To my baby girl,
Your name is the only decision I have ever made instantaneously, by myself! I had been waiting patiently in hospital to meet you for nearly five days. Nine different midwives had helped me along the way as I waited for you. The moment that you were in my arms I felt the most calm and serene that I can ever remember feeling. Me Tiny Tears herself. Daddy cried, but I was serene. You were in my arms… but I didn’t yet know who you were. I fumbled around to move the cord (momentarily thinking you were a boy) to find that you were in fact my little girl. My longed for little girl. I hadn’t dared admit how much I wanted you. And then there you were. As your delicate fairy smiled at me the serenity and love enveloped me. Oxytocin… adrenaline… love. Whatever it was, it was the single most happiest moment of my life. You were here. You were my little girl. I never believed people when they said ‘You just know’ but it’s true… I did.
I’m not going to lie the first few weeks were pretty crap aka the worst few weeks of my life whilst simultaneously being the most wonderful. If I could go back and change some things I would… I wouldn’t let Daddy pressure me into getting up and out I would keep my PJs on for longer and just sit and rest and get to know you. I wouldn’t let everyone do everything that I wanted to. Some days I don’t think I even fed you as there were so many loving relatives wanting to be with you. I wouldn’t attempt to adopt a structured plan as quite frankly I wouldn’t wake you up at 21.45 (which backfired as you then screamed for hours on end.) But most of all I would ask for help when I needed it and not try to be Supermum.
I can’t believe that it has been six whole months. Six months of living with reflux. It has been hard. It has been amazing. Once we got passed that horrendous (urm I mean blissful) first six weeks things started to click into place once we had support and knew what demon we were dealing with. We even managed a family holiday. You went up the Eiffel Tower and to Disneyland. Apart from the major Poo and Spew whilst waiting for the Disney parade it went without a hitch. Although I only managed to read about five pages of my book… how things have changed.
It is easy to joke about the tough times. The sick, the crying, the lack of sleep and times like today when quite frankly you were a pain in the backside and once again I nearly lost it. After a few hours of cutesie baaaing an0d gaaaing and Irish jigging in the Jumperoo it turned into a day of writhing, wretching, whinging and generally being a pain. You were tired but just would not bleeding sleep. It is fairly simple… Tired baby + sleep = happy baby. But no. When tired you seem to just enjoy making yourself more tired and playing the How many times can Mummy run up the stairs game. You are also perfecting the Dummy Spit and we may be able to enter it as an Olympic sport soon. So, today was a cycle of trying to get you to sleep, you sleeping for about 11 minutes, waking up tired (and usually with a poo) to then start the cycle again. Great day.
So, it is easy to joke about days like today and days like Saturday when Daddy gave you (against Mummy’s protests) a taste of Chocolate ice cream… to be met with a torrent of orange river rapids soon after as the Pasta Bake popped back to say hello…all over the table in the restaurant and all over me! You instantly turned orange with about four giant heaves of projectile pasta.
As you keep the sicky material coming, it is so easy to find things to joke about. But what I don’t write about enough is how much I love you. How much you have changed my life for the better. Despite the sick, tears, sleepless nights and regular breakdowns I am the happiest that I have ever been. You have completed our family. Your big brother adores you, Daddy will always protect and spoil his little girl and I love you more each day. Seeing your little personality blossom and bloom is something that no one can ever really understand until you have been there. To see you learning, exploring, growing and changing makes me so happy but then so sad as it is all happening too quickly. I love your smiles, but I am sad that I will never see your newborn face again. I will never hold your teeny tiny hand again as you are already growing into my big girl. I want you to crawl to walk and talk but then I will never again be able to go back to where we are now. Time is both exciting and terrifying. The older you get the closer we become, but with every day we lose a little as you become more distant. My baby will one day be gone and you will be a toddler, a girl, a teenager, a woman.
A few weeks ago during a night feed I looked at you. I looked at you so intently that out of nowhere I cried. I just looked at you. For once my phone was not an extension of my arm. Granted it has got me through the endless nights but on this occasion it was nice not to have it. It was just me and you. I looked at you asleep in my arms and imagined what you would look like, who you would become. Que Sera Sera. In that moment the intensity of my love for you enveloped my whole being and from the depths of my soul came tears. An overflowing of love, of emotion. I didn’t know that it was possible to love this much.
Being a mum has changed me. It has changed how I view life. I am aware of my mortality. The thought of leaving you is an overwhelming fear. The feeling is palpable. My need to nurture and protect you has altered my whole being. To the point where I am almost irrational.
This week I hit a first milestone. One that isn’t featured in the How to survive the first year guides. This was the milestone where I injured you for the first time (I hope it is the last.) We were off to the cinema and surprisingly I was running late. I was hot and sweaty (as I always am lately) I couldn’t bear to run up the stairs for the millionth time and so I pulled on my boots with no socks. (These are the boots that I bought a size too big as they were cheap in the sale and usually I wear bed socks to make them fit!) So I was all ready… looking like Sideshow Bob and then the big flappy boot (with the end miles away from the actual toes) got stuck under your baby bouncer. I stood, turned, walked…. tripped and the bouncer flew up in the air… I collided with the glass table, the bouncer chair landed upside down and there was nothing more I could do. I was going down. I was carrying you and I was going down. I clattered to the floor. I held you up as high as I could. I tried to save you, but down you went; hitting your head on the Jumperoo. The noise was horrific and still haunts me. You took the longest breath I have ever known. When you eventually caught your breath you cried and a piece of me shattered. I had hurt you. It was my fault and I am so sorry. Sorry for being late, sorry for being lazy, sorry for being crap. I know I am a bit crap. I try so hard to be on time but things just go wrong. I try so hard to keep the house tidy but it is a relentless battle. An uphill struggle… I can use every cliche going but it is true. I have no desire to be a Stepford Wife, but I wish I had a bit more of a desire to clean and organise. This is why I was so mad with myself. I was upset that I had hurt you (although you were smiling again within minutes) I was annoyed that the messy front room and my lateness were what caused the accident.
Motherhood has changed me for the better. My life is not just my own any more. You are my life. These six months have been wonderful and although part of me is sad that we will never get those days back, the other part of me is so excited for what is yet to come.
So Happy Six Month Birthday.
I look forward to your smiles, your laughs and even your cries. Your face when you see me enter a room makes any amount of tiredness worthwhile. The way that you kick your left leg, the way that you dance to any music, the way that you giggle when I tickle you, the smell of your soft skin and even the cheesey smell of your neck and ears are all the things that I love about you. You are mine, I am yours and I look forward to the next stage of our adventure together.
Your Mummy xx