Giving birth seems like a long time ago.When I think back to my labour, a lot of my memories of it are decidedly murky, and the trauma I felt in the wake of Jack's birth has faded significantly. To be honest, even being pregnant feels like something that happened to someone else, on another planet, in another time dimension, somewhere off in the Matrix or something equally sci-fi-y. Realistically I know why that is. I'm wise to you, Mother Nature, and your wiley ways of trying to get me to get knocked up again by making the memories fade with your crafty hormones. Minx.
In a lot of ways I suppose my pregnancy and Jack's birth is a long time ago. So bloody much has happened in seven months, and we have all come such a long way as a family and as individuals. For me, this stage is a very significant one. I am hugely aware, day by day, that my little baby isn't a little baby anymore. Before my very eyes he is transforming into a little person and with that has come a whole host of emotions that I was not expecting. I try not to regret too much in life, but the speed at which he has grown and changed, has almost made me regret that I didn't savour his tiny baby phase more. However, even with the benefit of hindsight, I don't see how that would have been easy to do in the midst of the sleep-deprived newborn fog. I really struggled with feeding and the limitations of my c section for a while - it took me some time to find my stride and for my confidence in myself as a new mother to grow. A new baby is such a shock to the system, that in a way, by the time you have come out of that and hit the three month mark, you wonder what happened. It doesn't mean that I didn't savour the cuddles, and the miniature cuteness of everything about him, but it does make me wish I savoured more.
Now that I have a brain that works properly most days and some breathing space between feeds and pumps, I can really focus on getting in as many cuddles and as much quality time with my little guy as possible. The sight of his face lighting up when Lee or I enter a room, his innocent fascination with the world, his giggle when he is tickled, or him falling asleep in my arms late on a rainy afternoon, is all logged in my Jack memory bank. I was never prepared for how much my love for him would grow with time, and how it would overwhelm me on almost a daily basis, resulting in me crying about how fast he is growing while I hold him in my arms before bed. (I am going to be a total embarrassment when he's a teenager, I can tell). I am even welling up as I write this, there's no hope!
The last month or so of Jack's life has been particularly strenuous on the old heartstrings. He has come on by huge leaps and bounds. He has learned to sit up, he has started eating solids, he has kind of learned to crawl (albeit backwards, just like his mother), he has started forming sounds in attempts to begin talking, and all of it blows my mind. Each little development convinces me more and more that he is a genius, no hint of bias of course. But I don't care how biased I am. He is my son and he is the most amazing little person who I could not be more proud of. He and all of the experiences and lessons he has brought with him, have made me a better person, and made me think about the world in a different way. They have also made me less likely to suffer people's bullshit, and to get a little bit rant-y when idiots get in my way when I am crossing the road with a buggy, but I am assured that is a pretty normal instinctive mother's reaction.
God knows, parenthood isn't easy even if you do have a chilled out child. Three weeks of Jack having viral gastrointeritis (basically the shits), or being woken at 5.30am and moaned at for 2 hours for no apparent reason can be seriously challenging, and leave you at your wits end both with your child and your partner, but would I change it? HELL NO. He's completed us in a way that I didn't even realise we needed, and very bloody lucky we are too.