I can’t even believe it’s been a year (and four days but who has time to be on time these days?) since my baby was born. Six months ago it felt like ten years had passed but then I blinked and here we are.
It was a rough start and I remember visiting the health nurse for her check-up, who suggested me visiting a psychologist, because in her words: I had been ‘traumatised by the screaming’ haha. I don’t want to trivialise it, I didn’t and don’t have post-natal depression, I just had a hard baby (which I didn’t believe existed until I had one). She had reflux and colic, was allergic to my breast milk and at some points I felt like she genuinely just didn’t like me. I mostly have worn pyjamas and foregone daily showers since the first of May last year. My skin crawls when I think back on people saying ‘the second baby is always easier’, I’m really glad it was for those people, for me though, it wasn’t.
But now she’s one and she is bright and loving and loves kissing and cuddling. She’s an expert head butter and I have cuts all through my mouth where she has thrust back on my face and my teeth have cut through the skin: Just as a reminder of what we’ve been through.
And do you know what? When we go out and she is perfect, people look at me like, she’s such an angel, who would never cry and say ‘I don’t believe it’. Oh my actual goodness, never say that to a mother with a little baby who has bags underneath her eyes so thick you’re not sure if it’s mascara that’s run, if she has her nun-chucks in the diaper bag, she’ll most likely employ them around the back of your head. (That’s why I leave mine at home)*
I contemplated writing this so many times, because it sounds so whingey and once it’s on the internet I can never get it back, and one day she might read through her mother’s ramblings and feel like I don’t love her as much. But I do, I love her more than I ever thought I could love.
I hope that her tenacity puts her in good stead for life; That she has a solid sense of self-identity, resilience and faith. That she knows she is loved beyond measure, unconditionally, just because. That she makes her mark on the world, in whatever fashion that may be. That she never loses her joy and she passes it on and continues to brighten the lives of all of those around her.
I think it’s ok to normalise the hard days. That’s why I so strongly am behind my hundred days of real. Because I know I don’t have to be perfect, because nobody is, despite how they seem online, nobody. I have just lived through the hardest year of my life, cue the Dora ‘we did it’ song.
This was the special day she was born.