Today is a very special day. It’s Kristin’s birthday! To make this day even more special, Kristin’s mom, Maureen, has kindly agreed to write a special guest post for today (I only cried a little bit reading this). Happy Birthday Kristin!
My Baby Has a Baby!
I am blogging today to celebrate Kristin’s first birthday as a Mom! Thirty-three years ago, August 14th Kristin made me a mom, and it changed my life.
Living and working in Manhattan, Don and I got the news that I was pregnant. We were blessed with a “surprise” pregnancy and we needed to nail down the changes that will take place in our lives. We both had demanding jobs and lived in a four-floor walkup, neither conducive to becoming parents. The amount of decisions and commitments needed to consider was daunting. Stay in the city? Daycare? Schools? Yup, schools. Most women I knew enrolled their child in a preschool as soon as they got pregnant. That’s pressure!
Our lease was up in May, three months prior to meeting this new person, and we need to make a change. We decided to move to New Jersey. This was to be a “two-fer”, getting a place closer to my family and my sister was going be her nanny! SCORE!
The day we met Kristin was an amazingly beautiful “beach” day on the Jersey Shore. I was overdue and thought a day at the ocean would do me wonders. I got in my car, stopped at my parents’ home, grab a beach chair, and schlepped all my stuff to the ocean. I parked myself near the lifeguard, just in case. After a while I started to feel a bit crampy, nothing much but I couldn’t get comfortable. I decided to leave the beach to go home and nap. Dropping the beach chair at my Mom’s she said, “How are you?” I said I was good, but I needed to go home and take it easy. She said I looked tired and to let her know when I got home. Don called, from work in Manhattan, around 5p and asked how I felt. I told him I was just fine and not to rush home. Oh, and I added that I was cramping… just a bit. He said he was leaving immediately and by the time he got home 1-1 ½ hours later I was in labor. My Jersey Girl arrived at 8lbs 9 oz, full head of hair and in great health. Let motherhood begin.
I had a three-month maternity leave, Don went back to work in Manhattan, and Kristin and I settled into a new routine. Mostly sleeping when she slept. I was breastfeeding and she was a hungry bugger. I experienced my first obstacle, cracked nipples. Ouch! Never anticipated that! The internet was not around, and all “Mom” information came from books, your mother, or close friends/family. I bought MANY books. One of my favorite authors was by T. Berry Brazelton, kind of the Mr. Rogers of pediatricians, he wrote Infants and Mothers and Touchpoints. (For Kristin’s birthday I’m sending her an electronic copy of Infants and Mothers circa 1983. ☺ )
My biggest fear in becoming a mother was how to communicate with a newborn. Would we bond? How would I be able to understand and anticipate her needs? Would she be able to feel loved and secure? What kind of woman would I become? Could I put her needs ahead of my own and Don’s? What happens when I go back to work? And probably a million more!
These questions seemed to come up and be answered as needed. She felt perfect in my arms. I was fortunate to have the time to bond, understand she was “out of sorts”, become enveloped in her laughter, know the difference between hungry and “hangry”, go through the conflicting feelings of returning to work, and just sink into the new “family”.
I now get to be part of her beginnings of motherhood. I watch Kristin and Kris navigate parenthood with excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation, dedication, joy and love. I see them create a home and family. I’m excited to watch as they create their own rhythm and schedules and I am touched to think that both the Hummel and Kvam family values and customs will continue on with the next generation. The holidays and traditions she has had over the years will mean even more to her now that she’ll get to share them with her child. I have the joy of getting to know my grandchild, be his Nana and watch him develop into the Finn that he will be.
It was my JOY to have Kristin changed my life, and now I celebrate as Finn changes hers.
Happy Birthday Kristin.
Love and Lollies,
Maureen Kvam, aka: Kristin’s proud Mom.