Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year in Review.

2010. On one hand, it was a pretty simple year: I found out I was pregnant at the end of 2009, and spent the entire year being pregnant, giving birth, and enjoying our new son. On the other hand, holy wow. It was a crazy year of changes and new beginnings. Like I did last year, I wanted to take some time and look back on one of the best years of my life.

My first post of 2010 was about how much I can't stand winter. It was quite a cheerful post. I set some goals for 2010, although I'm not sure why I said I wanted to run a race, since I knew I was pregnant. That was silly.  I called out lurkers and kept the introduction post as a permanent feature for new readers. We traveled to Ithaca, New York to see our dear friends Tim and Ellen get married. Such fun.  I spent some time thinking about my career this month - talking about how my childhood 'career' was babysitting, how I wanted to work from home, and where my interests intersected with things I could get paid to do.  Not much overlap, apparently. I also confessed that I have about 12 TV shows that I watch regularly. It's a problem. Not blogged about was insane amounts of nausea thanks to little fetus Gabe and telling my boss, parents, and Mike's parents about little fetus Gabe. I also did a ton of research and decided upon the midwives and hospital birthing center that would be a part of Gabe's entrance to the world.

Even though I found out in December that I was with child, I didn't  tell the internets (or most people, actually) until I was 12 weeks pregnant and gushed with some details. Since I knew I was pregnant, I really buckled down on our budgeting and saving, and finished up four months of not buying new clothes and ruminated on what I learned about my own materialism. I also shared how sometimes I struggle with how simply we live. (And still do). I started a Web Publishing class this month, which took a lot of time, but I learned a LOT.  I spent too much time worrying about my pregnancy (and losing the baby) during this month, and was relieved to find out that the baby was healthy at my second midwife appointment. I was still quite nauseated, as is evidenced by the fact that I took exactly one photo in February: a picture of a pregnancy test.

The girls at the high school I worked out found out I was pregnant during a retreat, since I started to show a bit this month. I was still in an awkward place, clothes-wise and sort of hated it. (I'm there again, 4 months post-partum. Yay.) My midwife was unexpectedly laid off and I confessed that Gabe was a pleasant surprise, but not quite at the 'right time.' I wrote about how we told my parents that I was pregnant, and began doing weekly updates on my fetus. I spent a lot of time with insomina and eating sugary cereals (my pregnancy treat of choice), which is always a good time.

Uh, the pregnancy sort of took over my blog this month. I did pregnancy updates for weeks 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22. We had our Big Ultrasound this month, which revealed that the baby in my belly was of the male variety. I was admittedly a bit disappointed, but now I can't imagine not having my sweet little Gabe. More terrifyingly, though, the ultrasound showed a light spot on the baby's heart, which was a soft marker for Down Syndrome. I was sort of scared out of my mind and called my mom sobbing. We had a scary genetic counseling appointment and a follow-up ultrasound, where Down Syndrome was ruled out. In happier news, I had Easter break and it was wonderful.

As my belly got bigger, the comments about it got stranger. I had my first baby shower with work friends and the reality of parenthood also become more real and I fretted about being judged. I met up with four other wonderful bloggers in Indianapolis for a weekend o' food and fun. Oh, what a  wonderful trip it was. My heart soared. I was still pregnant, so, of course, I wrote about it. Specifically, weeks 23 and 24 and weeks 25 and 26. Mike ran a marathon and I watched. It was hard work on my part, and I ended up with a sunburn.

We went to the beach again with Mike's family, which was full of walks and swimming and reading and sunning. Relaxation. Mmm. I can't imagine what next year's trip will be like! I was 27 and 20 weeks pregnant, then 28 and 29 weeks pregnant. This was the month of apartment hunting, which was excruciatingly difficult and why I hardly updated. We finally decided to move out of Cleveland and close to Mike's school (and my parents). We settled on a perfect apartment and absolutely love it here. I took a break from the craziness to read Allie Larkin's fabulous book, Stay.

I told you that I was anxious about childbirth (oh the hours I spent worrying about it!) and especially because I hoped to have a birth naturally. The comments from that post were printed and read, because they seriously gave me courage and calm. Sometimes, this whole blogging thing is sort of amazing. Thank you. I did a few more pregnancy updates, weeks 31, 32, 33, and 34. Mike and I savored our last months of being alone, I answered some questions about the baby and our choices, and I talked about how we wanted to get by with having very little for our baby.

Weeks 35 and 36 were the turning point in my pregnancy, the point at which it became pretty darn uncomfortable. Weeks 37 and 38 were even worse. I wrote a letter to my future baby, telling him how much I loved him. I wrote a letter to my future self, reminding myself not to forget who I was pre-baby. I told you how I stopped using shampoo and went berry-picking with Mike. I waited, mostly patiently, for our baby to make his appearance and actually went into labor the last day of August, which was Mike's 30th birthday.

I had a baby on the first day of this month at 2:16 am, which was sort of amazing. His name is Gabriel Christopher and I loved him with all my heart right from the beginning. It was a bit of a roller coaster at first, but it quickly became a little love-fest over here. I wrote Gabe's birth story in three blog posts. I was surprised by how much I was able to blog with a newborn, actually. I did my last bi-weekly pregnancy update two weeks post-partum and spent most of the month sitting on my couch with Gabe, learning how to breastfeed and take care of a tiny, sweet little baby. Oh, and with Photo Booth. I shared a few ways we simplify in order to afford having a baby.

Gabe turned one month old and I video blogged with him three times. Yeah. I'm obsessed. I asked for hair advice, baked some apple rosemary scones, and hiked with Gabe. I turned 26 this month with a delightfully low-key day - I saw my midwife for my 6-week post-partum checkup, went to Trader Joes, and visited with a college friend. Mostly, I spent time feeling like a mom and learning how to take care of my little peanut.

For the first time since starting my blog, I didn't participate in NaBloPoMo. I didn't think it'd be a wise move with a two-month-old. I showed you how to make cheesy tortilla soup and Gabe proved himself a smiley little two-month-old. I also shared some corners of our apartment and talked about our choice to cloth diaper Gabe. The big change of the month was my decision to leave my job at the high school and take a part-time job at Starbucks. We're now penny-pinching in a major way, but I can't imagine working five days a week with such a long commute. I am lucky. Poor, but so lucky.

After about a month of working at Starbucks, I reflected on some of the best and worst parts of working part-time and being a working mom. Gabe continued to woo you all with his little smiles in his three month post. I confronted some criticisms about my choices and wrote a letter to wannabe breastfeeding moms. Gabe had a wonderful first Christmas and we have been drowning in snow.  I'l tell you about it all soon.

I fell in love with a little guy named Gabe in 2010 and am excited to discover what 2011 holds for my little family.
blog comments powered by Disqus