I saw a picture right after Jayden was born that had this quote on it and I had to buy it. I’m not sure where this quote came from but it is perfect and so very accurate. I have noticed that whenever someone is pregnant that woman receives all kinds of advice and stories about motherhood from others whether she wants it or not. The topics are numerous; delivery stories, breastfeeding stories, potty-training stories, temper tantrum stories; the list goes on and on. I’ve heard and shared many myself. I like to think that this is one way we as women try to nurture each other and help prepare a new mom for her upcoming experiences in motherhood. 

Love for my baby

What’s fascinating to me is that even while a mother might be telling a story about her baby that refuses to sleep unless he’s being held or how trying it was to potty train her toddler, you can still see a heart so full of love for her child. That feeling of love cannot possibly be described until the day you become a parent yourself. It’s that intense unconditional love that keeps you going during the difficult times of parenthood. 

In every picture I have right after Jayden was born I am sobbing, happy tears that is. My heart was literally bursting with love for him. I had never felt those kinds of emotions before. It was different than anything I had imagined. I can remember so many times when he was a baby when I would just stare at him in awe and amazement. I have to say that sometimes even now I catch myself doing the same thing except I have to hide it from him because he would be so embarrassed by that if he knew. Lately when I stare at him in awe it is often because I am wondering what sassy 12 year old alien has invaded my once sweet and innocent baby boy. But that’s a whole other topic for another day!

A baby’s first year is full of so many milestones that are so much fun to watch. I made a little scrapbook of Jayden’s first year with a calendar documenting everything so I would never forget anything about it. I think every Mom will tell you that a baby’s first year goes so incredibly fast, and although it’s full of excitement and happy stuff there is a part of them that is sad also because we know they can’t stay little forever. Taylor Swift has a song that I absolutely love called “Never Grow Up.” 

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

Every time I listen to that song I get choked up because it talks all about wanting your children to “just stay little.”  I have wished many times for Jayden to “just stay little.”  On his first birthday, which was a happy and fun celebration, I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t sad too. 

We of course did all of the necessary first birthday traditions with the cake smashing, presents, ice cream and family. It was an exciting day, and one we will never forget. But as happy as I was I kept fighting feelings of heartache at the same time. I began to have a realization that he could be our only child, and I may not ever get to experience another first year with any more children. Knowing our infertility situation and remembering that we didn’t have any more embryos that were frozen always loomed in the back of my mind. It was an awareness that was always there but was easy to overlook during the excitement of the first year with a new baby. It wasn’t until his birthday celebration that those feelings really began to start creeping in. 

In my perfect family plan, Jeff and I would have three children all two years apart. I was going to snuggle three babies. I was going to celebrate three children’s first birthdays. That is what I always had pictured. But, I knew the reality of our situation and that my perfect family plan was most likely not going to happen that way. That made me sad. It still does. In fact I still feel some sadness every year on Jayden’s birthday. To some people all of those plans and feelings might sound silly and like someone who focuses too much on the negative side of things. What I will tell you is that while it might be negative it is how I feel at times. The love for a child is so strong and so awesome how could I not want to experience that again with more children?

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Shannon Bauer

Shannon is a wife to her husband Jeff, mother to her son Jayden, 11 years old, and a Registered Nurse by day. She grew up on a farm outside of Wilcox and now resides in Hildreth, NE. She enjoys exercising, cheering for her son at his sporting events, shopping, singing, gardening, sipping a cup of coffee, Sunday dinners with her family, and spending time with friends. Her road to motherhood has been a challenging and bumpy one with many highs and lows and something she will never take for granted. Learning about infertility and helping others experiencing it is a passion she holds deep in her heart. Her journey along this road is a constant work in progress and something she is growing and learning from every day. It is her goal to one day write a book or start a blog telling her story. She and her son Jayden share their favorite bible verse Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and find great comfort in these words in life’s challenging moments.

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