August Lily was born on a Friday. Today is Friday and even though it’s the 21st of August, and she was born on the 22nd, I can’t but help of think back to that day, the weather was just like it is now. Around this time, she had been born and I was in recovery. In fact, right about now, I was getting to hold her for the first time.
If I’m very honest with myself, I know that I can’t really remember it properly. I have clearer memories of being in the recovery room with a small, screaming boy. I think I was worried that if I didn’t appear ‘well’ they wouldn’t let me back up to the newborn I had been separated from.
So when I did get to her, I relaxed. And that’s why I can’t really remember.
Over the past year I have battled with many obstacles. And in the past week or two, as we approach her first birthday I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. Of joy. Of enjoyment of being a parent. Thank God. Because there were real moments of wanting to run, escape, possibly leave my babe in the woods (just for a little while) to get a break.
I am lucky to have a great husband, friends and family who I rely on to support us as we raise our little child. They have kept me sane, stepped in when we needed it, and offered nothing but care and love. I know that many people don’t have that and this has been one of the life lessons we have come to understand.
Today, we share our photos from the first year, to try and paint a picture of the path we’ve taken. I nearly used the word ‘journey’ there, but stopped myself just in time.
A little cherub, angel, blessing, miracle, goddess: none of the words could describe how we saw her, as she lay cuddled to Mammy, calm, serene, no crying. That came later. When Mammy was alone, in the hospital. All. Through. The. Night. Bless.
A few days old and going for her first walk. It was difficult for Mammy to even push the buggy and who the bloody hell built footpaths the height of your knee? Anyway, August didn’t mind, she just slept most of the time really. We hadn’t discovered soothers yet. We thought we wouldn’t need them. HA! Yes, I was one of those parents.
In September, August’s Godfather and Uncle, Alan got married. August wore a pink rose detail dress. Mammy wore an enormous fascinator to distract from her still enormous tummy. Still, didn’t everyone scrub up well for five weeks post partum?
There are a lack of photos round this time. Maybe Mammy and Daddy were too busy feeding, changing and washing baby to get out the camera? She is doing great, but the nights can be long sometimes and we are just finding our feet as new parents, two months in. She’s not quite sure what to make of baths. So far, comme si, comme ca.
Baby is growing. She has a cheeky smile and is watchful. Everyone comments that she is so alert. Yes, Mammy thinks. That’s grand for when you’re around, but what about the other 23 hours in the day? Still we are thankful that we have such a lovely, bubbly and ALERT baby.
In December we christened baby and were delighted to dress her in the same christening gown that Mammy had wore, her aunt and uncles and even, her cousin. Mammy hopes it can be passed down to August Lily’s babies, if she’s lucky to have them. Mammy notes these are very glamorous pictures she’s posting. That’s because all the others outside of hair and makeup done were deleted or never taken in the first place.
Christmas Day. Yes we did.
August Lily is getting cuter by the day now. She is interested in toys and will sit in her chair and watch us and listen. Mammy spends most of January just enjoying her baby, because in February, when baby is only five months old, she has to return to work. Luckily it will be part-time, but still, everyone is worried and would prefer more time to spend with baby on maternity leave.
Mammy has gone back to work. It’s tough, but everyone is coping. Mainly because Daddy Day Care is open three days a week.
August has started growing new hair. It’s spiky and fluffy all at the same time. (Kinda like Daddy’s beard).
With March comes a high chair because baby has started eating solid foods. Well we say solid, but it’s usually mushy porridge or vegetables. And we say eating, it’s more like tasting and going: PLEUGH.
Daddy is away with work on St Patrick’s Day so we send him this snapshot complete with festive bib.
Adaption to food is going well. She’s a good grubber. Evidence above.
Baby is getting very strong at sitting up now and can play by herself with her toys. She is very smiley, and as usual, cheeky as fluff.
The doody. Soother. Life saver. The above was a joke. We didn’t really let her go round like this. Or did we??
Bonding continues with Daddy. She has learned to strum (ok thwack) the guitar. We still sing her to sleep each night, but she refuses to fall asleep to anything that isn’t Celine Dion.
Baby’s first selfie. She’s been swiping at the screen before you could hold her own bottle. Generation mobile.
We take a family break in July. In Ireland. August Lily is great, but the thoughts of packing, her, her stuff and her nap schedule onto a plane is too much. So we head to Sligo and Leitrim and have a fab time in the lashing rain.
Our little lady is growing. Every day she is learning something new. When we get back from our holidays she takes her first steps. We love seeing her grow and develop.
And here she is. 21st August 2015. Her last day of being zero. Walking, not talking. Babbling and bruising. Taking every morsel of food we give her and rubbing it in her hair. Two naps a day. Slowly coming round to the idea of cuddles. In the Night Garden obsessed. But nowhere near as obsessed as her Mammy and Daddy are with her. Happy Birthday eve August Lily. We love you. From all your support team xx.
She just bit me. On the leg.
See, I told you she didn’t do sentiment.