I missed a lot of Christmas Day for worrying about Squawk, who for over a week had been running a temperature that kept spiking up to 39°C; we ended up at hospital later that evening to get her some antibiotics. One week later, I missed New Year's Eve because, thanks to having caught Squawk's cold and being immuno-compromised due to sleep deprivation, I was back at the hospital getting treatment for conjunctivitis — which treatment didn't take, because I'd managed to contract a good dose of one of the few cases which didn't respond to the antibiotic eye drops. Two days later it had spread into sinusitis and tonsillitis for shits and giggles, between Squawk and I there were three different types of antibiotics (and a whole lot of aches and pains) on the go, and to call me miserable would have been an understatement. It felt like the bones of my face were contracting, grinding down into the meat of my brain, and my eyeballs threatened to burst at every movement. I have honestly never felt worse, than being sick and yet still having to care for a (sick) baby.
Safe to say, as far as parting shots go, 2013's was a doozy.
Which pretty much summarizes the whole of the year, honestly. After giving birth in the dying days of 2012, this past year for me was about learning what it really meant to usher a life into this world. To take a squalling ball of infinite need (more colloquially known as a child) and transform and guide it, one feed and nap and cuddle and game at a time, into a person. I've taught her how to smile, laugh, love, and play (including practical jokes), among countless other things.
I have not, to my endless sadness, successfully taught her how to sleep. So believe me when I say to you, I'm tired. In fact, I cannot tell you the number of times I shampooed my face this year. On the whole, I have to say I can't recommend sleep deprivation on a prolonged scale.
Pregnancy is easy: it's just turning food into a human, to borrow a line from Modern Family. Being a mother — being there for someone at all hours; guessing at and tending to their needs; feeding them when you can't hold your head up for tiredness; wiping that meal you carefully cooked off the floor; staying calm and patient (and sometimes not) when all you want to do is scream and throw things yourself; listening to them cry; letting them back on your breast despite the fact that the last three times you did just that they bit you with their brand new teeth, sharp enough to cut through human gums — being a mother is so much harder.