Today my baby, Olivia Joy, turns one year old. It's been quite a year. Being a mom of two has been at turns surprising, exhausting, exhilarating, and hilarious.
I've learned a lot about my kids, but I've learned even more about myself.
I'm not nearly as patient as I want to be.
I'm stronger than I ever thought I could be.
I can survive for FAR longer than I ever thought I could on a fractured sleep schedule.
Before Olivia was born, I was determined that I'd do things differently in the postpartum period. I had a lot of regrets about my distinct lack of movement and exercise during my pregnancy with Natalie and after she was born, so I swung waaaay in the other direction.
I wouldn't be lazy. I'd get right back into working out. I'd "bounce back."
Well, I did work hard, and I did jump RIGHT back into working out, and, well, we know how that turned out. (Hellooooo prolapse!)
But at the same time as my prolapse diagnosis (and what actually drove me to pelvic floor physical therapy), I was learning an amazing amount about the pregnant and postpartum body and what happens when we push too hard, do too much, try to pretend like we DIDN'T just have a baby.
To say it's been an eye-opening year is an understatement. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm grateful for the prolapse, but I am grateful for the crash-course in pelvic floor dysfunctions that it's given me.
I know it seems a bit odd to focus on me me me when it's my daughter's birthday, but the conclusion I've come to, now that this is my second time through a baby's first year, is that the first birthday really isn't about the baby it all.
It's a celebration of surviving that first year, because goddamn is it hard.
Is it amazing and rewarding? Does it make your heart swell up so big you think it's going to explode out of your chest?
But it is tough.
So today, on Olivia's birthday, I'm being extra kind to myself. For her, it's just another day. But for me it's a hard-won victory. One more trip around the sun and we're all doing ok.
That's definitely something to celebrate.
Now here's a slideshow.