Did It All Really Happen???

by Susan

wwJuliaBirth.jpg

Do you ever feel like it all couldn’t really have happened?

I look at my sleeping 2 and almost 5 year olds and I can’t rewind the time in my mind and picture them as tiny, screaming newborns.

I know it happened…

  • The stretched pregnant belly, the insanely painful delivery and the first terrifying few days…
  • The nipple confusion — not the baby’s, but yours — as you tried to figure out how to get your baby’s tiny mouth suctioned on to your enormous lumpy breast…
  • Being left on your own for the first time with your baby.

All of it… the crazy-hard, sleep-starved life with a newborn.

Did it really happen? I can’t remember it… I try to pull out memories, put myself back there, feel the experience again… but I can’t.

I watched The Office tonight and laughed as Pam and Jim spent their first night with a newborn. It made me think about my hospital stays after giving birth to Julia and Sophia. But the memories felt so old and like they belonged to a character in a novel that I read 5 years ago.

I’m somewhat relieved that I can’t remember all the scary parts, but what hurts is that I feel like I can’t recall well enough the good parts either.

I’m so happy my girls and I survived their infants days and that life is far easier with preschoolers than newborns. But I crave to remember the sweet smell of my babies and remember the warmth of wearing my tiny infant snuggly wrapped around me.

I guess it’s good that I remember just enough to know I couldn’t do it again. LOL. I can’t believe I survived it twice. Well, I know that “I” did not survive it… My life then was a series of mini-miracles that got me through.

But I worry I didn’t take enough photos. I didn’t record enough videos. I didn’t write down the dates when they first smiled and first sat up.

And I wonder if other mothers can remember more than I do?

Tell me… do you remember it all???

Talk soon,
Susan, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 monique March 5, 2010 at 7:23 am

I feel the same as you. My mom remembers everything I ever did….me I remember bits and pieces (but I try not to let it worry me, lest I miss more). My boys are now 8 and 6(well almost he will be 6 in a few days) and I just try to live in the moment
Sometime I have to stop myself form rushing, yelling or just getting to the next thing to take in the moments I spend with them (as time goes by to fast) and soon enough my boys won’t want to hang with mom.

Don’t worry you are there for them and you’ve made it this far (you must have been doing something right)
Even if we don’t remember :)

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2 Susan March 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Thanks Monique!

That’s great that your Mom remembers everything you did. Jan and I were number 3 and 4, so we don’t have a baby book and hardly any photos.

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3 Anjie March 5, 2010 at 7:29 am

No, I have a hard time remembering certain details as well. I often regret that I didn’t take enough pictures as well. I think this is a normal part of every mother’s guilt.

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4 Susan March 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Yes Anjie, taking that extra effort to pull out my camera just seems so hard some days (well most days).

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5 Susie's Homemade March 5, 2010 at 7:39 am

I felt the same way after watching that episode. My husband and I remembered that wonderful time in the “cocoon”. There aren’t enough picutres, or videoes or dates in the world to recreate that moment but looking back with my husband, gets me close:-)

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6 Susan March 9, 2010 at 11:05 pm

That’s funny that you had the same thought watching that show. It was such a great episode.

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7 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls March 5, 2010 at 8:00 am

It’s the same for me – it all seems so long ago and I have a hard time remembering what happened with each specific baby too, they get all mixed up. I go back and look at the pictures and everything looks familiar – it’s just hard to remember back to how I felt when I was in that actual moment… I can’t believe that my oldest is about to turn 9 next month – that just doesn’t seem possible. Where did the past 9 years go? :)

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8 christieo March 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

ok, as I watched the office last night, i couldn’t believe how good they got it! I mean, moment for moment of the hospital stay, the looks, the exhaustion, the latching, all of it SPOT ON! it exhausted me just watching it! that was a hard, hard few months (twice!) but you’re right. i worry about not having taken enough pictures and recording all those firsts too. it just goes so fast!

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9 Nicole March 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

I know what you mean! My two are 8 and 5 and each day I see my “little” (she is the 8 year old) girl grow more independent of me. It makes me sad. It’s hard to remember those acid reflux crying jags, the lack of experience in motherhood the first time ’round, the sleepless nights, the indulgent behavior of every family member (because she was the first baby for both sides).

Some of my regrets actually revolve around the fact that I feel like I didn’t have as much time with my son (the 5 year old) as I did with my daughter. It truly is different the second time around. I know for a fact I spent waaaay more time with darling daughter that I did my son. Ahh…to go back and get those memories concreted in video or writing..

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10 Courtney March 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

I laugh at myself daily trying to remember certain milestones from both my kids infancy. I’m a scrapbooker so I have pictures of just about EVERYTHING, but I, for whatever reason, didn’t write down their first word, their first smile, when they got their first tooth, etc. I don’t realize how bad my memory is until a girlfriend (usually a new mom) will ask me when did Keegan do this or Presley do that. And I can’t remember. I blame it on breastfeeding, saying both kids sucked all the brain cells right out!

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11 Christi's Blessings March 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

I absolutely loved being pregnant; feeling every little movement and hiccup! I felt so good when I was pregnant!

Although I loved being pregnant, I found that I was not a very patient mother. My lack of patience caused a lot of crying, from me and my babies!!

But I know there was nothing more special to me in my life at that time, than to hold those little bundles in my arms and rock them, and talk to them as their little eyes looked up to me and hung on to every single word I said! Moments to cherish forever!

You’ve been added to my blog roll.

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12 Sarah March 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

I remember small highlights…some good, some bad. I wish I had taken time to write down things in her baby book and document her birth story. But those first weeks when I was on leave went so fast and before I knew it I was back to work and now those details escape me….

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13 Mads Mom March 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

As we watched the Office, Hubs and I looked at each other to ask if we are ready (and willing) to that again. Since I go in on Monday for my In Vitro implant, I sure hope so.

My daughter is almost two and daily I find that I don’t remember bits and pieces of her infanthood. Maybe that’s why I want a 2nd?

Damn motherhood, making us grow up and be introspective.

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14 Rebecca March 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I don’t know if I WANT to remember it all! I’ve spent so much time trying to forget it! I love love love the later stages, but couldn’t cope too well with the loss of control that went along with the newborn stage. Wasn’t my cup of tea. Does that make me a Mean Mommy? I hope not…just my feelings. Can’t wait to watch the Office…I only got a glimpse of her trying to breastfeed and got the shakes…had to change the channel! ;)

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15 Camille March 5, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Loved last night’s episode! It’s amazing – this amnesia we experience after pregnancy, and post-pregnancy life. Maybe that’s why we have babies over and over again. :)

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16 Kelly (Your Life Organized) March 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

My kids are 23, 20 and 15. Although I did write down ‘firsts’ and ‘moments’ the actual recollection of the specifics is blurry. So, I either have to dig out the baby books and PRAY for a jogged memory, or just accept that it is dreamlike.

I did find an online organizing tool for keeping track of these, that even has a ‘report’ function, for Christmas (etc.) newsletters. AboutOne.com could have helped. http://bit.ly/datmL8

Now I’m looking forward to grandbabies to enable me to organize and save EVERY PRECIOUS MEMORY that they have. No preganacies yet, tho. Ugh.

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17 Storkie March 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

it’s so true. it all flies by so fast. it was just as i was forgetting the pregnancy and newborn “ups” and “downs” that we had our #2. then we re-remembered the “fun” of a baby squishing the bladder, then the post-birth constant cycle of feeding and new diapers, but also the first smile, eyes changing color, touch of a tiny hand… oh baby…

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18 krissy March 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I try to remember it all too and it just seems like yesterday. My kids are 2 and 4 and I just can’t believe how quickly time has passed1!

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19 Amy at Paperlicoius March 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Have you heard that Darius Rucker song “It won’t last for long.” Makes me cry every time I hear it.

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20 Carrie March 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Kids grow up so fast! My friend recently had a baby so I have sort of relived the past watching her infant. But yes, most of the details are a blur.

However, I am sometimes amazed that I have kids at the age I do. Certainly I’m not that old!

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21 Tired Mom Tésa March 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Nope. I don’t remember it all. In fact, after my son was born I was very ill for the first 4 months of his life and was in and out of the hospital frequently. So I remember even less of his being a newborn than I do of my daughter. It makes me sad, but I try to remember the parts I can and look back at photos to stir up some memories. Fortunately, we did take a lot of pictures, but you can just never take enough to capture daily life. It’s one of the tough things of being a mom I think.

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22 Lorie Shewbridge March 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Oh, Susan… I am in tears as I type this because my “babies” are all grown up and out of the house – one is in college and one is in… Afghanistan! I know I didn’t take enough pictures because back then they were on film and we were so poor we couldn’t afford to develop them. I may not remember the specific dates, but I will NEVER forget the feelings I had when they were babies or when they reached those special milestones.
Don’t you worry either, Susan, you will always have those feelings in your heart!

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23 Allison March 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

My son is almost 2, and I sadly, can not remember all of the little moments. You always think that you will, but you just don’t. I take photos, but I’ve been bad about taking videos, and I know that I’ve missed a lot of moments that will never be recreated. It makes me sad to think of all of the moments I’ve forgotten, both good and bad. I try to take in the little things, and remember that before too long, these moments will be gone, and that I will miss them.

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24 Bailey's Leaf March 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I remember almost all of it, but probably because I only had one child and that one child we do have is adopted. We skipped pregnancy, so I hit the ground running when K- came to our home at a day and a half old. I kept meticulous records of all of the firsts, which I probably would have since I’m kind of crazy that way. We needed documentation for social worker visits, court dates and whatnot. I did take a ton of photos, but haven’t kept up as well on the video at all.

In the end, though, doesn’t it matter that the kids are happy and smiling? I wouldn’t sweat the stuff that you don’t remember. As long as you remember to feed them and love on them daily, it’s all good! :)

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25 Tasha, The Stamping Lady March 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I certainly don’t remember a lot of the details. And as the years pass it gets harder to keep the memories separate between the 3 babies. But I fear it is this time that I am going to look back on a blur. My oldest is 13 and has a lot of new stuff going on and I feel that I am missing “firsts” with the other two because I have already been through that stage as a mom. When my youngest does something cute I’m likely to smile and say “remember when _______ did that?” instead of “hurry! get me the camera!!”

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26 Yelena (Colorful Childhood Store) March 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

My kids are 6 and 3 years old. With my older daughter I had a very stressful experience, since she was 3 months premature – the hospital, then not gaining weight, constantly being checked for developmental problems, ER. I thought I was going to remember every single painful detail, but now she is a beautiful smart 6 year old kindergartener and I already forgot everything! I know I did all those things but I can not bring them back to memory, as if it all happened to someone else.

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