baby

365: 10.01.13 #10 and Babywearing

I took this today. We were having a clingy day but a day none the less. A day that required two arms. How glad I am to be able to carry my baby rather than leave her in a chair or on a playmat when she wants the warmth of a cuddle! I took ages to choose the picture I wanted- there were loads of really cute ones where she’s kissing me and I thought they looked really touching. In the end I chose one that sums up babywearing perfectly, for me.

We’re laughing. We’re looking each other in the eye. We’re enjoying each other’s company.

Babywearing saved my son and I. At twelve days old, he was a ball of rage and I was a broken shell of me. And on that day I picked him up and held him close to me for an entire day. Having him close to me, and me close to him was special. Babywearing is special.

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Bella’s first shoes

It feels like yesterday when I sat and wrote this post and now I am here,writing about the same experience but with a different pair of feet. This new pair of feet are also tiny. Too small for the measure. Too perfect, too new. But ready.

Bella’s first shoes have many roads to walk now. They will dance, they will run and they will jump. But not yet. Those feet are ready, but I am not.

Buying the first pair of shoes feels like such a major step; a massive achievement. Bella’s first shoes are a symbol of adventure, of growth and of one certain thing. My baby is becoming a toddler. She’s wobbly still but she’s determined to run, and my arms will always be open to welcome her home.

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Bella’s first Christmas

Recently I’ve been reminded just how lucky I am to have Bella. How ridiculously lucky I am to have three perfectly healthy children, in fact. Ok, so we were plagued with Chicken Pox over Christmas and not everything went perfectly to plan over the holidays but you know what? None of that matters. Not a bit. Because right now, each of my children are asleep in their beds, dreaming their own dreams. And that is why I am so lucky. They are here; we are all here together and we are SO lucky.

I put so much pressure on this Christmas to be “Just Right”. Bella’s first Christmas HAD to be perfect, right? There had to be a special dinner, there had to be beautifully wrapped presents and we had to make sure that stockings were stuffed with everything the children had asked for. In reality, it was a little skewhiff. Yes, that IS  a word, I’m just not sure how to spell it…

In reality, I didn’t get time to make talcum powder footprints up the stairs to the kids’ bedrooms. But we did stand outside at midnight and jingled some bells- call it  a public service. Neighbours, you are welcome. In reality, I was still wrapping presents at 1am Christmas morning and I ran out of sticky tape so some of them were just tucked in. In reality, I was quite tired on Christmas morning so my vision of being dressed and made up ready for Christmas morning photos was quickly blurred. As was my vision. In reality, I didn’t make the kids take it in turns to open their presents so that I could write down who got what. It was like a free for all, chaotic, paper ripping frenzy. It was brilliant.

At the end of the day though, the kids would’ve been happy with one or two presents and a heap of time to play with them. We went overboard. In the end, each child gave us something special this year. The Big One gave Chicken Pox to her brother, for which he was SO grateful- he has them so bad that they are in his hair, in his mouth and all over his body. The night before last he didn’t sleep and mournfully asked us to “Please make me feel better” 🙁 -. The pre-schooler gave us the gift of realising that it’s the simple things that can give the most pleasure- making the Christmas cake look like Santa’s “big fat belly” and taking a bite from Rudolph’s carrot, for example. And the baby? The baby gave us the pleasure of being there for her first Christmas. And, at the age of 10 months, 2 weeks and 1 day, she also gave us a toddler. Yesterday she walked independently!

It’s been a mixed bag, all in all, but such is life. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I certainly wouldn’t have it without my beautiful children. I’m the luckiest person alive.

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Driving home from the hospital

I read a post recently by a new dad, about the drive home from the hospital. I commented that I remember each of our drives home so well, for different reasons each time. The first time, we were so excited- brand new parents, eager to take our tiny person home. The last time, we felt much the same, only more excited because our new tiny person had a brother and a sister to meet.

It’s the drive inbetween those two that keeps coming back to me lately.

I knew this would happen. We’ve reached December and the air is laced with memories that have been frozen, or tied up in bags and tossed into the trees. They just hang there, waiting. Waiting for something to trigger them and to make them real again.

When we left the hospital almost three years ago, we weren’t full of the excitement we were expecting. I for one was not ready to leave. We were dismissed into the cold night and all around us people bustled in and out, carrying balloons or gift bags and huge smiles of congratulations. I remember sitting on a hard plastic chair waiting for Ghostwriterdaddy to bring the car to the front (as I was unable to walk far) and looking at the baby in the car seat by my feet. I hadn’t even been able to buckle up his belt. I watched his angry little face scream and  scream and I wanted to scream with him.

It felt like a dream as I inched away from that building and the doors swished behind me, sucking the warmth and the light away again. It was just us then.

The sky was full of snow that was yet to fall. The car stereo was turned down to a soft hum and the CD had been carefully selected. As the engine started I looked at Ghostwriterdaddy and I saw that he didn’t know what to do, or say, either. I knew that we both felt there was something we couldn’t quite put our fingers on. Something, somewhere, had gone so terribly wrong.

We drove pretty much in silence. I got home to a clean and tidy house with a bunch of flowers in a vase on the kitchen table. The Big One, in her excitement, knocked over the cup of coffee I had been waiting for days to drink. We took the baby upstairs to his bedroom and we gave him a bath. All the while there was this pain in the back of my throat, down to my stomach. Not the pain from the breathing tube that had been ripped from me only a day or so before. Not the screaming wound across my belly that had been sliced into only a day or so before. Not the million and one bruises that stretched from my chest to my knees…

This was a pain I had never felt before. The pain of knowing I was falling. The pain of knowing I didn’t want this baby anymore. The pain of feeling like SOMETHING was missing. The pain of sobbing down the phone to my mum (I wanted to go home, home ). The pain of seeing a picture in the baby’s cot that had been drawn by his proud big sister that very morning. The pain of reading “I love you Luka” in her fat scribbly handwriting and the pain of all those little kisses dancing around our heads.

The pain of knowing, then, that I couldn’t say those words to my son.

I Love you Luka.

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