Oh what a year it has been! A year ago I had just been through the most exhilarating, yet challenging experience: giving birth to my baby. When the midwife passed him through to me via my husband who proclaimed ‘it’s a boy’, I cried tears of relief, exhaustion, happiness and love.
It was a 33 hour journey to that point. Of labouring at home for a night and most of a day, of labouring in my birth centre room in water, on balls, in shower, while lunging, swaying, kneeling, squatting: every position under the sun. Of continual vomiting, when I thought there mustn’t be anything left. Of fleeting urges to push that disappeared, leaving me feeling like my baby would never arrive. That I would be pregnant forever. Of transferring up to the birth suites to get things sped up with a syntoxin drip and some much needed fluid. A decelerating heart beat and suspected distress, that had me put into a gown for theatre only for my baby to get the all clear just before they could wheel me off. Of finally feeling that real urge to push, and pushing for 1 hr 40 minutes to meet him. He was strong and muscular with a loud cry and a head of dark hair. It was instant. I was besotted.
I proclaimed it was the hardest thing I had ever done. But that was just the start. I read somewhere that labour and birth is the act of arming you with the skills you need in order to parent that particular child. A journey, as they say on the reality shows. It’s an apt concept in my case. The labour with all its ups and downs, decision making, waiting and ultimate triumph was an adequate prequel to my first year as a parent.
I developed a patience I never knew I had. I learnt the value in being flexible and allowing events to unfold in front of me. That not always knowing the answer is frustrating, but it’s not always a bad thing. That imperfection is a gift to be grateful for and that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re truly tested.
My sweet boy, things haven’t come easily for you. You seem to fight for every milestone you achieve, breaking down before you break through – frustration never far from the surface. But at other times you are so serene, my placid serious little man, drinking in the world and all that’s in it. You take things at your own pace and do things your own way – and I hope that never changes. Don’t feel you have to run with the crowd. That smile of yours is so unique, use it and be proud of it, don’t ever feel ashamed of being different.
You inspire me to just keep at it. When I feel low and want to hide away from prying eyes, from other parents that are obsessed with comparing and contrasting, I look at you and realise that all that surface stuff doesn’t matter. You have blessed me with a different way of seeing and I am stronger for it.
Happy Birthday my baby boy! May we continue to learn and grow by eachother’s side. xxx