My sweet, silly little baby girl is a year old today. I can’t hardly believe it.

Maybe this says something horrible about my personality but in the lead up to her birthday I’ve found it hard focusing on the celebration and not feeling a little sad when I think about where we were a year ago.

The night before I went into labour my mom sent me a message saying that my younger cousin Cyril, who was closest in age to me, was missing.  I woke up at six the next morning and we left shortly after for the gruelling two hour drive to Winnipeg.  All through my labour Chris tried to contact anyone in my family to tell them the baby was coming but he couldn’t get anyone on the phone.  My mom, dad and sister had all left for Cape Breton to be with my aunt and her family.

Then,  there was the difficult labour and Kate’s week in the NICU.  I have a tendency to downplay wildly stressful situations at the moment only to have horrible breakdowns after the fact and that’s definitely been the case with Kate’s birth.  We didn’t know what to expect and we didn’t know what it meant to have those first bonding moments with your newborn baby so we didn’t really miss what we didn’t understand. Now, though, I mourn the loss of those moments deeply.  I can barely think of her laying alone in an incubator, drugged and hooked up to tubes without crying.  If I’m watching tv and I see scenes of a mom nursing her tiny baby right after the delivery or even just loading her healthy baby into the car for the happy trip home a couple days after the birth I can count on a weepy meltdown.

But, Kate is strong and happy and busy now and as Chris and I marvel at how we made it through this year my aunt is trying to get through an awful anniversary. My cousin drowned after falling from his boat and I still don’t think I’ve even registered that he is gone.

We’re so lucky to have a bright, healthy baby and I’d like to say that I’m more appreciative of every moment we spend together because of what my family went through last year but it’s easy to get bogged down in the stress and boredom of day to day life. Today, though, I tried to let it all go and just enjoy her.

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