Esme is ONE

Well actually Esme is almost 1 and a half, so this is incredibly late! ;) 

Dearest Esme,

I honestly cannot believe that you are one. I can so clearly remember the moments leading up to your arrival into this world just over one year ago. Months before your arrival, I had a feeling you would be arriving on August 10th (just like I had a feeling about the day your sister was going to arrive). Because I ‘knew’ you would be arriving that day, I knew to get prepared. We were ready, your Daddy and I both. Hours before your arrival, I had a lone dip in the pool and looking down at my belly I whispered to you, “You can come out now sweet baby. Don’t be afraid. I promise I will take care of you. Always.” Within an hour of that, the contractions got strong and you soon made your arrival into this world, with your first stop being right here at home. You were greeted with uncontrollable laughter from me (really! I could not stop laughing!), soon joined by everyone else… and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Sweet girl, I was just so so happy to meet you.

Our first days with you were bliss, getting to know you and see the amazing relationship between you and Alidia develop and grow. For the two of you, it was love at first sight. In fact, it was love at first sight for all of us. You were and are the perfect addition to our family.

Only 3 weeks in, you got very ill and gave us the scare of our lives. I have never been and hope I never will be that scared and that hopeful that everything would be okay all at once. Luckily with you being you, you fought and fought. You were just a tiny little thing, alone in an incubator, but you never, not for one moment, gave up. I am so so proud of you for those days of fighting in the hospital and every single moment since then.

I have absolutely loved this year of watching you grow, change and develop into a smart, funny, beautiful and adventurous 1 year old. You make us laugh and smile everyday and melt our hearts with your snuggles, waves, and most recently, your kisses. As much of a mama’s girl as you are right now (you are very very attached to me!), you also fall into a ball of tears the moment you see your Daddy walk out of sight. You adore us both and my goodness girl, we adore you.

I cannot wait to see what the world has in store for you and what you have in store for the world. I know without a doubt, that you will do great things. We love you so so much Esme Charlie. You could not be a more perfect fit into our family.

Love always,

Mummy & Daddy (& big sister, Alidia!)

“Whatever’s good for your soul… do that.”

rockababy

When you become a new parent, everyone has advice for you. “She needs to wear a hat!” “You need to feed her every 2 hours, no more, no less.” “Don’t take her outside. She’ll get sick!” “Move her head. She isn’t comfortable like that.” “No, really, where is her hat?? She needs to be wearing a hat!!!”

It is overwhelming and exhausting.

When my second daughter was born, I was ready. I had answers and reasoning for everything they might suggest. “Bring it on!”, I thought to myself as I took my daughter out into the world. But the suggestions didn’t come. People smiled, admired and complimented. No one told me I was holding her incorrectly, not feeding her enough, feeding her too much. No one grimaced at the clothes she was wearing or the carrier she was nestled in. People just let me ‘parent’. 

By the time your second child has entered the world, you have graduated from advice receiver to advice giver.

I’ve now had over a year with the title ‘advice giver’ and am struggling with how to offer up the best advice I can without causing all of the emotions in new mothers as ‘advice givers’ past had done to me. I could tell them what worked for me, what didn’t, what I enjoyed, what my baby enjoyed. I could tell them about the amazing moments and I could tell them about the hard ones.

As I stood today, rocking my 15 month old daughter in my arms, as her eyes slowly slid closed and she drifted off to sleep, I thought of a quote I had seen somewhere across the internet recently, “Whatever’s good for your soul… do that.” and as I thought of the quote, I thought of my own soul in that moment. There was no place in the entire world that my youngest daughter, my baby, wanted to be more than she wanted to be in my arms right then and there. Now if that isn’t good for the soul, I don’t know what is.

The funny thing is, one of the many pieces of advice I had received in those initial months with my first born was, “Don’t rock her to sleep! You’ll regret it!”. I remember every time I did rock her to sleep, I couldn’t help but worry about the regrets to come. I researched other ways to get her to sleep. I tried to put her down “drowsy, but awake” as ‘they’ had told me to do. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes I rocked her. Did it matter in the long run? I don’t know. Does my 3 year old now sneak into our bed in the middle of the night to snuggle because I rocked her too much? Maybe. Do I regret it? Not in the slightest. Do I have those worries and fears now as I do the unthinkable act of rocking my second daughter to sleep? Nope. Do I worry she too will sneak into our bed for middle of the night snuggles when she is 3? By gosh, I hope she does.

I have two daughters in this world, two daughters in this lifetime. If they want to spend one extra moment of their lifetimes snuggling with their mama, I’ll take it. My soul is ready. Sign me up.

So to the new parents out there, and the not so new parents, the parents of one, and the parents of five, to the mums, and to the dads, this is the most valuable bit of advice I can offer you…

“Whatever’s good for your soul… do that.”