This was me twelve months ago…..
I spent Halloween last year having contractions whilst walking round the supermarket, the graveyard, watching the X Factor and listening to Mr C greet all the trick or treaters. I ate pizza and chocolate, washed down with copious amounts of apple juice. It was the moment that I had spent nine months waiting for but even so, I was scared, apprehensive, nervous, excited and clueless about what was about to happen.
After two premature visits to hospital, we were finally allowed to stay on this day a year ago, it was 5am and Cherry was born that night at 10pm, 46 hours after I’d had my first contraction.
I just can’t believe what a difference a year can make. It has been the most life-changing year of my life, I don’t think anything can prepare you for motherhood. I thought I had a pretty good idea about what it would be like but it even took me by surprise, I didn’t have clue what I was doing when I got home with Cherry. I didn’t know how to change her nappy, give her a bath or how to tell if she had wind. I phoned the maternity ward countless times in the first week, once just because she wouldn’t stop crying!
I dreaded going to bed, I knew I would be up all night changing nappies and feeding her – it was exactly the same as what I did through the day but at least then I could watch telly or speak to people. Night-times were long and difficult. Newborn babies take up every second of your time, I had to get out of the bath with shampoo in my hair pretty much every night for weeks so that I could feed a screaming Cherry. At the time it was hard but now it’s all over, it feels really sad. All that remains is a handful of memories.
Life is so different now, I know what I am doing (to a certain extent!), I go to bed knowing that I won’t get woken up until 5am (it was 6am until the bloody clocks changed but don’t get me started on that), I know how to change a nappy with my eyes shut, not that I’ve tried but I know that I could should there ever be a power cut, I know what I would do differently next time and I feel confident in my mothering skills. I have completely re-adjusted to my life as a mummy and I love it.
This weekend, I hosted two parties and cooked a meal for ten people. I baked two cakes, carved pumpkins, decorated my house and scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, and Cherry is not going to even remember any of it. But that doesn’t matter to me because my baby is going to be ONE and it is such an important occasion. Cherry knows how much she is loved every single day but her birthday is a chance to celebrate it and I am going to make sure that she knows how special she is on that day, for every year of her life.
So, this is to you, my amazing little girl.
To my little Cherry,
Tomorrow you are going to be one and as happy as I am about it, I also feel quite emotional, because of what was happening on this day one year ago. I have been feeling really nostalgic and remembering back to your first few weeks in the world. I can remember the journey home from the hospital, I watched you the whole way back trying to take in every little bit of your face. Daddy doesn’t feel emotional like me, he loved you from the moment he saw you but he said that all you used to do was cry and poo (which you did), but you were also so precious and tiny. You grew and changed so quickly and I feel sad that I don’t remember very much of it, well apart from the sleepless nights, I will always remember those!
Daddy is amazing with you, he has even started changing your pooey nappies! At the start he couldn’t really do much to help because you wanted to be breastfed all the time but now he can do bedtimes and breakfast times which means that I can have lie-ins and go to college one evening a week. He loves playing with you, his favourite game is to pretend he’s chasing you, he will say ‘I’m coming to get you’ and whenever you hear him, you scream and try to run away as fast as you can.
You have turned into a proper little girl all of a sudden. Your fringe has got really long so I have to put a hair clip in it, you have so much hair that I have to blow-dry it after your bath now as well. You amaze me everyday and everything you do fills me with an overwhelmingly warm sensation – I guess what can only be known as a mothers love. We had our first conversation today, I taught you how to hand me your food instead of chucking it on the floor, we both said ‘good girl’, I said ‘thanks’ when you handed me the food then you said ‘okay’ or ‘kay’. You can recognise yourself in the mirror or in photos and you say ‘Iyla’, you spent ten minutes smiling at your self in the mirror today! You can say so many words, my favourites are ‘baby’ as your pronouce it ‘babee’ and ‘Matt’ as you say it like me, ‘Maaaattttt’. When you want your breakfast, you stand at the gate shouting ‘brek’ and when you want me to read you a book, you come and chuck it at me! We have so much fun together and you have me and daddy in hysterics with everything you do.
You love the tombliboos, you call them the ‘boos’ and when they come on telly you make squealing noises and get so excited. We bought you an In The Night Garden sleeping bag and when I put you in bed at night, I can hear you talking to it. But the thing you do that I love the most is cuddles. You love cuddles, you pick up everything and say ‘ahhhhh’ then lie on it or cuddle it and say ‘cuggles’, you do it to me too and it is AMAZING. I am making the most of it because I know there will be a time when you won’t do it any longer.
I love you more than I could ever put in words, you are the most amazing (sorry, I know I say amazing a lot) thing that has ever happened to me and I will always be there for you. No matter what the time, problem or solution – all I want is for you to be happy and will always do everything in my power to ensure that you are.
Happy 1st Birthday Cherry xxxxxxxxx
P.S In the last letter I wrote to you, I said that although me and daddy weren’t as cool as we used to be, we were still cool. Well you had better scrap that because we aren’t cool anymore. The other night when we were sat round the table and Chuggington came on the telly, without thinking we both let out ‘Chugger, Chugger, Chugger, Chugger, Chuggingtonnnn’, so not cool! I apologise in advance for our embarrassing parent behaviour!