong, smart, and beautiful baby girl. Maybe it’s having a kid that makes you start to recognize these things, but I am so thankful for our family, immediate and extended, our friends, my job, MM’s job, our health, and everything else we have. I don’t say that enough.

So that’s it, 2012 in a nutshell. While was a good year, it was also an intense year--an intense year with a lot of baby showers. I’m excited to see what 2013 brings, to watch Emme grow, and I can only hope that we’ll continue to be as blessed as we were this year.

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