When Your Baby Turns One

 

On one hand, I'm so, so excited for you to turn one. I feel proud that we've made it this far, from those first few days and weeks when I just stared at you, marveling that you had somehow fit inside of me. It's crazy, right? How on earth did you fit? I feel like I'm a completely different person than I was a year ago, too–we have both grown so much. I remember feeling scared, before, that I wouldn't know what to do for you when you cried. How would I know what you wanted? But now I know, baby, I know exactly what your different cries mean, when you're hungry, when you're overtired, when you just want to be close to me. I'm proud of myself for knowing you so well. 

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Image via j&j brusie photography

But it's also part of knowing you so well that makes this hard, too. Because even though you're the one turning one, it kind of feels like we are still one. I know technically I'm not pregnant with you anymore, but in a way, it feels like you've never left me. You're still an extension of me, just differently now. 

So honestly, in a way, you turning one is bittersweet for me, Baby. I'm so happy you're growing and happy and healthy, and I want nothing more than to continue to watch you grow. I feel lucky for the time we have had together so far and I know that not every mama gets that chance. 

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But there's also a little part of me that will stay in that first year together forever, in a time that felt suspended from the world, a time of getting to know you, when my world was both reduced and expanded through revolving around you. A little piece of my heart will also long for that time when I held you close, when you were my world, and when I was yours.

So on your first birthday, Baby, just know that I will be here, cheering you on as you try to blow out your candles, snapping pictures when you smash your cake everywhere, and laughing at your cute little faces, but there will still be a part of me left behind, always dreaming …

Of the baby you once were. And will probably always be, at least somewhere in my heart. Happy birthday, Baby.

Love, Your Mama

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When Your Baby Turns One

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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