Pregnancy & Birth

Penelope’s First BIRTHday!

I don’t know where to even begin. I kind of feel like I am in a haze. How did a year go by? How did I get here already?

I started crying yesterday when everyone was singing Happy Birthday to Penelope at Baby Time at the library, like a dork. I couldn’t help it. I have never sung Happy Birthday to her before, it’s her very first birthday. Ever.

I am not sure why exactly her birthday has me so emotional. I know that I have so much more wonderful things to look forward to, but it also feels like a door closing. The end of her babyhood. Her babyhood, that I will never, ever get back.

Someone once told me that post partum lasts three years, and one of the reasons it lasts that long is because it actually takes three years to process the event of giving birth and transforming into being a mother. When your baby arrives, the old you dies, and a new you ascends from the ashes. Pieces of the old you may still be there, but they are buried deep, gestating for the next phase your life when they may come back to serve you. The new you, may still look like you, but you are different and you can never go back. It can take some time getting used to wearing your new mama shoes, they may feel funny at first, but eventually you get comfortable in them and get your stride back, even if you are not the same person.

Penelope has changed so much this year, and so have I. I have come such a long way as far as cooking and nutrition goes, among other things. I still have much to learn, but I am proud of the new me. I can’t believe I used to be a vegetarian and that I used to think that was the “healthy” way to eat and that by being a vegetarian I was being environmentally responsible! I look back at the vegetarian I was in college, and think “what a silly girl!!”  Not trying to nock vegetarians, just noting that my diet is one the biggest things that has changed so much. If you are vegetarian, please check out  the Weston A. Price Foundation.

I never thought I would do EC, or not do a single vaccination (I thought I would do selective and delayed, but once I laid eyes on Penelope, I knew I didn’t want a needle to come near her, ever.)

I thought that Penelope’s birth would require me to muster all the survival skills and courage I had within me, I never realized that it would be her post partum, her baby hood, that would require those things from me. I can not believe I have pumped for an entire year. I hope to go another year, at minimum another 6 months.

This year has been the happiest/hardest year of my life. I can’t believe a year has gone by. Just one year ago I was pushing her out and pulling her up into my arms. I am thankful beyond words that I was able to stay home this year and just be with my daughter and not miss a single moment.

I wonder what the next year will bring. Year 2 of post partum land. Maybe Penelope will sleep through the night before she turns 2? A Mama can dream.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PENELOPE!! My beautiful, beautiful girl.

Here are some birth and brand new post partum pictures:
Penelopes First BIRTHday
Penelopes First BIRTHday
Penelopes First BIRTHday
Penelopes First BIRTHday

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  • Sara
    November 11, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    So beautiful! I felt the exact same way on Claire's 1st birthday, and for some reason I was even more emotional about the approach of 2. I still get a little sad every time I pack up some of Claire's 'baby' stuff to put in the garage. I find it scary sometimes to think about just how much I love her, and how she is both a part of me and also her own person who will one day 'fly the nest.'

  • Tanashia
    November 12, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Awwwwwwwwww. It was great to finally meet you at the library. Glad we were there to sing "Happy Birthday" to your baby girl.

  • jessica kiehn
    June 9, 2011 at 7:40 PM


  • Sonja
    May 23, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    Amazing stories. A water birth would’ve been nice. My son was born in 2007. My miracle baby. Born at 32 weeks and weighing 3 lbs. first month of his life was in a hospital. He’s so strong. He is MY Hero. Had problems latching and I exclusively pumped every drop of his breast milk for 13 months. It’s a wonderful feeling to have still been able to give him breast milk despite the latching issues. Even a nipple shield didnt really help us out. Anyways. Bravo to you. Ty for sharing your life and photos I’ve enjoyed it.

    • Stephanie
      May 27, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      It was so nice. Congrats to you on your sweet miracle baby! So glad he is here! Thanks for sharing. 🙂