Happy half birthday Annie! I can’t believe you’re six months old already.
So for today’s blog I just wanted to reflect a bit on the last six months. Wow. How life has changed. It’s been the hardest and most testing six months of my life, but also the most rewarding. Annie brings me so much joy every single day and that cancels out the challenges by far. It’s a cliche but she completes me in every way. We’re a team. A family. And she’s my best bud.
If I think back to the 15 March I think about how it was the single best day of my entire life. Although, of course, labour was painful, it was the most exhilarating, meaningful pain I’ve ever experienced. I enjoyed every second of my labour and when they told me to start pushing I was a little disappointed it was over so soon. Yes, that’s probably a little weird isn’t it? Annie arrived into the world at 19.14 after around 14 hours of labour. Holding your baby for the first time, after 9 months of waiting, is like no other feeling in the world. Just magical.
The weeks that followed were incredibly hard. Doing it alone was harder than I’d ever imagined. Even with a fantastic support network I just wasn’t prepared for the relentlessness. I was tearful, fearful and incredibly overwhelmed. Annie had bad colic and screamed for hours. I spent my days bouncing her, trying to soothe her, but some days nothing worked and I thought I was going to lose my mind. And then at night there was the cluster feeding. For hours on end. It was exhausting.
In those early days I missed my mum more than ever. I was at my most vulnerable and desperately wanted her to be there to give me a hug and tell me everything was going to be ok. I felt like I was grieving for her all over again, and there was so much sadness inside me for what could have been.
But eventually I came to terms with my grief again (although there are still dark days when I cry for her), the colic started to ease and I learned more about my baby. The fog started to clear. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel and slowly but surely I started to feel more confident, braver and a little less emotional.
After the 12 week mark something shifted and all of a sudden I was enjoying it. I was getting out more and Annie started to give me something back. The smiles, the giggles, the little personality forming. We started to get into a routine, she was sleeping and I was coping.
Then we hit the 4 month mark and things started to regress. All of a sudden her sleep behaviour shifted and she was no longer sleeping. She’d be awake for hours and hours at night, refusing to sleep. Nothing worked and it was incredibly frustrating. I tried everything. On top of that I was weaning her and trying to get my head around mealtimes and food prep.
But we got through it.
Now we’re at six months and it’s wonderful. Feeding Annie is great and I get so much joy out of mealtimes. Seeing her try new foods and textures is a lot of fun and highly entertaining. Annie’s sleep has improved again and she’s sleeping in her own cot and staying there until she wakes for her first feed (when admittedly I bring her into bed with me).
The way my life has changed isn’t what I had anticipated. Another cliche here but nothing really prepares you and you have no idea how you’ll react to it all. Six months in I think it’s safe to say I’ve let go of my old life and have accepted my new reality. For the rest of my life I’m a mummy. First and foremost. It’s a permanent shift. My love for Annie supersedes any other and I’m deliriously happy. I wouldn’t want it any other way.