“First birthdays are not just about the baby.
There, I said it.
You get the invite, you roll your eyes, and you instantly scoff at the pomp and circumstance of it all, thinking:
‘She won’t even remember this or know what’s going on!’
By she, you mean the baby of course. But this isn’t really about the baby, is it?
First birthdays are a celebration of life, of triumph.
They are a celebration of a woman that went into a 12-month-long battle and earned the title of ‘mother.’
First birthdays are not about the cake.
They are not about tutus and bowties.
They are not about presents.
When a woman approaches that first birthday, she is flooded with the memories of birth. That mother may be re-experiencing all the efforts it took her to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, to deliver.
For me, that first birthday was the one-year anniversary of the scariest day of my life.
For me, that first birthday meant it was twelve months since I gave birth under complete anesthesia due to Placenta Accreta.
For me, that first birthday was twelve months to the day that I went under not knowing if my 34-week old baby would survive her birth.
For me, that first birthday was one year to the day that I wasn’t sure if I would survive to meet her at all.
For me, that first birthday was the day I planned to celebrate the moment I went to battle alongside my unborn daughter and won.
When a mother approaches the anniversary of the birth of a child, they are celebrating the trials and tribulations of birth and the following twelve months.
They are celebrating a triumph over breastfeeding or a choice to formula feed.
They are celebrating the survival of sleepless nights, colic-fueled screaming sessions that lasted for months, endless amounts of spit-up.
When that woman approaches that 12-month mark, she may be celebrating her first year as a mother, or her last year living in the baby phase.
She may be celebrating a triumph over postpartum depression or anxiety.
She may be celebrating her survival.
When a mother approaches the first birthday and sends you an invitation, this invitation is sent to you because she wants to celebrate her triumph of motherhood.
She assumes you are an ally, and you too want to celebrate her victory.
Next time you receive that first birthday invitation, please remember this.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jamie Freeman of Detroit Mom. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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