19 years ago, our first child was born. We never wanted to know the sex of our first 4 kids. We let it be a surprise. I remember when she was actually being born, Kevin saw her dark hair and said excitedly "it's a boy!". I was worried that he would be disappointed when the rest of her came out and she wasn't a boy, but he was smitten, and from that time on, was in love with his little girl.
We named her Bronwyn Kate. Bronwyn was a name I had always liked, and when I first mentioned it to Kevin, before we were even pregnant, he said "no way - too weird". But when we seriously started choosing names, he wanted an unusual name - so Bronwyn it was. Kate is after me (Kathryn Benay) and my mom (Jane Kathryn).
Anyway, Bronwyn was born to these two young parents:
We actually weren't that young - I was 27 when she was born - but we were definitely inexperienced. Bronwyn, however, was a great baby and toddler and made our job pretty easy.
Oh yeah, except for the daily colic she had for about the first few months of her life. When she was first born, she would only cry if she was hungry and that was every 4 hours. It was only a little whimper to let us know it was time to eat. (as if I, the new mom, wasn't hovering over her crib and watching the clock...). Until one Sunday night when she was about 3 1/2 weeks old and we were sitting in church. It wasn't close to time for her to eat, but she just looked at me and started to cry. We tried to calm her, but she cried harder. We took her outside and walked her around for a bit. Didn't really work. Finally she fell asleep as her perplexed parents wondered what had happened.
That was the start of her colic. She cried almost every afternoon for several months. We tried stroller rides, feeding her bottles, baths, etc. It was kind of stressful there for a while. Everyone had some advice, and I was reading every baby book I could get my hands on trying to figure out what to do. We finally discovered what would help her. When she started her afternoon crying session, we learned a way to hold her so her stomach was against ours, and we would bounce and bounce until she went to sleep. That made for some sore arms and backs, but it was better than the crying.
We also discovered that she loved her baby swing. We had bought the swing from our good friends, the Walls, and their daughter Karlye. (yes she now has a baby of her own - yikes! we're old!). It was an old-fashioned kind that you wound up. The winding made a loud noises and then it would click-click-click it's way down until it wouldn't swing anymore. Compared to today's swings, let's just say it gave you a good ride! My kids loved it!
Bronwyn took many a nap in that swing. I remember wondering if it was bad for her, and calling Kevin at work wondering if it was OK for her to be in the swing so much. He would say, "Is she crying? (no) Is she happy? (yes) Then leave her in it!" I, in my mother guilt mode would still worry about it, but as you can see, she turned out just fine. And boy did it help us get through that colic stage!
After the colic passed, Bronwyn really was an easy baby. She was good natured and easy to take care of. Of course, she had our undivided attention - maybe that had something to do with it! But it was also her personality - easy to get along with, laid back, compliant, and a fast learner.
It's easy to look back on the kind of parent you were to your first child and remember the things you did wrong, just because you didn't know any better. It seems like I worried so much about Bronwyn accomplishing milestones and moving on to the "next stage". But I guess that's just part of being a first time parent. I have really loved being Bronwyn's mom for the last 19 years, but I am really looking forward to being her mom and her friend for the next 19 years.
Bronwyn, hope you had a wonderful birthday. I love you!