Okay so listen up, Owen's first tooth is starting to grow and I am not emotionally prepared for the fact THAT HE IS BASICALLY A GROWNUP NOW. Soon he'll have more teeth and then all his teeth and then he'll be walking and driving and getting a corporate job and moving across the country for a girl (or boy?) and he'll forget I'm his mama oh my god never leave meeeeeee.
Alright so that's all a little irrational, but really. A tooth! A sweet, tiny sliver of tooth. It's on the bottom right. And it's so cute! So small! Its neighbor tooth isn't far behind! It's only a matter of time before he rips off my nipple! With teeth!
So, he continues to grow and be perfect. It's been seven months, and I can hardly believe it. A year ago we still didn't know who was growing inside me. It'd be another month before we found out it was an Owen Arthur. And here we are, a year later, with the most delightful and joyful seven-month-old baby boy.
AND NOW HE IS GROWING TOOFS.
He's so, so, so happy, too. His entire face lights up as soon as you catch his eye. He smiles with his entire face. When I wake him in the morning to start his day, he smiles. I want that superpower. My alarm goes off, and it takes me six seconds to remember whether I'm dead or alive.
Parenthood continues to astound me. I love it so much. And that's... shocking for some reason. I always wanted to be a mom, but I didn't know what, exactly, I'd be getting myself into. I'll never, ever forget the instant I realized the spare pregnancy test from the bathroom cabinet showed me a positive.
I believe it went something like, "OH SHIT."
I was simultaneously 35 years old and 12. Certainly I was old enough to have a child and be responsible, but I suddenly felt entirely clueless and panicked.
A BABY? THERE IS A BABY IN THERE? THERE IS A BABY IN THERE THAT WILL COME OUT? THERE IS A BABY IN THERE THAT WILL COME OUT AND BE MY BABY?
I'll be honest. I felt fiercely protective of the baby growing in my womb during pregnancy, but I still had a very hard time believing it was real. I mean, sure, I felt pregnant. Ohhhhh, I felt that, yes. But there were not many moments where I could look at my expanding belly, knowing my baby was growing inside, and feel real, true love. I needed a baby in my arms to understand. I'd talk to him sometimes, and once he started kicking endlessly, I enjoyed the interaction, but I knew I needed real, tangible proof to understand that what was happening was real. It felt so impossible to me to realize an actual human being -- my baby -- was in there.
But now he's here, and HOLY COW. I look at him sometimes and can't believe that he is who was in there that whole time. All those months of discomfort and growth -- physical and emotional. I look back on that day -- the day of the pregnancy test -- and my mind is blown to realize he is the result of that day. And to think he's made of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and pizza...
I love him so, so much. I didn't think minds were capable of what I feel for this baby, but here we are. And now he has teeth. I grew a baby and now he has teeth.
The circle of life clearly amazes me.
In less than five months he'll be a year old. I see other one-year-olds, and can't imagine Owen growing that much in less than five months. He's still loving his purees, and I'm enjoying making them. It's oddly satisfying.
I felt a bit of -- heartache, maybe? -- when it came time to start dabbling in real food. I knew it was the start of him becoming less and less dependent on me. We've been able to thrive in this very private and personal bond for seven months, and I know that'll end sooner rather than later, but beginning to let that go is tough. Being able to at least make his purees from scratch helps me feel a tiny bit like I'm still very much involved in nourishing him and helping him thrive during this infant phase.
But DAMMIT it's going so fast.
But DAMMIT he's so cute. All the time. Every day is a confounding balance of mourning the rapidly-passing infant phase, yet loving every single brand new moment that comes along with growing. It's fascinating to watch a baby become a person with a unique personality, grappling with new abilities and understandings. He's not crawling, and not entirely sitting up on his very own quite yet, but his sleep is improving, he's finally comfortably rolling both directions, and he plays new tricks with his voice regularly. AND THAT TOOTH.
The toooooooooooth, you guys.
He also loves his feet. But so do I . How can you not?
Can you even believe that precious baby GREW INSIDE OF ME? I can't. I just can't.
So this is the state of life currently: disbelief. Disbelief that the discomfort of pregnancy results in amazing babies. Disbelief that I have an amazing baby. Disbelief that I'm a mom. Disbelief that all the disrupted sleep and time constraints and shift in lifestyle have not only not killed me, but made me happy.
Also he has a tooth.
And Todd and I ran a half marathon last month. It felt so freeing and normal to return to the start line of a race. I finished just 10 minutes off my two-and-a-half-year-old personal record at six months postpartum, which tells me running is coming back nicely or that my best half marathon time is in need of shattering. Or both. I'm returning to that same race in August for my fiftieth half marathon, and I think my first postpartum race goal will be to shoot for it.
But I'm still working on fitting a regular running routine back into life in any kind of comfortable way.
But I'll tell you what -- it's hard as shit. Right now I squeeze in weekday runs after Owen goes to bed. So when 7 p.m. hits and I'd rather flop onto the couch for the night, I suit up for a run instead. It's rough. On the weekends, rather than setting an alarm and running with the sunrise, Todd and I finagle our schedules as best we can, which means we both set out for our longer runs at odd hours, handing off the run baton in the middle of the day when I'm either feeling lazy, hungry, or depleted from nursing Owen all day.
I'm trying to tell myself this shift in running lifestyle is setting me up to run stronger. Or kill me, I don't know. But I'm certainly learning to run when I don't want to or when I'm tired or when it's 2 p.m. and I just ate a bowl of cereal and have one full boob because Owen only nurses off the left side.
Full disclosure: I was supposed to run last night and I bailed because I didn't want to, which Todd told me isn't an excuse, but clearly Todd's definition of excuse is very, very different from mine. But I know he'll encourage me to run tonight, and he'll help me make that happen, and he's really been the best partner in that way.
I worried for a long time about how I'd maintain running while learning motherhood, but Todd's been such a great source of support in that arena. It's not that I didn't expect him to be, but I guess maybe I didn't. I didn't really know what to expect. He reminds me that I need it, he reminds me that it's good for me, he reminds me that I can do it, and he builds me amazing medal racks so I can stare obsessively at "what used to be" and long to return to it.
So while, before baby, we were often able to run together (even though, to be honest, I never enjoy it as much as I should), he's become an even better running partner after baby. He's the kind of partner who encourages me, and in this new life, that's what I need. Running remains my outlet, but it's also become my time.
For three miles or five miles or eight miles or 12 miles, it's just me. I'm just Krista.
But just so you know, Krista has a baby WITH A TOOTH.