Saturday, December 01, 2007

In the moment

It's 12:01 a.m. on December 1st as I begin typing this entry. A year ago at this very minute, with the help of a morphine shot and IV fluids after my first 18 hours of labor, I was just drifting off into the last seven straight hours of sleep I've had since. Last night, I wailed to my husband that I haven't really slept in a year and, I fear, may never sleep well again. Years ago a colleague told me, in that you-mark-my-words tone, "You'll be amazed at how well you'll function on so little sleep."

I feel oddly unemotional about the fact that our son is now a year old. Am I suppose to be verklempt about this? I'm just not. The one thing I do feel is pride. I'm proud of our family and the life we've created. I can't even say that we worked hard to create it; really, we've just made good decisions based on our values. I'm proud that Jim and I chose natural childbirth and paid more money to have the experience we wanted. A few months after Danny's birth, it occurred to us that a hospital delivery would have been by C-section. Instead, at the birth center the midwives presented options that did not include major abdominal surgery. No hospital would ever let a woman labor for 40 hours. I'm proud of myself for doing it and proud that my husband supported the decision. I'm also proud that we live well and debt free on one and a half incomes and that our son has thrived on my milk. I'm proud that, in the first year of his life, our son was cared for solely by his father and I and a few trusted relatives.

Maybe I'm not emotional about this because, more than any other experience in my life, becoming a parent has forced me to stay in the moment. It's taught me how to plan, but not plan the results and to be prepared to throw the plans out the window. So, after a year of moments that I've been present for, it's not so surprising that he's one, that he's thriving, that he's gotten so big, so smart and so beautiful. I notice these things every day, every hour, every minute that I'm with him.

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