Motherhood: 1 year

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Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

Monday night, I walked upstairs talking to Hayes about what tomorrow would be. I told him how it was the day he came into our lives and how he changed us and made us better because of it. As I got him ready for bed, I told him how I felt that day I met him. I reminded him of the love I felt that day and how it has only grown every day since. We sat down to read books and I told him one more time, “This year with you has been the best year of my life. Not because it was perfect, but because you threw everything I knew out the window and made me the woman I always hoped I would be even if I never knew this was how it would happen. I couldn’t have done that without you.” Though he was far more interested in his book about animals, it didn’t go unnoticed in some way for him. There is nothing I could tell him that would be truer on his first birthday.

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

I spent all weekend thinking about writing this post and how to even take in what has happened in a year. I know I will not recount each of my children’s births in this way. I realized the first one will always feel the most monumental. Each one unique, yes, but there is something about the first. When Hayes entered the world a year ago it wasn’t just the first breath of a new life that day in that new room but it was the first breath of a new mom as well. I changed that day but it has taken me a year to understand and become comfortable with every change that has happened to my body, mind, and soul that day.

Over the weekend, I thought back to the waiting I experienced before welcoming Hayes and the fears I felt of being induced. Then yesterday during the day, each hour on the clock between 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM I thought about my labor as if I was replaying it all in my head. Moments that still feel both very real and foggy all at the same time. Each moment was a step that led me to hold that boy of mine that now has my heart all tied up in knots more and more as he gets older.

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

I, of course, couldn’t let this moment pass and not collect my thoughts and feelings about one of the most transformative years of my life. It is a huge accomplishment for any parent to make it through this first year. Sure there are many other mountains to climb as a new mom, but this first year, it feels like the biggest of them all. The entrance of motherhood. The wandering blindly most days. It all was the year of being broken into parenthood.

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

Somewhere in the sleepy and exhausted haze of it all, you find love and emotions you could never anticipate.
You find yourself doing fake sneezes in the back of the car and eating puffs out of their hand just to make them giggle.
You become okay with going to the bathroom and talking about elephants at the same time.
You learn silly songs and sing them in public.
You become those parents you say you never will be and then realize that those parents you said you would be are boring and not fun and no kid would want to be raised by them anyways.
You find calm in the unknown.
You discover the best and worst parts of yourself and your partner.
You learn both quickly and slowly what matters most.
You stop caring as much about what other’s think because your whole world is that little life looking up at you.
You work late so you can be more present with them when they aren’t sleeping.
You buy books that make noise because they make him laugh and that sound is all you want to hear forever.
You learn goofy phrases and sounds from their toys and hear them in your sleep.
You say words over and over for them.
You fold their clothes and then cry whenever they grow out of them and you have to box them up.
You somehow become okay with poop…it still baffles me.
You look forward to ending your day so you can get that hug and cuddle because you missed it.
You live for the moments they come and sit on your lap because you realize now just how quickly it goes.
You find a new level of patience.
You play the same song over and over because they love it so much and dance.
You end up with more things than you said you would and it is okay.
More than anything forever your heart is no longer your’s. Your’s will always travel with them forever and always.

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

This first year has been a wild ride. One, I know is only beginning, but my gosh this first year may have some deep valleys but the peaks of the mountains are worth all the struggle and hard work it takes. These days are beautiful, precious, and I feel so thankful for everything this first year with our Hayesy has taught us. He makes us laugh harder than we ever have and we feel so lucky to be the ones to adventure along with him.

Celebrating the First Year as a mom | The Fresh Exchange

Last night, as I walked him upstairs at the end of his birthday, I talked to him about his day. I told him what we did and how he had cake for the first time. Then I reminded him just how much I love him and how glad I am he came here to be with us. He giggled at me while he gnawed on a toy. We both smiled and I knew that he knows just how much he means to us and always will. That to me at the end of this first year is the thing that matters most: He knows he is deeply loved and desired in our lives. Even if nothing else went according to plan that is the only thing on the list that had to be checked off and I feel I can say we did it.

Cheers to another year of motherhood ahead. May it be fuller of laughs and giggles than the last.

All images are from Brett and Jessica Photography except the last one which was taken on our phones yesterday when celebrating his first birthday. Amazing how they change isn’t it? You can also visit sites like if you would like to hire a photographer.

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