Two years ago, I was at the end of my pregnancy: feet swollen, belly huge, and back aching. And more than anything, I was desperately anticipating the birth of my darling babe. I couldn't wait to meet her (although, at the time I was convinced SHE was a HE).
Two years later, my baby, Mila has become a precious, hilarious toddler. She's speaking in sentences, and bossing everyone around. And I couldn't be more proud... and confused. Where did my baby go? How is she already this PERSON?
When I think back to those newborn moments -- the late nights, early mornings, and feeling of absolute, pure, uninterrupted love -- I have to smile. Looking back, I feel extremely lucky that I have friends and family that were open and totally honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly of having a new baby.
My mother constantly warned me of the nervousness she felt those first couple months with two tiny twin babies at home. She warned me of the anxiety I would feel leaving the hospital. And so I was prepared and not surprised when I thought, driving home with Mila, "I can't believe they are letting us leave with her. Alone."
I had friends talk about their difficulties with breastfeeding and the effects of hormones. So when I couldn't get the horrid pump to work or when I cried at every commercial, I was prepared. Some brave friends spoke with me about their experience with postpartum depression and so, I knew if I needed help I had an incredible support system.
I feel so lucky that I knew what I had in store so I could really enjoy the first few months of Mila's life. I'm proud that I have surrounded myself with honest, brave friends and family.
The one piece of advice I wish I had listened to more whole-heartedly was to relax more and relish every moment. At some points, I was too married to Mila's sleeping schedule to allow her to fall asleep on my chest. Or I felt I should be constantly doing something: cleaning, laundry, writing thank you notes, instead of just napping with and staring at Mila.
Two years later, I can speak to the old cliche: enjoy, because it all goes by too fast. It does. Mila is almost two and no longer a baby. So now I am trying to take my own advice during her toddler years and enjoy every day, every moment of being Mila's mom.