Last weekend I took Little Z out for a walk in the sling whilst Little H and her Dad were at the cinema. It started to sleet as we were walking and despite her snowsuit, booties and woolly hat, she look disgruntled by the cold. So I pulled her close to me to give her a smidge more warmth. We were walking a pretty standard route for us – just a loop round the local roads. But in that moment a memory was triggered. Because it was that exact same loop I walked with Sam and Little H on the afternoon I started going into labour with my snuggly little baby.
I was 40+3 weeks pregnant, the exact gestation at which her big sister made an appearance, and I remembered plodding along the pavement in the chilly spring air with my back sporadically breaking out into spasms of pain. Ahead, Sam was trying to keep up with Little H who was zooming around fearlessly on her balance bike. A clear memory in my mind is her smiley little face as she turned round and sped herself back up the slope just to check her Mummy was okay. And that memory is an incredibly powerful one for me because I remember thinking in that instance that we were hours away from becoming a family of 4. That by the following Sunday, life would look very different with the solid unit of Sam, Little H and I learning to work with our newest member. It was something that excited, scared and saddened me.
It’s not the first time that I’ve recalled that memory. But it was all the more powerful this time because we were only days away from a key date – the date when Little Z had been ‘out’ in the big world for as long as she’d been growing and protected inside me. It’s a ‘nothing’ date to most people. For me though, and for many mothers, it sparked a strange realisation that my little baby was growing at an amazing rate and slowly, ever so slowly, growing away from me. I don’t mean that in a sad way because there are many years ahead where my little girl will continue to need me. But the role of a parent is to bring a child into the world and prepare them to go it alone. For a fleeting moment it made me miss feeling her little body squirm inside mine.
Just for a moment though. Because my back started to hurt and I was reminded that now I can just pop her down on the floor to give my body a break!
Happy 40+3 my lovely Little Z xxx