On the 30th of last month, our little girls turned one month old. One month! Some days it feels as though in the space of a blink of an eye my never-going-to-end pregnancy did end, and my little girls were born and they grew and they grew and suddenly, suddenly they are one month old and where did my month go? And yet at the same time I feel as though I have known them forever, they have been a part of this family forever, and how could I ever have not known that they were meant to come along when they did, and be our Embla and our Olympia?
And now I’m crying. These hormones are odd things.
I have felt a little writer’s-blocked recently. It’s the lack of time since returning to work, I think. When I am in the office I am so focused on my office-world, and then I come home and my arms are full of baby and my little boys, if they are awake, are looking at me with such expectation that it’s impossible to switch on the laptop even, let alone pour myself into it. So I haven’t written much, and I haven’t thought much in that conscious self-analytical way that I often find myself thinking, but oh, I have experienced. I have felt. In its way that has been kind of liberating.
Oh, these little girls.
The thing is, I’ve so wanted to share them with you. Being a mother to a new baby is a little like that early stage of dating somebody you really, really like – where everything they do is a little intriguing and all you want to do is talk about this person who is turning your world upside-down. Talk about how right they make you feel. How they fill something in you that you never knew was empty.
So indulge me, please. Let me tell you a little about our girls.
Embla. Em. Tufty. My first daughter and my smallest baby. And here’s a secret: she looks so tiny and delicate, but she snorts and snuffles like an asthmatic pug. There is a song that Kirsty sings to her, that involves bouncing her up and down, and it is her favourite thing in the world. She loves the sound of running water, and kisses on her face.
Olympia. Polly. She cried for seven minutes straight when she was born, gazing up at me from my chest with this expression of outrage and disappointment that made me wonder, just for a second, whether this foreshadowed our future relationship. It didn’t. She’s my girl. She is the baby who won’t let me put her down, who gave me her first smile, who stops crying when she hears my voice. She is the baby who makes motherhood feel effortless, who makes me feel good at being a mum. I don’t expect my children to be easy but my goodness, I’m grateful that this one is.
I am not a ‘baby person’, not really, but the way that their skin settles against mine makes my heart beat all funny. There are these quiet moments where it’s just me and baby, a small soft warmth against my chest and my chin nestled in the fuzz of their hair and it’s just – it’s perfect. I thought that motherhood the second time round would have lost some of its sparkle but it’s the best thing that I have ever done. I am so happy. Stupid happy.
I just wanted to document that.