I’ve written before about my elective caesarian section and today I am thinking of it more than ever. This time last year, we nervously checked into a hotel preparing for what was ahead. I couldn’t help but smile at the irony at the time, we had booked a hotel to relax a bit as we knew that what was ahead of us was sleepless nights…and yet relaxing was impossible.
We were suddenly stepping into the unknown together – my OH had done it once before, but it was almost 12 years ago that he had forgotten the finer details, and I was pretty much walking in blind. To be honest I don’t think it even dawned on me how this was a defining moment in our story, starting our own family.
When Emma was 5 weeks old, I had a chance cup of tea alone with my sister-in-law to be and she asked the best questions I have been asked since the birth. What’s it like now not working? Was it strange changing the nappy for the first time? Do you know what to do straight away? As she asked me these questions, genuinely wanting to know, I realised how rare this was. That for 5 weeks everyone had been asking the same things: have you recovered yet? How’s her sleep? Above all, I realised that these pondering hadn’t even entered my mind, that I had totally lost myself to looking after Emma.
I found myself again when she was about 6 months old and her nap schedule was finally evening out. I started doing things I loved doing again – reading a book or blogs I’ve always loved. Putting a bit of make up on in the mornings, or just having a cup of tea and taking a deep breath. And going out on a proper date with my OH, talking and laughing together like old times.
It’s nice to feel like a little bit of just me is there, but the truth is I’ll never be quite the same again. Becoming a mum has changed me – empowered me and made me more confident in so many ways. I almost can’t believe it’s only been a year, because it feels such a massive part of me that was always there.
So today, as my OH came home from his trip and we watched our little girl smile from ear to ear with the excitement, I took a moment to acknowledge how far we’ve come. For the fractious moments, the tears and so many worries: whether her love for Bing and CBeebies in general is creating a TV addict, or if she’s sleeping enough, eating enough, why she doesn’t seem to be able to drink from a sippy cup – this smile makes it 100% worth it.