Life is full of significant moments and landmarks; 1st, 18th, 21st and 40th Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc. Yesterday was my eldest daughter's 11th Birthday and we have had some lovely celebrations and she has enjoyed feeling special, but both my daughter's special days are a quieter more thoughtful celebration for me. It was the day I gave birth and the joy and celebration of their arrival was a day of mixed emotions.
On my daughter's birthdays I think abut the apprehension I felt about having a baby. Amelia was born by an elective c-section and I was frightened about having surgery and having had almost no contact with babies before of what I was meant to do once my newborn was handed to me. I had a long slow recovery but the joy of her arrival and it turns out an instinctive understanding of what she needed means that I always look back on her birthday with happiness. It was a landmark moment in my life, changing how I looked at everything and my behaviour - my needs always coming after my daughter's from that moment onwards!
Louisa was an emergency c-section in the middle of the night and my husband could not come with me as Amelia was unwell. I can remember one of the medical staff showing me a text about Tony Blair in order to 'distract' me during her birth. It just irritated me as I really just wanted my hand held, I was frightened. I didn't see anyone from my family until lunchtime the next day and Louisa and I spent the night and following morning alone together getting to know one another. During her first 5 weeks we were to return to hospital several times and this time together seems to have created an incredible bond and she is very much a Mummy's girl.
There are many other landmark moments in my eleven years of being a mother but it is their birthdays that make me the most reflective. The changes in our family have been amazing; seeing my husband become a father, watching our relationship strengthen as we often muddle our way through the challenges of helping our girls grow and the incredible meaning being a mother has brought into my life. Some days are hard, some days are boring but it turns out none are the same and creating a new life and helping shape it brings significance to every single day of your life.