One of my photography professors once said that the only truly profound things in life are birth and death. If that’s the case, 2011 was the most profound year I’ve had in quite some time.
Normally, I summarize things like what music I listened to (Daft Punk still steady from last year at #5, Stenobot barely missing my top ten), what restaurants I ate at, how my weight fluctuated, that sort of thing. This year will be just a little different. I still have some fun and frivolous stats to report, but some of them fell by the wayside over the course of the year, due to me focusing on more important things.
I started back on the Pill in the Fall of 2010, due to some female issues I was having. As promised, it regulated my cycle and lessened my cramps and fatigue. It also made my periods lighter, and by January, they seemed to have nearly disappeared altogether. In fact, it was so light for January and February that I started to worry that something was amiss, so I called my OBGYN.
Long story short, I was pregnant.
That kind of put the kibosh on a lot of my New Year’s Resolutions and plans, whether because of physical limitations (like running x number of miles and x number of 5K races in 2011) or simple distraction (like taking photos with every one of the film cameras in my collection). Some of my resolutions didn’t seem to matter as much anymore (like watching at least one movie I’d never seen before every month).
A lot of the things I’d decided to track in 2011 also fell by the wayside, like restaurant meals (fell behind in logging) and alcoholic beverages consumed (for obvious reasons). One serendipitous idea, though, was for me to track all of my doctor visits in 2011; I had no idea the list would become so epic when I tracked my first dental cleaning last January.
We took a daytrip out to Cleveland to hang out with Aaron’s cousins in March. For literally years, we’d all been saying how we needed to get together and hang out; it figures that the first time is likely to be the last, thanks to parenthood. Ironically enough, even though we had all the cousins there, we couldn’t tell them about my condition yet, since it was still early and we hadn’t told anyone yet. So, I spent the entire day with my baby bump disguised and carefully unmentioned. (Which was hard.)
We’d already planned and purchased our annual vacation by the time we found out I was pregnant. Luckily, four to five months pregnant is the ideal time to go on a babymoon! So, we took a tropical vacation to Aruba in early May. I stuck with the fruity non-alcoholic beverages, while Aaron tried out the Balashi (Aruba’s Beer) and other drinks at the all-inclusive. The food was delicious, the snorkeling fun, and the sunsets gorgeous.
Once summer hit, I was starting to look more obviously pregnant. We also started hitting garage sales to get stuff for Connor. We only went garage sale-ing six days out of the summer, but we hit 62 sales on those six days. (Much fewer than 62 were actually profitable, but I didn’t track them in that much detail.) We scored mainly 3-6 month clothes, because we expected our son to be a big baby like his mommy was, but we made sure to buy a wide range of sizes, from one pair of preemie pants (which I picked up on accident) and a smattering of newborn clothes all the way up to an 18-month onesie and a 24-month aloha shirt.
My BFFs Sheryl and Amy planned an awesome baby shower for me at the end of August. We hit up Sakura Japanese Steakhouse for dinner, then opened presents at the Starbucks around the corner. Pretty much anything I didn’t have by then, I got at the shower, like crib sheets and bibs and whatnot. I loved getting to connect with all my friends, some of whom I don’t get to see very often, and most of whom I knew I wouldn’t get to properly hang out with for a while after the baby was born.
The very next weekend, Connor was born. He was three weeks early, weighing 5 pounds 15 ounces, but he was healthy, despite being a long, skinny guy.
My eleven weeks of maternity leave went by in a rush of sleep deprivation and conflicting emotions. We had some visitors: Sheryl brought us dinner that first night home, Mark and Rocky loved to come see Connor on a regular basis, my Mom came to stay for a couple of weeks, and Aaron’s Dad came to our house to meet Connor once. We also got to deal with some plumbing issues that became more expensive than we’d anticipated. For the most part, though, the span of time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving got sucked into a big black hole of babyness, documented for posterity on Twitter and Instagram.
Come to think of it, the span of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas kind of flew by, too. Same routine every day: Feed Connor, pump, get ready and go to work, work all day, come home, see Aaron off to work, feed Connor, feed myself, hang out with Connor, put Connor to bed, go to bed myself.
Then, the day before Christmas Eve, as I was getting ready to wrap things up at work and skip out just a little early, I got a phone call from Aaron: “You need to come home now.”
There’s not enough room in a simple year-end blog post to even gloss over the unexpected immensity, on so many levels. Suffice to say that 2012 will continue to be a year of change because of it — not that it wouldn’t have already, with Connor in the picture now.
If I could boil 2011 down to one (hyphenated) word?