To my toddlers,
It took me a long time to fall in love with you. Your mummy bonded to you when you were still in the womb and was almost desperate to meet you, planning all of the wonderful things that you would do together when you were on the outside. She bought a wrap and practiced carries and thought about names even more than I did, I think, and was so worried that you would love her less, that as your adoptive mother she would have something to prove.
She has always been so fierce about you.
But I didn’t bond to you like that whilst I was growing you. I didn’t know you. And when you were born it was all such a mess, I was too distracted by trying to advocate for you to actually look at you and then once the medical professionals were gone the visitors set in and wanted their time with you when what we needed, really needed, was to be left alone for a good few weeks. I’m one of those people who is always slightly defensive, you see; my brain works too fast and it isn’t a naturally soft and comfortable place. I needed silence and darkness in order to focus on you.
I spent a lot of time expressing for you because I believed that it was best for you to have breastmilk, even if being hooked up to our rented hospital-grade pump constantly meant that I was rarely free to hold you. After all, you had your mummy and she was a natural.
So it took a while. ‘The moment’ had past. A lot of them passed, actually, and then I went back to work.
It’s hard to be a part-time mummy when you don’t feel like a mummy. Those first few months were tough. But we muddled through.
It’s going to be a bit different with your sisters, if it all goes well. It will be easier. This is going to benefit you too, even if we are a bit thinly-spready at times. All the same, I’m glad that you won’t remember how infrequently I cuddled you when you were new. I’m glad that you associate me with attention and affection now, that you come to me and demand ‘up! Up! Up!’ with your little arms outstretched and you tuck yourselves in next to me in bed when I dare to sleep in. You like to show me all of your toys, to point out my nose and to sit on me when I’m clearly very busy working. You have made a great big space for me in your lives even though it was all a bit tricky at first.
You seem to know that even though it wasn’t instant, it’s there. You are my favourite babies (yes, you’re still my babies) and nothing will ever take from you that you were my firstborns, the little boys who made me a mother. And I am so very proud to be your mother, every day, even on the days when we don’t see each other. My colleagues ask after you often and I tell them all about the funny, silly things that you have been doing even when they are just a story told to me.
I think that our future is going to be a bright, happy thing. I can’t wait for all of the adventures that we are yet to have as a family of seven and I’m so glad that of all of the children we could be sharing them with, we will be sharing them with you.
I am, I know, so lucky.
With love from,