Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

As I rocked Luke to sleep tonight I found my mind wandering to New Year's Eve last year.  It was a low key evening, as usual, and we ended up sitting at a restaurant visiting with friends.  I was 36 weeks pregnant and I remember part of the conversation went something like this. 

"So, is the baby moving a lot?"
"No, not too much.  I do kick counts at night a lot.  He's such a laid back baby, and has been the entire pregnancy."
"You are so lucky!"
"I know!  His heart rate is always 120.  Every appointment.  He is just so calm and content.  I figure I deserve an easy baby after Colin!"

Exchanges like this happened multiple times a week during Luke's pregnancy.  People (including myself) tend to ask pregnant women how they are feeling and if the baby is moving a lot.  Luke really didn't move much.  It's interesting to look back on those conversations now.  Even when I was in labor Luke's heart rate was so low the nurses and our doctor were concerned that he wasn't reacting correctly to my contractions.  I told them (while in labor) that he was "probably asleep...he is such a relaxed baby."

**As a disclaimer I should say that I have read about, and talked to, many other women who have children with Down syndrome and it seems that fetal movement is NOT an indicator of Down syndrome.  Everyone has a different experience with fetal movement. 

This has been the longest and shortest year in my life.  It has been "The days go slow, but the years go fast" feeling.  The learning curve has been high, but a super cute and lovable subject has made it worth the while!

With Luke's 1st birthday in only 2 short weeks, I have been reflecting back to the days before his birth.  I knew a 3rd child would change our lives, but it has ended up being so much more.  I find myself looking at Luke and silently thanking him for coming to our family.  He is this little bright spot that no one can stop smiling at.  It's hard to believe that 11 months ago I was worried to take him out in public.  Worried that I would have to somehow explain who he was.  Today I look forward to taking him places and showing him off.  Showing everyone what a little love he is, and making sure everyone gets a chance to know him.

This is the time of year everyone is making resolutions.  I am finding it hard this year because I have realized we can't predict the future, as much as we would like to.  We have no way of telling what challenges and adventures may be in store for us during 2012.

The best we can do is to strive to grow.  Not just in January, but every day.  As Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote in Anne of Green Gables, "Isn't it nice to know that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" 

I want to be a more present parent.  I want to spend more time with my husband.  I want to read more books, cook more interesting meals, spend more time with friends, sew more, knit more, exercise more, sing more ...  The list can go on and on.

I also realize that life is uncertain.  The best we can do is to embrace the moment we are in, and live in it fully.  So that is my resolution. 

No guilt and no expectations. 

Tomorrow I will be better than I am today. 

Today I will cook with my kids. 

Today I will go on a walk. 

Today I will call a friend.

And if I don't have time today, there's always tomorrow with no mistakes in it ... yet.  :)

Happy New Year.