Exactly a week from today is the 9th June 2015. My 7 pound 12oz little baby boy will be a one year old.
I want next week to be about him and the celebration, and so I thought this would be a good time to have my own little “moment”.
It feels huge. I call it “this” because the word motherhood doesn’t quite cut it. Nor does parenthood. It’s been one year since the world became a better place for me. A year since someone switched on a light. It literally feels like my life began again on the 9th June 2014.
Someone recently said to me that your baby will never need you quite as much as they did in that first year. Emphasising the poignancy of reaching the one year mark as a parent. It makes sense really. Of course they will always need us though. I’m twenty five and I need my mother on a daily basis most of the time, but they will never be quite as defenseless and innocent. They enter the world with a big scream, scared probably. Before you know it you are dressing them – never imagining that you would be so nervous to put clothes on something so delicate. The midwives tell you that they are not “that fragile” and to relax, but you can’t. You want to offer this baby everything in the most perfect way possible. Anything short of perfection seems unjust. They are the purest form of beautiful perfection you have ever or will ever lay eyes upon.
And then there were those first days. The skin to skin. Oh lord the skin to skin. If I close my eyes I can actually feel it again. What a sensation. Their warm quiet breathe accompanied by your steady heartbeat. Nestled against your skin, they are the epitome of content. They are exactly where they are supposed to be.
I look at this and I see how puffy my face was, the fact that my nursing nightdress is far too loose and not quite sitting properly, and yet all I can see is “pinch me”. I remember lying there, waiting for visitors, and I knew that nothing would ever feel as precious as that moment.
The next few days were centred around skin to skin, starring at his perfect face, his first bath and trying to establish breastfeeding. A whirlwind of love, fear, exhaustion and gratitude.
I didn’t want to leave his side. Sure I still don’t most of the time. See that bottle beside me? I had given up breastfeeding at this stage, devastated that he just wouldn’t latch. A midwife has recommended constant skin to skin. Little did I know that the next morning I would try again and it would be the true beginning of our beautiful breastfeeding journey.
On day six we arrived home. A ready made family. Daddy had a new best friend. It was a truly magical time.