To my Emilie Rose
Your name is the only decision I have ever made instantaneously, by myself! As you were passed to me (six months ago today) you were practically thrown over the top like a rugby ball while the Doctor fixed up Mummy. (Daddy will tell you the gorey details one day). I had been waiting patiently in hospital to meet you for nearly 5 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 and I knew that your name was Emilie Rose. After months of lists and nicknaming you Mungo taken from the Biggest Book of Shit Names I had started to worry that we wouldn’t agree a name. Rosie Elizabeth had been born taking my love for Rose with her and then Princess Charlotte Elizabeth nicked that name (although Connor said it would be fine if we just didn’t tell them.) But after all that worry, when I saw you and felt you, I just knew. 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 shit 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 go with Daddy to the garage two days after having you (and stitches) to have the rear tyres changed and balanced! (Was I crazy?) 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 the Gina Ford plan as quite frankly it was clear from day one that you had your own mind and there was no way on God’s Earth that we were keeping you awake for an hour in a morning… no matter how many toys we waved at you or songs Connor sung to you. Equally, 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 6 whole months. Once we got passed that horrendous (urm I mean blissful) first 6-7 weeks things clicked into place. We even managed a family holiday. You went up the Eiffel Tower and to Disneyland at just 9 weeks. 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 5 pages of my book… how things have changed.
It is easy to joke about the tough times. Times like today when quite frankly you were a bit of a dick. You really were a pain in the arse today and once again I nearly lost it. Maybe you didn’t like the Snowman outfit… maybe I am taking the Build a Bear baby themed Christmas outfits a bit far now. (But you do look sooo cute)
Today you Baaad and Gaaad non-stop… I don’t know where you get your chatterbox persona from? But after a few hours of cutesie baaaing and gaaaing and Irish jigging in the Jumperoo it turned into a day of writhing, wretching, whinging and generally being a dick. 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 Apple Pasta bake popped back to say hello…all over the table in the restaurant and all over me! You instantly turned orange with about 4 giant heaves of projectile pasta.
Every time you are sick, I have a split second where I consider picking the camera up first so that I have a great photo for the blog… but then in that split second I realise that it is still coming out of your nose and so the grab and wipe clean up operation ensues. That has to go down as one of your best (or worst) voms. And yes, it was all Daddy’s fault!
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 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 no where 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 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. Last week the wheel on the pram buckled and I nearly passed out with shock. In a minute second I had a crazy flash of horror. Imagining the pram bucking and you being injured… yet within a millisecond all was well.
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 (God 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.
I am always late, I am messy and I fall over a lot! So this was a very bad combination. It’s okay to know and mention your own faults, but when someone else picks you up on them it’s not nice. I didn’t want anyone to know. I am renowned for falling over and so I just felt ashamed. Silly really. After nearly a full day of crying, I slept it off, the swelling on my knee went down, your egg head faded to a tiny bruise and I was able to laugh about it. But I will never forget that crippling fear when you were hurt and the agonizing realisation that it was my fault. I will endeavor to be less clumsy, less tardy and to make Daddy pick his shit up from now on!
Mother hood 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 months. I’m sorry for calling you a dick, but if you just listened to Mummy you wouldn’t have been tired would you? Something tells me you’ll be calling the shots for a while yet! I love you and will do anything for you… and will no doubt continually remind you of how much sick I have cleaned up and how much sleep you stole.
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