Alcott and High

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Tag: Denver Baby

Fitz’s First Birthday: Part One

By Shannon

I’m in a discombobulated state when it comes to  Fitz’s first birthday. On one hand its this major milestone and cause for celebration. We made it a year! So, let’s throw a party for Fitz! (But really, for ourselves ;)) On the other hand its accepting that my infant is entering toddlerhood. That the foggy newborn days are behind us (Thank God!) but also OH god HOW?! Its knowing that I don’t need to pump four times a day, including in the car. I won’t be the bag lady at work, carrying the pump bag plus my laptop to every site, and rushing home to deliver milk for the nanny. The immense grounding that has come through the struggle of these new parenthood routines and the letting go of those same routines makes me feel sad.

As I watch him turn off light switches, feed himself with a spoon and dance I can’t help thinking that last year at this time he wasn’t even earth side. Can’t I freeze how it feels to have his chubby cool check against mine?  At the same time, how does every phase become more entertaining than the next? How can so much development for a  child and for a family happen in twelve short months?

My friend said the other day that the one year experience reminds her of Stockholm syndrome in that you have this little captor and at first your are freaked out. Then you spend all this time getting used to them and the rest of your life trying to let go of those crazy scary days that bonded you together always.

Later this week I will share the rest of my thoughts on Fitz’s first birthday, including what we are going to do for the party and how I’m going to try and not be a sappy mess.

The Birth of a Mother

I recently read this article The Birth of a Mother in The New York Times.  On the Eve of my first Mother’s Day the words of  psychiatrist Daniel Stern resonate with me. He explains  in his books “The Motherhood Constellation” and “The Birth of a Mother,” giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby. 

The process of becoming a Mother is jarring and fast and all of a sudden, no matter how much you read and prepare, it’s game time. You go from being just a regular person to a Mama–which carries a huge weight that is paired with this idea of  perfection in our society.  It’s like starting a new job, totally unprepared, and being expected to excel without on the ground training.

I think most things with birth and baby toys and all the baby things  are focused on too much and used to occupy time headed towards the big  B-Day.  Sure, the color of the nursery and the perfect glider are fun to plan but what about spending time on how you might feel if the dream you have of Motherhood feels more like a nightmare?  Shouldn’t we seriously think about that— in a way that we don’t feel judged? Before we had Fitz Marcos and I talked about what we could do if we were feeling stressed and what friends we could reach out to.  This type of conversation was so helpful to have before our little man arrived.

The lack of attention on the Mothering part is largely skipped over.  Why don’t we spend time focusing on the mama, the mental health, the relationship with the partner? If I could give any advice to a Mama to be or New Mama, it would be to try and spend time with yourself and take care of your needs, and let people help you. Not before the baby arrives, but after, and always. Not because you need to prove that it’s okay to ask for help, but because it is necessary.

So this Mother’s Day I am feeling good.  My new identity as  a Mother is fitting well, it feels nautral. My Son has stolen my heart (and head!)  It’s another part of who I am, who I am becoming, not all of me. This Mother’s Day I want to give a shout out to all the mamas. A new identity is a process, and a gift, and while you are an amazing mama, you are also an amazing you.

Photos by Manzanita Photography




Baby News!

18 weeks!

Marcos and I officially announced we are expecting a baby on our fifth wedding anniversary. I have felt like my own elephant in the room on this blog because the baby thing has been such a huge part of my life and I’ve been wanting to share it, but not too early, because I was still processing. I still am. I am almost five months into the journey.

We found out I was pregnant shortly before we left for Italy.  Part of the trip, that I didn’t exactly mention, is that I napped about 3 times a day! The first trimester was surreal, the second one is humming along. I will be sharing about the pregnancy on A&H on Wednesdays (BUMP DAY).  I will be discussing the trimesters, the clothes, the problems, the solutions, fears, celebrations…all the baby things.

Can’t wait to finally, be on the same page with you all! Also first belly shot, I almost didn’t share it. 19 weeks.