Despite it being 17 years ago, I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.
Silly moments stick in my head the most, like the midwives asking me, on a scale of 1 – 10 how bad the pain was, and me replying that I had no idea as I’d never done it before! In my head, it was clearly a 10 but my rational side told me it was going to get a lot worse!
The pethidine making me feel like I was in the room but not quite there, telling the anaesthetist that I loved them for giving me an epidural, regardless of the fact that I was adamant I didn’t want one.
T disappearing below my knees when the epidural was being put in because he can’t stand needles but still wanted to support me, from the floor.
Then, 16 hours later there you were. Placed on my chest, your tiny, tiny bottom fitting in one of my palms.
Jet black hair, bright blue eyes that were wide open and staring at everyone in the room, but mostly at me. You didn’t make a single sound when you were born, I had to ask if you were ok, expecting a screaming baby, but nothing. Just you, completely calm, alert and absolutely beautiful.
Weighed at 6lb 13oz (so much for the “she’ll be a big baby” comments) and checked, then it was time to remove all the tubes, wires & plasters from me, having a wash and being wheeled to the ward. I still remember the amazement that they let me hold you the whole way there! What if I dropped you, or didn’t know what I was doing & they realised. But, luckily, I didn’t and they didn’t…..
The next few days were a whir of visitors, people popping in to meet you and give you cuddles. Looking back now, I wish I’d kept it just the two of us for a while longer. Our own private baby bubble.
When we finally made it home it felt real. You were so brand new but it felt like I’d known you forever.
Those days were so long ago, but they feel like they’re in touching distance, that they were moments that just happened.
I don’t think I realised until I had you, how fast time goes. Even then, as a new mum, when days felt never-ending and I was exhausted beyond recognition, I didn’t appreciate how quickly it would be gone.
What I wouldn’t give to have those moments all over again, you falling asleep on my chest every evening, eating dinner with one hand because you needed to be cuddled, snuggling up on the sofa watching Dora the Explorer over and over and over again, your tiny little hand always in mine, always making sure I was there, just in case.
Sometimes, I lay in bed at night, listening to you laughing at something on your phone and wonder how we’ve got to seventeen. How we have blinked, and the years have gone.
I think about all the things I did wrong as a parent, the times I shouted at you or punished you when I should have listened and cuddled you instead. When I didn’t really know what I was doing and we learnt together, all the times I sent you to bed and then felt guilty for something and would wake you up to give you one last kiss.
I remember so much about you but feel like I’ve forgotten it all at the same time. I’m scared and excited by your future all at the same time. If I could replay the last 17 years all over again, knowing what I know now, I would, in a heartbeat.
I am so proud of the woman you’ve become. The kindest, most gentle soul I will ever know. You make me laugh more than anyone, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt I can trust you. I also know you can’t lie to save your life, and I’m proud of that too!
I’m so glad I got you, seventeen years and two days ago. That is most definitely one thing I wouldn’t ever change.
Happy Birthday H-Bo xxx