Looking back over the last year so many things have happened. It has been by far the hardest year of my life. It has also brought me the biggest source of joy I could have ever asked for.
Here are 11 of my best memories for 2011.
Welcome to my world Grayson
After hours (well weeks) of labour and hours of pushing, I was finally able to hold my son. The moment my water broke I let go of all the fear I had been holding on to, and decided to get excited about holding my son soon. After Gray was born, and the medical team made sure that he was okay, they let me hold him for a moment before they took him to the NICU. That moment made the whole process worth it. It made the 11 weeks of bedrest, the 4 weeks of labour, it made everything worth it to know that he was okay and he was here.
Our first family photo.
Gray was about 12 hours old, after some napping I finally made it back to the NICU. My parents had arrived and helped me get to Gray. This was the first time I held my son other than the few moments I had just after he was born.
The day Grayson was born I saw a huge transformation in Brian. He went from holding babies for less than an hour total, to changing diapers and giving Grayson his first bath. Brian was there every moment never missing anything. I’m so blessed to have been able to spend those 5 weeks with my boys.
My 20$ bean!
Gray was 4 weeks old when this picture was taken. Most of our family and friends hadn’t been able to make it to the hospital. Most of them had never seen a baby as small as Gray, and it was a little hard to understand proportions when Brian is so large that Gray sometimes looked like a normal size baby compared to him. So one night we decided to take some pictures of Gray with 20$ bills. This picture will always remind me how tiny he once was. My little 5lb Grayson has gotten so big.
First day home
After 33 days in the hospital we were finally able to bring our boy home. Its seemed so surreal that we were parents to this little man and now in charge of him 100%. That first day Gray hung out in his bouncy chair watching Brian catch up on work from the last 5 weeks while Brian let me sleep in our big comfy bed.
My family tradition is to dedicate our babies after their born. I was the first baby dedicated at our church 27 years ago, and on Mother’s Day this year we dedicated Grayson. It’s not about dedicating our child’s life to God, but about dedicating ourselves to raising our child seeking God’s wisdom and grace. I had been waiting for this day from the moment we found out we were pregnant; from the moment we decided to start our family.
A new Ritual
Brian and I spent many a Saturday morning walking around the market getting fresh veggies for the week. Now we get to do that with Gray. It was a perfect family moment to walk around the market thinking about how next year Gray can pick his own veggies to eat or flowers from the flower stand. And possibly enjoy an apple fritter with maple syrup.
Enjoying our little piece of the world
Brian has been enjoying Ernst Island since his first summer. I think it’s the one place Brian was most excited to take Grayson to. We took a mini vacation this summer, a 9 hour car ride with a 5 month old, and spent 4 nights in the middle of nowhere, in a place where our blackberries didn’t work, and enjoyed the solitude as a family. I’m excited to see Gray grow up on the Island. See what creatures he comes home with, possibly swimming with the loons just like Gemma does. I have a feeling we’ll be there as often as we can.
Well we were one day shy of 6 months corrected, but I think it was okay that we cheated by a day. We made it to his first food, his first nourishment other than just from me. It was such a huge day for us. It meant that I had succeeded in making it to almost 8 month without having to supplement with formula at all.
The day Grayson decided to sit up was an amazing day. We had been working on it for months. At his 4 month corrected development apt our worker commented that we needed to work on sitting since he was a bit behind. His 8 month appointment was fast approaching and he still wasn’t sitting. I was starting to get a bit worried. And then he showed us all, not only did he sit up, he sat up for about 10 minutes straight.
We took Grayson tobogganing for the first time this week. He and Brian had a ton of fun sliding down some of the hills at the school in our back yard. And for me it was a glimpse of the future will hold for us. The days spent in the snow tobogganing or skiing as a family. The big smiles and rosy cheeks that we’ll get at the front door after an afternoon building snowmen. It’s a future I’m greatly looking forward to.
2011 has been a difficult year of ups and downs. But 2012 is a blank canvas that we can fill however we want. I’m looking forward to more time in the snow this winter, another trip to the Island and making memories that will last a lifetime.
What are you looking foward to most in 2012?