I still can’t believe my little stinker is 11 months old. Another preemie mom e-mailed me recently to check in because she’d heard preemie moms often struggle around a year. I sort of blew that thought off until I realized that I had been feeling overly emotional lately. Admittedly, I think my birth control is making me a hormonal lunatic (I can’t actually afford to get it removed and I have no other options if I do take it out, so I’m sort of stuck), but it’s been harder than normal lately. I heard someone I used to work with had a baby at 32 weeks and got really upset. I didn’t know her that well (although I used to be friendly with her direct reports), but it really, really bothered me that she was going through it. I’ve also been having a harder time talking about Charlotte’s birth lately. I also don’t want certain people around because they just keep making me feel crappy about missing so much time with her at first.
It’s weird, because the NICU really is just an unpleasant vague memory at this point, but I’m still so angry about the way we were treated. I keep wondering if that’s ever going to get better. I also worry that her birthday will always just make me sad. I feel like she deserved better than a birthday every 4 years in the worst month of the year (my hatred of February is legendary). I’m sad that I can’t throw her birthday party at a park or the zoo like I’d imagined doing when I was pregnant and due in May. Then again, roller skating parties are bitchin’ and appropriate year round, so maybe we can work with that. And at least February has a sweet birthstone. And maybe she’ll love the Leap Day thing. At least her birthday is memorable (you are welcome, future boyfriends/husband/etc)
Meanwhile, approaching the year mark has given me this need to savor every moment. I’m realizing that she won’t always curl up and sleep on me or think cuddling in bed is awesome. She’s so crawling a little and I’m excited for her, but also sad because it means she doesn’t really want to be held anymore. I’m going to be really sad when she no longer thinks I’m one of the funniest people on earth. I’m not one of the creeps who wants to keep her a baby forever, but I want to remember and enjoy it while I can.
It’s getting hard to remember what she was like in the hospital. I can’t really visualize her at that size and it’s hard to believe she didn’t always have so much personality. I see preemie clothing and they look so much smaller than I remember (she’s in 9-12 months now except for Osh Kosh). It’s hard to believe she didn’t know how to smile and laugh for quite a while. I’ve definitely blacked out the memory of getting up round the clock to pump and then to feed her once she was home (it’s probably better that way).
So what’s next for us? A super awesome birthday party in February along with a visit from her favorite (only) aunt. I’m guessing more teeth will be showing up soon based on the amount of chewing and drooling going on. She’s mastered the high five, so I guess blowing kisses would be next? She says “hi” and “Dada” (there was also a rather sad attempt to say Rufus that came out “Ruru”), so I’m hoping for a mama soon. Now that she’s getting teeth and refusing baby food I’m also thinking about all kids of wonderful things to feed her (kid loves ice cream already along with anything else she can steal off of my plate).