I thought it would feel amazing, fitting back into my old clothes. And it does but it still stings a little to see that there’s no bump anymore. And yes, it’s absolutely fantastic that the bump is now a baby but still…
Over recent weeks, since I came down from my ‘I’ve had a baby’ high, I’ve come to realise that Isobel is probably going to be the last. Forever the baby of the family. The last bump, the last baby. The last time I have to fit back into my clothes again, the last time I have to hold a tiny newborn baby and breathe her smell and know she is mine.
And yet she isn’t mine, not really.
As I dressed her after her bath last night and watched her little legs kick into the early evening air, it hit me like a tonne weight. As she pumped her arms out at her sides and sucked her fist with such passion and hunger… it really hit me.
She isn’t mine. I’m only borrowing her. I hope I’m able to return her to the world one day with all her bits intact. I hope that I’ll be able to teach her, nurture her and care for her in exactly the way she needs. Because one day I’m going to have to let her go. One day I’m going to have to allow my hand to fall from hers and widen the steps between us until there is nothing but empty air where she used to be.
Knowing this makes each night feed so special. It means that every time she clings to me I must relish her neediness. Every time she calls for me or cries for me or wants me…
She’s 19 weeks old already.