2008. Wow, what a year. When I look back at it the word that comes to mind is "change". The year started with an IUI on January 5th and then my 30th birthday two weeks later. Two weeks later I finally saw those long awaited double lines. I had what may have been the happiest and easiest pregnancy ever, and then in October little Miss Jillian arrived. And obviously have things been different since then.
She is definitely the center of my and Jeramy's lives. It amazes me how much she has changed in just a few short months. She started as a floppy, helpless, inconsolably screaming (albeit adorable) little baby who spent her days eating, sleeping, pooping and fussing. Now she holds her head up. She plays with toys. She grabs and shakes the toys hanging in front of her in her activity chair, bouncy seat and carseat. If you put a rattle in her hand she likes to shake it. She sits in her bumbo chair or in my lap with a little help. As you saw yesterday she even stands with a little help. She has found her voice. She babbles, squeals, screams and giggles. And oh how she smiles. Sometimes even when she is grumpy you can reason with her enough to get a smile or a laugh out of her. She enjoys her baths, and I have to avoid filling them too full or she'll splash all over the walls and counter. She loves our faces and our voices. I put Jeramy on speaker phone yesterday and she definitely recognized his voice as she looked around in confusion trying to figure out where on earth he was. She is quieter around strangers than she is with us. She still sleeps swaddled although she is starting to show signs that she is ready to be weaned from that. She is finally sleeping in her crib although I'll occasionally put her in the swing if she is being difficult in going to sleep after her middle of the night feeding (a girl has gotta sleep). She can soothe herself to sleep but only with motion. She hates tummy time so it may be a while before she learns to roll over. She loves TV...a little too much. If the TV is on when I'm feeding her she'll crane her neck to try and watch it rather than drink her bottle. I've had to turn it off sometimes to get her to concentrate on eating or playing with other toys. She is good about riding in the car...provided that we do not stop for too long. I find myself taking the routes with the fewest stops as opposed to the shortest routes. She is around 12 pounds now and moving from her 0-3 month clothes to her 3-6 month outfits. Often it is her huge head that outgrows an outfit too, because while they still fit I can no longer get them on her without causing pain. She has developed such a fun personality, and I suspect that she'll turn into quite the outgoing little girl.
And I have changed too. I remember the fear I brought home from the hospital. I had hardly slept in days and that did not change when I got home. Even then my mind was racing far too quickly to sleep. Over time the worry has subsided as I have come to realize that I am capable of being a parent. When she sleeps a little longer than usual, I don't run into her room in a panic wondering if she is still breathing. I have learned to deal with some of the things that did not meet with my expectations like formula feeding rather than breastfeeding. I have learned how emotionally taxing a baby's inconsolable cries can be, and thankfully her gassiness and fussiness have for the most part subsided. I wish I could say that I have learned to be a much more patient and calm person due to all of this, but as my husband could attest that would be a lie. I'm admittedly snappy and irritable these days, and I take every innocent statement personally. (If he says that something is missing, I immediately assume that he is accusing me of losing it). I also am not good at asking for help and instead get frustrated because Jeramy doesn't automatically know when I want him to pitch in. I do not deal well with sleep deprivation, and while I get sufficient sleep now (usually 8 hours but rarely 8 straight hours) this will all change when I start working again next week. I need to work on all of this, but for now I'm just happy to have made it through the past 12 weeks with my sanity in tact.
Of course there have been sad times during the past year too. Cancer has struck our family twice this year with the deaths of my grandmother and Jeramy's grandfather. I remember how excited Momo was when I told her I was pregnant, and I think that my updates were one of the highlights during her last weeks. I was so disappointed that she did not get to live long enough to get to meet Jillian, but I suspect that she and my mom are out there somewhere watching this little girl grow up. One of my greatest wishes my my daughter is that she could inherit just a little bit of Momo's unfailing optimism and cheerfulness. Jeramy's Grandpa was dignosed with late stage pancreatic cancer during my last trimester of pregnancy and luckily lived for a few weeks after Jillian was born. We took her to see him when she wasn't even a week old. Her birth was the highlight of his last days and he would tell everybody who came to see him about his new great granddaughter. It amazes me how much happiness one little baby can bring.
After enjoying 10 quiet years with just the two of us, change has become a reality in 2008 and it appears that the fun is just beginning.
I wish all of you a Happy New Year. If know that for many of you, 2008 was not the happy year that it was for me. I hope that 2009 is the year that brings the changes that you so much desire.