This time last year

I’m trying to remember how I felt on this day in 2011. I can’t actually remember. I can imagine though: at 37 weeks pregnant I was completely ready to get this baby out of me and had been for a good 5 weeks! I had been off work for nearly 3 months as they couldn’t seem to accommodate my pelvic issues and preferred to just have me off sick. So I was stuck in the house most days and pretty fed up. I’d watched every episode of Cracker (quite intense and mildly disturbing). And I was half way through to an eight week ER marathon. Time well spent in retrospect.

I know I was excited to be having a baby. Practically I was completely prepared. Mentally I was as prepared as you possibly could be. Which, I realise now, is not really at all.

The thing that has struck me most about parenthood is the sheer weight of responsibility, the overwhelming joy and love and the gut wrenching fear. Emotions are amplified beyond recognition. Anyone who knew me pre-baby would wonder how the hell my emotions could be amplified further … anyway. They have.

This truly has been a year of highs and lows. I think every year is but this year especially and in a new way. I can’t really remember life without Joni. We have had more health problems this year than we’ve ever had before as a family and seen the absolute horror of children’s hospital wards. I have a new respect for nurses and for parents of those children who had been in there for a while, they are absolute gladiators.

I have spent time wondering what life would have been like without Joni. Would we still live in London? (I hope not)
What I would have told myself a year ago:

– you will love being a Mum
– it will be the most exhausting, challenging, painful thing you will ever do; also the greatest
– don’t watch ER in the early stages of labour
– take up every offer of support, help and friendship offered

Little did I know what was in store in 2 and a bit weeks!!!

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