Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Teen Alert! Teen Alert!

Just... excuse me while I play this on repeat today as I get over the fact that Olivia? 

Olivia is a TEENAGER. 
I could add probably every photo I've taken of her over the 13 years because she was the prettiest little girl. I don't remember a whole lot from then (thanks, memory loss!) so I am completely grateful that I scrapbooked all of it. 
 I was SO excited to be pregnant and even more excited to have a little girl. We were so  young, and completely naive and not ready to be parents, yet here we were. At 8:58 in the morning Olivia was born and literally nothing was the same. 
 It's funny how one moment can alter your entire existence. Everything you had been is erased and now you are put on a completely different path, one that absolutely nobody is ready for. I don't care how much you love children, how many kids you've babysat, how many classes you've taken, all of the preparations in place, the support system you have, or even how badly you want it- nobody is EVER ready to have a child. It's difficult, it comes with no manual, there is so much pressure on you to get it right and you only get one chance. I do remember holding her, completely terrified and stressed, and just knew that I couldn't do it. I was so afraid I would do something wrong. I was also entering some of my darkest times because I didn't think postpartum depression would happen to me. 
 I do remember this picture. It was almost midnight. Olivia was only... maybe three or four days old? It was the first couple of days home from the hospital. I felt awful, everything hurt, I couldn't stand but it hurt worse to sit. I was supposed to be bonding with her but all she would do was cry. She cried for HOURS. She wouldn't sleep. She projectile vomited everything I tried to give her. I didn't know what to do. Matt was frustrated. On the shelf behind me were all of my parenting books- I had an entire bookcase and not one of them was helpful. I called my mom who told me this was normal and I just cried. Somehow during my crying, Olivia stopped and I think I held her just like that for as long as I could. I propped pillows under me and just rocked. For hours. Crying. 

It legit never got easier. Within two weeks Matt decided he would get up with her at night so I could sleep because I was slowly losing my mind. 
 She bonded with Matt more than me, and that's not a shocker. She was a relatively happy baby though. We bought our first home right before she was born so our house was a disaster. 
 She really liked stroller rides, that blue monkey (I still have it, though the dog chewed it a little). She loved being on the floor with anyone, Baby Einstein movies, and things she could shake. 
 She liked being outside but it took her awhile to like grass. 
 She was a terrible napper and even worse at night. You'd have to carefully sway her into the crib, complete darkness, total silence. 

It was never achieved. 
 I don't remember any Halloween except for this one!! I found this chicken costume and I wanted her to wear it. It was warm and adorable. She HATED it. She kept falling over when I'd sit her down and she couldn't get back up. She was like 13 months old at this point. She cried the entire time we had it on except for two pictures I got. 

And this year... 
 she's 13. 

I feel so emotional about it. I don't feel ready to have a teenager but I know that life just keeps rolling with or without us. She's in seventh grade this year and it's going to be a good year. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's kind. She's helpful. She's adventurous. She's inquisitive. 
She's the best big sister any of her siblings could have had. Better than I could have hoped for. She's so appreciative and supportive. She never hesitates to ask if she can help and does the worst of the worst tasks with no complaints. She tirelessly entertains Penelope and Lucy, she's Jackson's best friend. I think back to those early days with her being totally worried that I was going to screw her up and that I would never get it right. 

And then I look at her and think, holy crap. I'm actually doing it. I'm for real parenting a human and they are turning out alright. I don't know how, I don't know why, but it's happening and it amazes me every day. As much as I wish time would slow down because memories are fading from me every day and I just want to hold them a little longer, I also can't wait to see what she becomes. 


Bianca said...

Time goes by so fast! Enjoy every moment.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Aw, Olivia sounds like such a wonderful girl - you and Matt are doing a fantastic job raising your kids! I know it sucks to have lost so many memories, but I am really glad you scrapbooked a lot. I think it's something all parents should do in some way - scrapbook, journal, etc. because NO parent will remember it all. Happy birthday to Olivia!! And I LOVE that MCR song. ;)


Erica Robyn said...

Oh my goodness! <3 Happy birthday to Olivia!

Deanna Reads Books said...

Aw, happy birthday to Olivia!

WorldofWriterMom said...

Oh, Sara...I can so relate to everything in your post! Your descriptions of those early moments in parenting a newborn are spot on right! I too have a child who turned 13 this year. He is the middle child, and for many years I wondered if we'd ever survive the rough moments. But here we are and I am continuously amazed that we move forward in spite of the challenges. Thank you so much for sharing this post. Totally loved reading it!
Happy 13th Birthday to your Olivia!