Day 1

Eight years ago, on the last day of another heat wave, I paced the hospital grounds, doubling-over as contractions came and went, a terrified first-time, single mum-to-be, held by her mum and a wonderful friend.

I stood alone on a metaphorical 25m diving board, no way down but forward, petrified of random things such as not deserving a healthy baby, not being a good enough mum, and wanting things to be over, without being cut-open or dying in the process.

At the end of an elastic and blurry ten hours, my son was born, with a slightly cone-shaped head, and a little meow, covered in poo as he loves being told over and over again. As he fed hungrily, and considered his new world pensively, a weird but overwhelming hope washed over me that things may actually be alright.

That night, I watched his brand new, unfamiliar face with curiosity, feeling something like “nice to meet you”. A bit like when you meet someone off the internet, only I presume that people off the internet rarely take residence in your stomach for a few months, or root around for your breasts when they first meet you.

From the start, that baby felt like he knew what he was doing to the clueless mother I was.

Tonight, I watch him sleep with the same baby-ish abandon, his golden, muscular limbs splayed as wide as they curled tight eight years ago, hair shivering in the fan’s draught, still both helpless and totally amazing.

To Fenella, who has been there in ways only those who have known wrenching heartbreak can. And to my son of course, thank you for teaching me so much.


17 thoughts on “Amazing

  1. Wow. I began to reply to this a few times, but always as I began typing I got caught up in the memory of my boy’s day of birth. One of the best days of my life, was the first day of his. He came out bruised and battered with a squishy head and huge feet. He was perfect.
    And when you hold them, and the put that nose against your neck, breathing that soft hot breath…the love is absolute and unwavering and there was no place I’d rather be.
    I watch my son sleep now too. Those long, lean, tanned limbs akimbo in effortless abandon across the bed. I’ll lean to re-arrange the blankets and almost invariably he reaches out, grabs my arm and curls around it. At these times I am usually overcome with emotion and love for him and I love him more every day.
    I think now that our children deserve so much better than this hand they have been dealt as innocents.
    So Lady E…we must fight the good fight and be more for them than we could ever imagine.
    Happy Birthday to your son. Congratulations to you!!
    This is the reason you will thrive.
    Peace to you.

    • I cannot say it was love at first sight for me, because I had loved him before that, all the while I was growing him. But I was overwhelmed with how naturally it came to me to be his mother, by how it felt he was showing me how to.
      Beautiful memories, you’re right, and thank you for the mantra, I bet it makes your son feel so special and loved… Funnily enough, I often do tell my children something along the same line. They are my favourite people in the whole wide world πŸ™‚
      And you’re right, I don’t see it as a fight, but we need to keep going and keep surrounding them all with love…
      Thanks for the well wishes!

  2. Lady E and LFBA – beautiful memories – treasure each moment! I really feel like mine was just eight yesterday, sneaking into my room to sleep with me when her dad was out of town…and now she is 22, finished university, and moved away to begin her own independent life…I am so proud, but I miss that snugly little girl!

    • Thank you Robin,…And I know, they grow up too fast don’t they? Part of me wants to keep them as babies, and part of me wants to feel your pride at having helped your child become a great person… Parenting is such hard work, and I often doubt myself so much, I think the reassurance will be nice πŸ™‚

    • Welcome Jacqueline, and thanks for the compliment! Yep, I do hope I remember their early years later…It breaks my heart that I have missed out on so much of this precious time because of feeling miserable for the last 8 months, espcially for my daughter who is barely more than a baby still. Anyway, hope to see you around, and I’ll go check out on you now πŸ˜‰

  3. Isn’t that amazing how fast the time goes by…. that’s why it’s so important to treasure every moment with our children, none of those moments will be repeated.

    • You’re absolutely right, and as I was saying above, it does annoy me that I missed out on a lot of my son’s early years because of being constantly overworked, overtired (PhD+ single parenting = rubbish combination), and I have missed out so much from my daughter’s mast eight months because of feeling terrible. Another excellent reason why I need to feel better. xx

  4. Not being a parent I can only imagine. It sounds wonderful. Sadly for me it was not to be!

    As to the internet dating reference – all I can say there seem to be a whole mass of ‘hopefuls’ out there who would love to root around for one’s breasts before they’ve even said hello!!!!! But maybe I’m just on the wrong site!! (keep clear of UK dating unless this is for you!!)

    • Crikey, your internet dating experience sounds erm…interesting! And I don’t feel ready for this at all.
      I feel curious though, was it through choice or circumstances that Alex and you did not have kids? Please forgive me for asking such a deeply personal question on such an open forum…

      • I was 41 when we married and I’d already been told it would be a miracle if I conceived. Sadly the miracle didn’t happen. We both accepted the situation. That is until Alex met the OW and then suddenly he wished he’d been a father. Then his mother died – then ‘the bomb’ went off…… And you know the rest!! Last time we saw each other – in Feb this year – he said ‘he’d decided he didn’t want to have children after all”! Can’t seem to make his mind up about anything!!

        • Dear Caroline, thank you for your candid reply. What a hard thing to come to terms with, on top of everything else…And that Alex does really sound like a flake. You deserve so much better…x

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