This week is a bit of a weird one for me. In this week last year, I: left work; discovered my healthy baby was PROM; and then experienced an emergency induction, all in very quick succession. This, of course, all preceded the pure and unmatched elation of meeting my baby, a feeling which has intensified every day with every time I see my child, every cuddle and smile and touch. As time has gone on, the pain and disappointment surrounding his unexpected entrance to the world and the feeding and health difficulties that we both suffered in the following weeks and months has faded from memory, but a year to the day of my last carefree moments of pregnancy, these anxieties and emotions have come back in to focus.
It is difficult not to get reflective at this time of year. I imagine it is universal that for every mum, a child’s birthday will reawaken forgotten fears, regrets and what ifs; anger at decisions and actions and inaction, plans changed with and without consultation, the end of ‘us’. Initially I resented the shortening of my pregnancy and the abrupt and clinical way my child arrived. Back then It felt like none of us were ready. A year on and my boy is unrecognisable in my arms as the same tiny, fragile creature I met back then. Today I am thankful for the events that I once resented and which cast a dark shadow over my first few months of motherhood, because they potentially saved him, and saved me from unimaginable heartache.
The significance of this date in our family’s history means there has been celebration as well as reflection this weekend, creating new memories to replace those from a year ago. Love and pride now overpower desperation and exhaustion; temporary misery replaced with permanent and enduring joy. Reflection reminds me of the things I am often too busy or tired or distracted to fully appreciate: that we are together and that we have everything. And for that I am truly grateful.