Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Caitlyn's birthday is fast approaching. In fact, it's just 4 days away. It seems absolutely absurd in more ways than one. The most obvious is how fast the time has gone. Those first fews months are such a blur now. I barely remember the days of constant pumping, poop with every diaper change and a baby that actually stayed in one place for more than 5 seconds. That part is easy enough to reconcile, I suppose. It's still a bit sad though. I wish I had taken more video, more pictures of Caitlyn as a teeny tiny newborn. I look at her now, and despite still being small, the changes are epic. She's not just a snuggly little meatloaf anymore. She's a person. No longer just an extension of myself, but a tiny, opinionated little diva.

The part that is harder to deal with is that part about her being her own person. She's a lovely person: funny, smart and ever-endearing. But with each passing day, she becomes more independent and I can't help but feel a burden of sadness as she needs me less and less. She walks now, talks, makes very clear decisions about what she does and doesn't want. It's not like when she was a newborn and I'd give her what she needed and she would take it. Not like that at all. This kid has opinions. And a penchant for the dramatic (her favorite dramatic reaction? If I put her to stand in her crib or on the floor and she still wants to be held, she reacts by throwing herself in a heap onto the floor and puts her head on the ground, sobbing in desperation as if to say "how could you do this to me?").

Obviously I love all these things about her. I love seeing her reactions. In the last couple of weeks, she's taken to scowling at people. It's just about the funniest thing I've ever seen. If you don't give her her way, she furrows her brow, narrows her eyes, dips her head and gives you the evil eye, staring up at you from under her eyelashes. It's hilarious actually. She's also been seen rolling her eyes at people. Yes, my one year old has an attitude problem. But I love it. That probably sounds terrible, like I'm going to be one of those moms with a kicking, screaming 4 year old in the supermarket one day, but I don't really put up with too much bullshit and I don't see it going that far because Caitlyn is generally so good-natured. But the scowling. Oh my god. It's just too much. I can't help but laugh.

But when I think about these things, they remind me that my baby is growing up. That one day, she will go off to Kindergarten and I'll embarass her by sobbing uncontrollably as she walks into school for the first time. Then she will get her first period, and I'll embarass her by telling her about pads and tampons. Then she will go to college and I'll humiliate her by talking to her about chlamydia and unplanned pregnancy and how college boys are dirty pervs who will say absolutely anything to get in her pants. Then I'll make it 1000% worse by saying something like "if you are going to put out, at least make sure they go down first". Because that's what my mom would have said to me.

Of course, all these realizations make me cry. I think of my baby being a grown-up and it forces me to picture my life once she's made a life for herself that I'm not the biggest part of.

Obviously I want all this for her. I want her to have all the experiences of school and love and work and children. But then I just want my baby to be my baby forever. And in a way, I know she always will be. I think of what my own mother said to me after I had Caitlyn. She felt a sense of loss with all three of her daughters having babies so close together. Like we had families of our own now and we wouldn't need her anymore. I guess I have to take comfort in the fact that I know I'll always need my mother, so I can hope that Caitlyn will always need me.

I think, in part, this is why I've been obsessing about having another baby (oh, did I not mention that?). It's not about being unfulfilled. Caitlyn brings unparalleled joy to my life and I could never have another thing besides her and I know I could still be happy. It's the sense of loss that gets me every time. I've lost a baby once, and even though I know I won't lose Caitlyn in that sense, I can't help but go to that scary "my baby is going to leave me" place every once in a while.

I'm not seriously considering it or anything. I'm certainly not trying to get pregnant (the whole shitty, sperm-that-couldn't-find-an-egg-in-a-damn-chicken-coup issue helps me keep in perspective the reality that anyway), but because we can say with a good amount of certainty that I won't get pregnant without serious medical intervention, we don't use birth control ever. And having gone through years of trying then fertility treatments makes me annoyingly hyper-aware of all my body's fertility signals. So, despite having no real reason to examine my cervical mucus, I find that I do. And despite knowing that I won't get pregnant, I can't help but think "we had sex right when I ovulated, maybe I'm pregnant". It's frustrating and compouding an already annoying reflex reaction to my Caitlyn growing up and having birthdays and all.

Luckily, I've been super busy planning Caitlyn's birthday party and cleaning up diarrhea so I haven't had much time to think about it. That's right, another stomach bug for Caitlyn. She is feeling a bit better now though, and her party is on Saturday, so I'm really hoping she is 100% by then. My baby can NOT not eat cake on her birthday!


Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

Wow, you summarized so much of what I'm feeling right here. I am so proud of the person Alice is becoming, but I miss when she needed me for absolutely everything. And I wish I could have those things with Maddie. We have two eggs frozen still, and are trying to figure out when/how to use them due to my likely need for more bedrest... it's all so insane.