It is hard to believe that my little man is almost 1 year old already! Just a few more days. I remember this time last year, all too vividly. I was miserable, and growing more and more impatient by the day. I was SO READY to give birth. He was SO CONTENT to stay in my belly! And, so, his personality has been from day 1.

I have never really shared my birth story, and I thought some of you might like to hear it. Then I started writing it and realized it was too personal for now, and I’m not ready to share that amazing experience publicly. I will say that the path I took through my pregnancy and childbirth was an extremely eye-opening experience, and has led me to feel empowered as a woman. It is amazing what our bodies can do. It is also amazing how “modern medicine” seeks to take this power away from us. But that is another post entirely.

Every aspect of life is a journey, and parenting my darling son has definitely been a journey. Just over the past year, I have not only become more empowered as a woman, but I have also learned so much about my partner, and my daughter. My son has truly tested my patience to its maximum limits. My daughter was a pretty “easy”, “textbook” baby from what I remember. But my dear sweet son is what some would describe as “difficult”, “bad”, “fussy”. I have used these terms on occasion as well to describe him, but the more I read about the psychology of the infant/parent connection, I try so hard not to label my son with any of these terms. He’s just being “Nicholas,” and that is that.

The more I read about how to help my son be a better baby, I realized that it was me, not him, and I needed to find a better parenting style. I was a semi-attached parent, but I am becoming more of an attached parent, learning that it is okay to hold my baby all day, so I often put him in a baby carrier and do my chores with him up on my back. I learned that schedules sometimes just don’t work. Naps will happen if/when they happen. I nurse my baby on demand. Even if he isn’t hungry, sometimes he needs the comfort of his mother. And just because he turns 1 on Saturday, does not mean I have to start weaning him. He still doesn’t eat much in the way of solids, he isn’t ready to wean. Neither am I. And that is okay.

Most of all, I’ve learned over the past year that just because a book says to do something, or a doctor says to do something, it doesn’t mean it is best for your baby. Only you as the parent can know what is best for your own baby. Trust your gut. Do what you feel is right (while also practicing some common sense). There are things I did for my daughter that just don’t work for my son. For example, she slept through the night from 6 weeks on. Nicholas still has yet to sleep through the night. We didn’t have to “baby-proof” the house with my daughter, but when my son was 5 months old, he was on the move already and didn’t understand any boundaries. We HAD to baby proof for safety.

Probably way more information than any of you want to know, but I think it’s important to understand that just as all adults are different, all babies are different. And after almost 12 months, I think I have finally figured out my Nicholas, and how to properly respond to his needs. And he is an overall happy boy, that loves his sissy, and that loves to sleep (yes, he finally sleeps!!!) with his head on mommy and his feet on daddy.

IMG_5600 photo3 photo6 Pickle