Emma’s first birthday is next week. Next. Week. It’s definitely bittersweet not just because my baby will no longer be a baby, but because we will not have known her for 365 days. I can remember what I was doing last year on her birthday (mostly because we replayed the previous week and how quickly our lives changed) despite not knowing Emma even existed. It wasn’t a particularly joyful day.
We didn’t see Emma when she took her first breath or hear her first cry. We wouldn’t hold her until she was 5 days old. We wouldn’t know Emma had a sugar bug on her nose. Or that her eyes were the wildest color we’d ever seen or that she was a champ at eating. We wouldn’t know how strong a newborn baby could be and how much they can persevere.
There are no pictures of her first 4 days of life and no real memories for us to share with her as she grows. As we approach Emma’s birthday, I’ve given a lot of thought to our experiences and Emma’s story. Her life story which encompasses her birth family, our family, and her own unique experiences. I wonder if Emma will miss those 4 days worth of pictures and memories. Will she even notice? Will she ask us about her birth? Will we be able to answer all of her questions? It’s Chris and my job to navigate those questions, if they come. I suspect if they don’t, similar questions will. And, we won’t have all the answers. That’s the simple truth.
We may have all the stories to share with our future children or we may have even less for them depending on how our “recipe” grows. I hope all of our children will accept their different stories and appreciate them.
Motherhood doesn’t always look the way us waiting mamas envision. As I hear it, the same is true no matter how you become a mother. Birth plans and breastfeeding are common issues. It can be hard to let go of the things we can’t control.
Despite the sadness I have about the things we don’t have for us and Emma. I’m grateful that we will have spent the 360 days together. That we were chosen to see her first laugh, crawl, and step even though we didn’t change her first diaper or give her her first bath. We get to experience most of the firsts. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not even her first breath.