On Parenting, Our Babies & The Passage of Time

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My daughter is about to lose her first tooth.

O, the anguish. Nooooooooooooo!

She’s my baby. I only have two children, and my six-year-old (almost seven) baby is going to lose a tooth. For me, this signifies the end of the sweet little children stage. The lap stage. The small little scamps stage.

No more babies or toddlers for me, not until grandchildren anyway. And while I really, really, really want grandchildren, I certainly don’t want any for the next 20 years or so.

She’s big now. She’s in first grade. She has her own style. She has a best friend and she goes on sleepovers. She’s smart as a whip and witty and she has amazing hair, but she also still crawls in my lap and there’s part of me that wishes that she could stay in my lap, all warm and fuzzy, forever.

The tooth hasn’t come out yet, even though the adult tooth behind it has already come up. It’s like it knows I’m not ready yet, so it hangs tough in there, refusing to come out if only to extend the little girlness of my little girl a little longer for me.

It’s amazing how a stage can be so monumental for a parent, much more monumental than it is for the child actually going through it. Each new stage signifies growth but also the passage of time, an unwelcome reminder of how fast everything is moving. I wish I could freeze time whenever I wanted, the moments when I’ve looked at my children and thought, “I don’t ever want to forget this,” and have made the concerted effort to cement it perfectly and forever in my mind but then the memory never lives up to the moment itself. At those moments I wish I could freeze time and space and linger longer.

Since I can’t save the moments, I save their things. The wrist and ankle bands from the hospital, the blanket they came home in, their favorite books, the pacifier, the outfits they wore on a certain day. I have so many special little things that I’ve collected so that I can pull them back out and remember what it was like through all the good times. And yes, there were bad times too, mainly when I had postpartum depression, but the good outweighs the bad a hundred times over.

A whole passel of friends is pregnant right now. I plan to send each of them MAM Baby personalized pacifiers after their babies are born, customized with their names. A sweet little something that I’m willing to bet will end up in their keepsake boxes too, because time passes so very quickly when you’re a mama.

Disclosure: I am an ambassador for MAM, the babycare experts and makers of BPA-free pacifiers, bottles and teethers. I am grateful for their donation to our nonprofit, Postpartum Progress Inc., to help support our work supporting moms with postpartum depression.  

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. My baby is 16 mos now and I’m still recovering from PTSD and PPD. It makes me so mad that this disease robbed me of good memories of my baby’s early days. I can’t bear to think back sometimes, on those first 8 months or so, because all I remember is the black hole of misery I was in. I have lots of photographs of her, and the keepsakes too; somehow I had the foresight to hang on to all of that, thankfully, but I don’t have the memories. I look at the photos now and am so sad and angry that that time is gone forever and that the PPD clouds it all. I hope, as more time passes, and I get closer to full recovery that I can look back as Katherine does, with more fondness of the early days, even those that I was in total despair in. One thing though, Katherine, that always soothes me is how you talk about the blossoming and blooming and triumphs of your children and what a loving relationship you have with them. You have so much to be proud of in terms of how you bonded and loved and taught your children so warmly even with the black cloud of PPD over you. You did it!! A mother’s love won over that darn (g-rated word!) PPD. That is important to remember for all of us.

  2. Well said Lisa. I could not agree more. Katherine, you may have this written somewhere, but was it hard deciding to have a 2nd child after going through ppa/ocd with your first? What steps did you take to lessen the chance of a reoccurance?

    • It was so hard that, in fact, I wasn’t gong to have a 2nd child. She was a surprise (thank God, because my daughter is heavenly!). I chose to remain on my antidepressant during my 2nd pregnancy and I didn’t have postpartum depression/OCD the second time. As always, there is a risk of taking medication during pregnancy, so each individual needs to consult with her doctor and make the right choice for her. More research is also being done on things like therapy and acupuncture during pregnancy, with an immediate return to meds after the baby is born, for those who don’t want to take meds while pregnant.