I’m pretty sure the newborn period lasted 863 years.
Every day felt like a hundred and every hour seemed like eternity — unless the baby was actually for once sleeping, then that hour was basically a millisecond. Though they were enjoyable at times, the months dragged on and on. I felt like I was never going to make it past the stage where my life revolved around a newborn’s needs and every decision I made had to do with the care of another human being.
Then all of a sudden, I woke up one day and it was all so far behind me that I couldn’t remember any of it.
I’d forgotten how physically painful the lack of sleep was; how mad and irritable it made me.
I forgot the terrible heartburn I got from being hunched over breastfeeding all the time, a pain so bad I’d wake up in terror, drenched in sweat, convinced I was having a heart attack.
I forgot what it feels like to be away from my baby for a few hours and have my boobs start aching for us to be reunited, a near constant reminder that I was a mom now.
I’d forgotten what it was like to plan every single activity around multiple naps a day or a specific, to-the-minute bedtime.
I forgot what it was like to scrutinize every single label of every item I put in my mouth, badgering restaurant waiters for ingredients and preparation methods so I wouldn’t flare my nursing son’s reflux.
I forgot that I lost myself in the thick of all of it for awhile.
And too, I’d forgotten what an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment it felt like to actually rock a baby to sleep. A feat so difficult that I took a picture of every success I ever had, documenting it in case the events never repeated themselves. (Seriously, the number of pictures I have of my infant simply sleeping is ridiculous.)
I’d forgotten how amazing each and every new thing was:
“Look, he lifted his arm!”
“Oh! He picked up his head!”
“Oh my gosh, he climbed on a chair — we’re going to visit ERs everywhere all the time.”
How every tiny detail morphed into some grand plan or vision of what my son would be like when he got older.
I’d forgotten, too, how desperate I’d be to get him to go to sleep, only to miss him minutes after he drifted off to dreamland, barely being able to wait for him to wake up again so I could look in his bright blue eyes and see his toothless grin.
I’ve forgotten so much in just three short years. Things that consumed me at the time, yet have already faded into the background.
I’m terrified of how much more I’m going to forget. The cute way he called water “mama” for so long, or the silly things he says to me as we drive around town. The funny way he explains things or the odd way he knocks his forehead against me in a strange display of affection.
How am I going to remember all these things when he’s a teenager, or an adult, or heck, next year? I never kept a baby book, assuming these monumental things would be milestones I’d never be able to erase from my memory, but I only have one kid and he’s only three, and I couldn’t tell you how old he was when he first smiled, crawled, or said his first word. I wonder how many more things I’ll forget.
But, of course, better than remembering is experiencing all the new firsts and moments to come. Those, too, I’ll likely forget, but I’ll enjoy each one in the moment and know that each of those memories is somehow wrapped up in making my son who he is today, and who I am as a parent.
Have you forgotten any baby milestones?More On