One

It has been a while since I have written anything and to be honest I regret not writing things down. So much has happened since my last post and I’m worried I will forget the little things. It’s difficult finding the time these days as every moment I get to myself I either want to sleep or sit mindlessly staring at the tv. This I know is not very helpful to life but sometimes, most of the time, it’s all I can find the energy to do. So before I get distracted again and get cross with myself I’m writing about it.

 

Tomorrow my little Elbie turns one and I’m feeling so many emotions. I could never put into words how incredible the past year has been and also could have only imagined how much my life was about to change a year ago. Becoming a mother as I have said so many times has made me feel like this is what I have always been working towards and what I have been put on this planet to do. It is beyond magical. The day I found out I was pregnant with Elbie is the moment my life changed forever. My mind and body was consumed with nurturing and loving this tiny little bean inside of me which at the time I referred to as Blip. Our tiny little Blip. On my cycle to work I would talk to it and tell it how much I would love it and protect it while constantly worrying about it not becoming a reality. I was 17 weeks pregnant when I first felt a flutter of movement and as the months past Blip became Bump and our dream was definitely becoming reality. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this thing growing inside of my belly when I hadn’t even met it yet. My whole world was now about protecting my bump and watching and waiting while my belly grew. 

Pregnancy felt like a spiritual journey for me and I felt so lucky to be a woman, to be able to grow a human while doing my day to day business. How fucking amazing is that! Our due date was getting closer and closer and nesting became my favourite pastime. With the nursery painted and the cot up I began to wash and iron all of baby’s tiny new clothes (they were never ironed again that’s for sure). I read Katherine Graves‘ hynobirthing book over and over again, which I couldn’t recommend more and I was starting to look forward to labour and couldn’t wait to meet our little baby.
 

Just two days ago I was walking down the street pushing Elbie in her pram like I do almost every day and I had a flash back of waddling on the same road on the same route to the park. I was heavily pregnant with just days to go, trying to imagine what it was all going to be like. So much excitement and anticipation into the big unknown of motherhood. Thinking about this made me so happy and also made me chuckle to myself to think about how naive pregnant me was about labour and becoming a mum. You can try to prepare as much as you like but the truth is nothing can prepare you. On reflection I shouldn’t have wished my last days of pregnancy away and enjoyed being able to have a hot cup of tea. Appreciated being able to sleep for a solid period longer than two hours, although sleeping was getting pretty tough at 9 months pregnant anyway but at least I had the option of staying in bed. I should have read a book, had long uninterupted showers, enjoyed having a tidy flat and most of all taken in how incredible my husband was and savored our last days together before we became three. Of course a year on I can do most of these things again (I still haven’t read a book and definitely don’t have a tidy flat) but my goodness a year ago my life was about to get turned upside down, inside out and shaken about but in the best way ever!

Elbie Marjorie Josephine Noel was born at 19.59 on the 18th May 2016 weighing 6lbs. I was overcome with relief and the amount of love that I had for this tiny little slippery wrinkly bundle I had in my arms. This small human that was half me and half Eddie, we had created the most perfect baby that had ever been seen. Everything felt so surreal. I was a mum and this was my daughter. I remember scooping her up in the water and holding her for the first time, holding her tight to my chest and she looked up into my eyes. That was the moment my whole world changed again. I didn’t know that love that strong was possible, it scared me. I never ever wanted to let her go, not even for a second to get out of the pool.

 

The next 6 weeks were a haze with a mix of euphoria and tiredness. Tiredness like no other, tiredness, just oh so so tired. How can a baby that practically sleeps all of the time not sleep at all?! I couldn’t believe how tired I was. Even when I did sleep I slept with one eye open, constantly checking that Elbie was still breathing. Looking back now though I look back with such fondness on those nights that I would be up while the world around me slept. I would hear the little husky cry of Elbie next to my bed and drag myself up into the living room, wrap myself and Elbie up in blankets and put on Mad Men. I watched episode after episode with Elbie intermittently guzzling and falling asleep for a few minutes then feeding some more. No one told me that new borns feed for hours at a time, like many other things I would come across as a new mum that people don’t talk about. Each day we learnt something new and got to know Elbie and she got to know us too. We would spend our days gazing at our perfect daughter in absolute awe. We couldn’t believe she was ours to keep. One night after Eddie had sent me to catch up on some sleep I heard him playing Prince’s The Most Beautiful Girl in the World to Elbie on his phone. I was the happiest girl in the world.

The weeks past and so did the months. Each milestone celebrated and I found my self constantly working towards the next. Elbie’s first smile and first laugh. She made us work for that laugh and the first time I heard her laugh was when I was dancing and singing in the kitchen. It was the best sound I had ever heard and still is. She began to roll then sit and then came the weaning stage which was so much fun. She felt like she was on the cusp of crawling forever but as soon as she got it boy was she quick. This was when I learnt to stop earning for the next milestone. Why oh why was I so keen for her to crawl? Watching and guiding Elbie’s growth and development is both the biggest joy and fear I have ever known. I’m sure this is something every parent feels, it is such a huge responsibility and what if I get it wrong? I do know that I try my best every day though to teach her right from wrong and how to be mindful and strong.  

Now here we are about to celebrate a whole year, a whole year of Elbie Marjorie Josephine Noel. A whole year of being parents. A whole year of pure unconditional love and happiness. 

Happy 1st birthday little chicken! 
Xxxx

 

 

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Six months of motherhood

Wow six months! Where has half a year gone? Well they do say time flies when you are having fun and that is exactly what we have been doing over the last six months. I would be lying though if I said it had been plain sailing as it definitely hasn’t been without its challenges. Sleep deprivation being the main bumpy ground of parenthood but every second has been worth it.

Somehow it feels like Elbie only entered our lives yesterday as a tiny 6lbs wrinkly baby while also feeling like it was a lifetime ago and she has always been here. I remember holding her not long after she was born finding it near impossible to imagine what she would be like in six months time. Struggling to picture a relaxed and worry free life where I wouldn’t have to keep checking she was breathing every five minutes or worrying that I would somehow break a tiny bone of hers while getting her dressed. The truth is I don’t think that life exists once you become a parent. Just as you stop panicking that you haven’t tucked their blanket in correctly you find something else to worry yourself sick about. I have discovered that parenting is all about feeling on edge and full of anxiety about something happening to your child. Now we have reached the six month mark of keeping our child alive a whole new world has opened and it feels like everything has all come at once. Whereas before Elbie would seem to master one skill at a time and most of her developments although huge achievements were actually quite subtle now they are bam in your face new baby type of skills. My little squidge that I could put on the floor under her baby gym where she would happily lay bopping her hanging toys for ages has now grown into floor gymnast. I can’t take my eyes off her for a second as she rolls back to front in a second and then back again. Everything is of interest and of course has to go in the mouth for testing. She has mastered the caterpillar move by arching her back while on her front and pushing herself forward, not sure if this is an actual thing but it has become a problem when in her cot, mainly with bashing her head and then getting stuck. Vaguely amusing but highly annoying when having to keep going in to move her back. The little floppy newborn is now strong and sturdy and will sit unaided, albeit surrounded by pillows still and will clang around her toys while peering up to check that you are still there.

Six months as a parent is seen as such a huge milestone and it is. The advice around sleep training and weaning all recommend six months and these in my eyes are two massive turning points in parenthood. Sleep training has without a shadow of a doubt been the biggest game changer for me although we did ignore the advice and crumble before six months on this one. We did wait to start weaning though as I didn’t feel that Elbie was ready until she could sit up. The steriliser has now been replaced with a baby cooker (bought by Eddie’s parents and really is the best present any parent could be given when starting to wean). The fear of blankets over heads has been replaced by the terror of choking. Bottles are starting to be taken over by cups and now food preparation is part of my daily routine. As if getting out of the house wasn’t hard enough!

It feels like all of a sudden our baby is growing up. She is so aware of who we are now and has even started reaching for me when she is hungry which I of course find totally adorable. She will blow bubbles if she doesn’t want to do something, this is new in the last few days and I think this is one of my favourite things she has mastered. It makes me laugh watching her blow rasberries in protest, there is literally nothing cuter. Wouldn’t life be so much better if everyone when they were pissed off started blowing bubbles?!

I have officially enetered the next chapter of motherhood and I can’t wait to see what more fun is to be had. I’m learning to embrace the anxiety and fear that comes along too.