Monday, April 18, 2016

For my Riel on her first birthday...


Today you are one year old. What a year we've had!

You slowly made your way into this world at 10:08 p.m. on April 18, 2015 after more than 24-hours of labour. Looking back, I don't know how I did it, or how anyone does it. Giving birth is such a powerful and surreal experience. Before I actually did it, I was so scared and unsure. Yet, when the time came, motherhood came over me and I became so strong and able. My friend Melissa (a midwife) told me that you had to work just as hard and I did for you to be born. Her words and the meaning behind them pushed me to keep going, because I owed it to you.

When you were finally here I held you close and I cried and I cried. You were so little and new, yet it was like I'd known you my whole life. I never knew how incomplete life was before you. 

It's so strange how much we change when we become mothers. We can plan and anticipate what is to be, but babies and life don't follow plans all that well. In fact, when I was pregnant I set out to fit you into my busy life. I didn't want anything to change and I didn't even consider that you wouldn't fit, no matter how tiny you were. No, you changed everything and turned my world upside-down. But, from the moment I met you I was madly in love and I embraced the new journey.

Our year has been the best year of my life.

Seeing how much you change and grow is astounding. Every day it seems that there is something different or new. There is so much change in such a short time, sometimes it's hard to comprehend.

I won't lie and say that there haven't been moments that were hard, or that there were times when I just wanted to feel like myself again. Motherhood is constant. Even when you're asleep, or are in the care of someone else you are the forefront of my thoughts. I have to give you all of me because you are so small, and you still need all of me. 

But childhood is so short, and I will get myself back soon enough. 

I remember your dad telling me that this man he used to work with said to him one time "Don't ever wish your childrens' childhoods away, because one day they will be gone." 

That hit me. It hit me hard.

There have been moments when you have been hard-- crying, fussy, sick, overtired... and I found myself wishing that you'd just stop being so helpless, or I start wishing that you were just a little bigger so I could reason with you. Then I remember that this time is so short, and that I don't want to wish your childhood away. 

Tomorrow a new routine starts for us. I start back at work, and you'll be in the care of someone else. I never thought I'd feel so emotional about this, but I do. I don't want to miss anything. I know you'll be fine, but I am so scared to miss anything, including the hard moments.

I love you my girl, you are the light of my life.