Happy first birthday, little one. How this year has flown! Faster than any I can remember. Now you are one and, I suppose, technically no longer a baby. Although, of course, you & your brother will always be my babies, no matter how big you get.
You made your way into the world the natural way, all 9lb 5oz of you. You found breastfeeding easy and latched within minutes. You slept anywhere and everywhere and only cried when you were hungry. You let me find my feet as a mum of two, rather than trying to trip me up. You allowed me time with your brother, who so dearly needed me still. In short, you gave me my confidence back. You banished all my ghosts of failures past and, in one delightful, gummy smile, you chased away my #mumguilt and made me a better me.
I tried so hard with your brother, but I just kept messing it up: unplanned, emergency c-section; hospitalisation for severe weight-loss and jaundice through poor feeding; sleep deprivation, oh the sleep deprivation(!); an ocean of tears and a roller coaster of highs and lows for his first year on earth. In comparison, yours, dear sweet Little Brother, has been plain sailing.
Yes, I’m older this time and, perhaps even, a little wiser, having done it once before. Mistakes made, lessons learned, I should have gone into it this time feeling like I had this motherhood thing nailed.
In truth, I was terrified that I would make the same mistakes all over again, that I was, in fact, just not very good at the whole mum thing. But your birth changed my mind and the twelve months that followed have been filled with joy, laughter, cuddles and fun. You are a very special little boy.
Your brother found it hard to accept you at first, a stranger in his midst: demanding time from me that he wanted for himself and playing with toys that he had never intended to share, but you have won him over and made him fall in love with you, as only you know how.
Your presence in his life, the unshakeable bond that you are building, makes all the heartache worthwhile. I tortured myself over whether I was doing the right thing by giving him a sibling; whether he was ready; whether I was ready; but you have been the best thing to happen to our little family.
So, today I celebrate you! My cheeky, happy, smiley, adorable little man, who came into the world a year ago and changed our lives completely for the better, providing us with a little brother and much wanted second son. We can’t imagine a world without you in it!
But I also celebrate me. The me you rescued from the wreckage, who lost herself three years ago in a whirlwind of new mum guilt & inadequacy, forgotten in an instant once you were here.
So, here’s to us, little one. Happy Birthday! It’s been an amazing 12 months watching you grow from a newborn into a toddling little boy (you took two whole independent steps yesterday before thinking better of it and lowering yourself down again). I will miss my gorgeous, easy little baby, but as I marvel at the cheeky little monkey that you are becoming, something tells me that the best is still yet to come…
Lots of love,