October 7th 2017
Today is your due date little one, yet you stay nestled inside me, heavy in my belly. Massively round, I no longer fit in any jackets and the weather is turning colder. Shrugging on a woolly cardigan and a scarf from a dear friend, holding hands with your dad, we pick our way over the muddy fields. Leaves litter the floor and I struggle to see my feet, we go slow and steady, talking excitedly about how you will be here soon. The air smells like autumn and I am happy to be outside, showing you the beauty of the season. Your dad is unimpressed as we get muddier and muddier on our walk. We strip in the hallway when we get home, I’m unbalanced and struggle out of wet clinging jeans, laughing as I lean against the door frame, feeling you pulling me off kilter. Tired, no – exhausted, I lie on the sofa running my hands over taut, stretched skin feeling you ripple and kick inside me. Not long to wait little one, not long.
July 12th 2018
Your hair stands out from your head like the down of a dandelion. Strangers stop us in the street and smile at it, complimenting your fluffy locks and your bright blue eyes. Warily you watch them, until lightening fast a smile breaks across your face and your flap your hands enthusiastically, waving at people, trees, aeroplanes, dogs. Last weekend we stayed at my parents house and you screamed every time I left the room. Great heart-wrenching screams that only stopped when your Grandad scooped you up and took you to look at the birds hopping in the garden. You have six teeth, and I think we will see more soon, as I have become your favourite teething toy. My arms have bruises on them from your nibbles that I stopped too late, and my chest bears the imprint of six sharp fangs. It’s one in the morning and I’m writing this in the half light of the lamp, watching you sleep. It’s witching hour, and as soon as I get back in bed, snuggling up to your dad, you will cry again. I’ll run to you, smooth your hair, rub your back and we’ll start the dance all over again. In the morning you’ll bash the cot impatiently, shrieking with laughter as me or your dad picks you up to start the day. Inevitably this will be at 5am and we sure as hell aren’t ready to wake up, so the first half hour or so will consist of strong coffee, and bleary eyes from us as you crawl around unearthing every single toy from the places we lovingly put them away. A swirl of mess and mayhem surrounds you, sticky fingerprints, upturned plants, and an uncanny ability to poop the minute your nappy comes off. Our tiny whirlwind, you are beginning to stand on your own two feet. Pride swells my chest as you sway upright holding a toy before dumping down on your bottom and laughing. Always laughing. Always happy. Forty weeks of being outside of me, and you have changed our lives forever. We love you. I love you and always will.