One year ago today, at precisely 4:16 in the morning, our daughter Esmé Valentine was born.
I spent all of yesterday, and very, very late Monday going through, in my mind, what happened last year, then sharing it with my husband: ‘This time of the morning was when I was shoveling PB&J into my face before we left for the hospital!’ and ‘This was when we arrived at the hospital!’ or ‘This was when I started to want the epidural.
Emile also had some touching recollections: ‘We had to reschedule the delivery for my TV!’ Priorities man. It’s all about priorities.
I knew today was coming, and yes, I had mixed emotions, but I was not expecting it to hit me like a ton of bricks. So I thought I would be helpful and tell you what not to do on your baby’s first birthday so you don’t have to end up like I did. You’re welcome.
1. Do not sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to your baby in front of anyone but your spouse, particularly large gatherings of people at, let’s say, your Little Gym class. You will end up being that mom weeping uncontrollably, unable to see the people offering you sympathetic words of encouragement through blurred eyes.
2. Do not bring your spouse with you to a particularly large gathering of people at, let’s just say, your Little Gym class again. You will hear an awkward voice asking you ‘why are you crying??’ amid all the lovely mothers trying to help you out. You will also have a witness to your uncontrollable weeping that can recount this story for years to come.
3. Do not look at photos from the hospital when your baby was first born, or photos of the first few weeks of their life. You will come across something like this:Oh hello again uncomfortable heart squeezing. So nice of you to make me wish I had my newborn back again. Or there’s this:
Ah yes. Remember those times when your baby fell asleep in your arms with her mouth open, and you could smell her sweet milk breath? No? Just me?? Also this:
4. Do not go to Target with your now 1 year old baby. There will likely be at least one person to ask how old she is, and you will get all choked up again trying to tell them that today is actually her first birthday. There will also likely be a new mom with a brand new baby that is crying its little heart out. If you managed to hold it together when talking to the person before, good luck keeping it together now.
5. Lastly Do not spend the whole day thinking about how small and squishy your almost-toddler used to be. Instead spend the day enjoying the person that they are today, because you won’t get another day where they are exactly 365 days old.