And just like that, in the blink of an eye, my teeny, tiny Hunter baby is one year old.
In truth I have struggled with the words for this post. I have had the photos edited for a couple of weeks now and yet somehow the words just would not flow. I want to tell you how this year of motherhood has been for me, for us, and yet I need to find a way to do that without sounding like a giant ass.
Aside from the gruesome tales offered about birth by anyone and everyone, there were also many warnings to be heeded that these first months being a mother would be the hardest I would ever experience (allbeit ‘sooo worth it’). But guess what? I survived. In fact I am gonna put it out there – I flourished.
The thing is, it turns out not all babies are hard work. There, I said it. If you had babies that kept you up all night and cried all day long then my heart truly goes out to you. But I did not. And is it not really quite nice, and hopefully a little refreshing, to hear a story about motherhood that is not all sleepless nights and tears (mother and baby usually)?
Last year was certainly not the easiest year for my family and this little baby, we called him ‘our rock’, somehow stuck around in my belly through it all to make it into this world and just bring us endless joy. He has carried us through the darkest times and turned these past twelve months into something special that we will cherish forever.
Life threw us a whole bunch of curveballs around that time he was born but the husband being home for the first eight weeks of Hunter’s life was a blessing. I chose not to breastfeed which meant that we were able to take feeds turn about and get an abnormally large quota of sleep and actually we spent a lot of time taking very slow, short walks whilst I built my strength up and we ate a lot of lunches (I can’t tell you how good it was to enjoy food again after the nine months of nausea). From twelve weeks old and to this day, with the help of Tiffany, Hunter slept a solid twelve hours a night. I mean, hand on my heart, he has not woken up in the night even once for ten months. And whilst I know that the luck will surely break one day because he will be sick or dealing with extra tricky teeth or something, until that day comes I will enjoy being a well slept mama. I honestly believe that if you have your sleep the world is a brighter place.
We are so, so lucky to have a wonderful support network surrounding us with my mum only a five minute walk away and the in-laws coming to stay once a week. With their help I have been able to continue working throughout and have never really lost that sense of self. So I do not have time to make it to the new mum classes but I also never have that ‘get me outta this house’ feeling and I never feel ‘stuck’. He is the cherry on top of the life we already had. We go for dog walks and brunches and continue to do all the things that we love – just with Hunter.
Day to day he is the most contended little soul. He plays happily with his toys and loves watching those dogs so much. He eats anything and everything I cook for him (which by now is usually exactly what we eat minus salt – a revelation which has me considering reintroducing recipes back to Thankfifi along the mama and me theme. His favourite is sweet potato, kale and coconut curry. What do you think?). He is cheeky and mischievous as he learns to play his own little tricks on us. And everything is funny. A sneeze, a bath, a dog yawn, a surprise, standing up on his own two feet – they all deserve a giggle and a toothy smile. He is a joy.
So this is motherhood and me. I have never been a baby person; I never felt any great desire to hold them or talk about them and I honestly still do not. Except for mine. I walk into his dark room at night just to watch him sleep and wonder at what age it might become weird. Two? Ten? Sixteen? And every single time I look at him I am filled with so much love that I can actually feel it flooding my heart. To me he is the most beautiful creature ever to live with his leg rolls and stripe of hair and his fading birthmark in the middle of his forehead which I am convinced is my ‘w’. He looks at everything as if he is absorbing the newness if it all, learning, and it teaches me to try to see the world in that way too. I honestly am not quite sure what I did to deserve him and all that he gives me.
So we threw a little party with a rubber ducky theme because, truthfully, that duck at bath time is probably his favourite thing in the whole wide world…