Approximately six months ago, I posted this picture on this blog -
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed since then. That was posted as a bleary-eyed, discombobulated new mom, with no idea what I was doing or where I was going, living in pyjamas and wondering where this tiny, screaming, constantly-feeding, never-sleeping little human had come from, and who on earth decided we were responsible enough to look after her.
Six months on, this is SB -
And I post this as someone who feels she is coping pretty well, actually. Right at the beginning, everything was stressing me out. How would I manage uni? Having babies can destroy relationships; would D and I still be together in six months time? How would we manage financially? Will I be able to cope with this responsibility? And now, I feel like we can cope with whatever is thrown our way.
This evening, I cooked tea and made some purees for SB (we’re trying to start weaning…. note the ‘trying’ part, I’m nervous!), while D watched her. Then D watched her while I ate my tea, and I fed her while D went for a shower, and now he is getting her off to sleep while I write my dissertation proposal and do some research for university. This system we’ve fallen into is surreal and crazy, but it works.
I can’t get used to leaving the classroom after a lecture, and rather than heading straight home or going to the student bar for a drink, I head to the nursery and pick her up. Being away from her is so difficult, but coming back to that smile makes it all worthwhile.
I feel like she has such a personality now. She’s chatty and mischeivous, and LOVES watching fish in the fish tank at nursery, to the point where we’re taking her to an aquarium in a couple of weeks, and we’re going to add to our family with a couple of goldfish for her to admire at home. Everyone who sees her remarks on how she’s the smiliest baby they’ve ever seen – nothing fazes her. At the moment she’s poorly with a cough and cold and conjunctivitis, and she’s had awful gastroenteritis. We’ve been terrified, phoning out of hours doctors and panicking constantly. She’s taken it all in her stride, with a smile on her face to boot.
I couldn’t do it without the physical support of D – we’ve had moments where we’ve struggled, but never once have we thought ‘Nah, I’d be happier doing this alone’, which I think is the most important thing – and the emotional support of our family and friends. Although our family live far away and can’t offer practical support often, they always offer, and the emotional support is invaluable. As for our friends, they haven’t dropped us the moment the baby arrived – they constantly astound me with how wonderful they are with her, and how kind, supportive and generous they have been to us.
One thing from my blog all those months ago has remained the same. I said it then, and I’ll say it again now. The greatest honour in my life has been spending the last six months – and knowing we get to spend many, many, many more months – with our strong, beautiful, precious daughter.