This time last year, I was nervously telling David that a baby was on the way. That defined our 2015.
We started our January with a trip to the OB/GYN where we learned that we were expecting, and the baby was a girl. From there, we told our families, and then our close friends, and of course our employers.
Those family members and friends supported us with 4 baby showers. The first was in Los Angeles, held by the company I work for. Then my great friend Melody hosted a wonderful shower for family and friends. And both dance studios I taught for held showers, during which the owners, students and parents graciously gave us gifts for Baby Girl Stevens.
We also decided that we needed to move closer to David’s office. So we started a house hunt and simultaneously put our first home on the market. It was a stressful, frustrating, exciting, consuming process but in the end it all worked out. We made a profit on the sale of our first house, which we used to pay off David’s car and put a downpayment on our amazing second house that we absolutely love. And we moved in record time.
After we bought the house, it was also time to purchase a new “family” car. I was driving a great 2003 Honda Accord that was David’s car before we bought the Prius. But the A/C went out and it had 100K+ miles. So I got a new Honda CRV! And I love it.
Throughout my pregnancy, I continued teaching my dance classes and stayed active — walking almost every day and swimming nearly every day after we moved into to the new house. I survived two recitals when I was 7+ months pregnant.
And of course, I stayed on top of my career. I had just been promoted to the VP position a few weeks before 2014 ended. I traveled to Los Angeles for a management training conference and a company board meeting right around the 19-week mark. I also spearheaded a redesign of the company’s main website.
Before I knew it, July was here. The nursery was ready, the clothes were washed, and the car seat bases were installed. And then, d-day was here. I was induced and delivered Claire on July 16, and nothing has been the same since!
I had a 6-week maternity leave. I’m very grateful that I was paid throughout that time through short-term disability and accrued vacation and sick days. The first two weeks I spent more time at home that I have ever before. I had no idea what to expect adding a baby to our family, but I have only positive memories of those first few weeks. And, of course, she survived so that means we did something right … right?!
About 4 weeks into my maternity leave, I turned 28! It was my first birthday as a “mom,” and boy did Claire remind me that it’s not about me anymore!
We watched Claire grow from a newborn, to a one-month old, and then right before she turned two-months old I started back to work, and began teach dance classes again. The transition was as smooth as it could be, I suppose. I wasn’t particularly eager to go back to work, but I wasn’t dreading it either. Claire and I had started to get into a rhythm, and so far so good! I also had the privilege of performing at a local Oktoberfest.
David and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on October 1, and Claire continued to grow into a three-month old. Right after she turned 3 months, I went on my first work trip post-baby. It was … something. I had a TON of presentations to give, some opinionated (for lack of a better … or meaner .. word) coworkers, and reaaaalllly long days and nights. But Claire was well taken care of by David and my grandma. I’m incredibly grateful that my grandma and David’s parents are so willing — and enthusiastic — to watch Claire. Knowing that she was in good hands helped a lot. Admittedly, I was excited to get away for a few days, but it was also my first time away from Claire overnight! We all survived.
I also experienced a very common but not-very-talked-about postpartum wrist injury (“new mommy syndrome”) and had to get a steroid shot. But that was more of an annoyance than a real issue.
We celebrated David’s 33rd birthday in November, and Charlie also turned 5 that month.
Also in November, the new website design and rebranding I spearheaded finally launched. It was a long time coming, and a LOT of work, but it was so worth it.
Claire continued to grow — learning to roll both ways by the time she was 4 months and experiencing her first real holiday: Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.😉
It was around this time that I really began to embrace the “mom” job. Not that I didn’t love Claire before, but as her personality blossomed and she grew and grew before our eyes, it really became apparent how much of a blessing she really is, and what unique things you get to experience as a momma to a new baby.
Claire grew into a 5-month old, and we celebrated her very first Christmas. December also would have marked my mom’s 60th birthday, and this year would have been her favorite.
2015 was officially the year of Claire. Now, we are all ready (or not) for 2016, and all of the things that come with it.