It is 0040 on Christmas Day 2013. As I write this I’m sitting up watching The First Eucharist of Christmas at Westminster Abbey feeding you and thanking God for you, our most precious gift. This is our very first Christmas with you and for that reason alone Christmases will never be the same again. It’s now my turn to insure your Christmases are as magical as mine were as a child.
You will probably never know how much we’ve longed for you. Never know how much we’re thankful that we’ve been entrusted to be your parents, your guardians. We’re so lucky that somehow we’ve been allowed to have you in our lives and hope you feel the same about us too. It’s been a very long and often difficult journey to get to this point. After 3 miscarriages I never imagined that I’d ever be lucky enough to be blessed with you yet here you are my beautiful boy.
Every day of the 39 weeks and 4 days that you were inside me were filled with worry. We daren’t tell a soul you were growing inside me incase you were taken from us. You were photographed more times than you can imagine checking that you were ok, every appointment was met with dread predicting the sonographer once more giving us heartbreaking news but every time coming away amazed and elated with yet another little photograph that we would stare at for hours then put away in a drawer with our notes in case just having them on display would tempt fate. Every move you made inside me was met with relief and you were a lazy little soul in utero so when I wasn’t woken at 5am by your hiccups or you rolling around I would spend the next hour prodding you to wake you up… This often took a while and just as panic was about to take over you would give me a right wallop as if in annoyance, not that I cared as relief rolled over me like a tidal wave.
Right up until the wonderful day you were born I had this awful feeling of dread, that something would go wrong to burst my bubble. It didn’t thankfully and on the 22nd November, at 0843 after a relatively quick and easy labour and 3 days before you were due you were handed to me and that’s when it happened. That’s the moment when I fell head over heels in love with you. It hit me like a train. I never anticipated it, never thought how it would feel. I was gobsmacked. I was overjoyed. I was relieved. I was blessed.
I still can’t quite believe you are ours. Every day I cherish every inch of you, every breath you take feels like a blessing that I still can’t quite believe I’ve earned. Every day is filled with joy, yet more worry. Worry that will probably only end when my life does. Alongside every joyful day comes me fretting about the tiniest things. I worry about how long you sleep or how little. Worry about that those spots on your skin. Worry about the little noises you make in your sleep, you already have a plethora of vocal arrangements that entertain us. Worry about how little you poo or then how much. How much you sick up. How much you eat (you’re a little gannet my darling). I never dreamt every moment of you would be met with equal measures of love and worry.
You’ve now been with us a whole 33 days, you are officially over a month old yet it feels like you’ve always been here. I can’t imagine my life as it was before you, it’s a distant memory that has been replaced by a love I can’t describe. A love so overwhelming it makes me weep, not in a bad way you understand just because it’s a love you can never prepare for. I catch myself just staring at your beautiful face. I get totally lost in you. I never want to be without you and already dread the day when you will, inevitably, leave me to start your own life but hopefully that won’t be for eons yet.
These 33 days have been the most amazing, satisfying and overwhelming experience, one you can never anticipate nor prepare for. Already you’ve changed so much. You are much more alert now and we get to entertain you more each day with ridiculous noises, silly songs and even more stupid dances. You are picking your head up so strongly now and looking around so inquisitively at your surroundings. You love to mimic the silly faces I pull and every time you do it delights me and I fall in love with you even more if that’s at all possible. It’s not going to be long until you roll over, you’re very nearly there and I can feel my pride swell at every new development you make.
You love anything that sparkles, the Christmas tree being a firm favourite at the moment and I can’t wait to get your bouncer so we can sit you in front of it to calm you when you get grouchy. You love being walked around and being out into the fresh air, you almost relish in the sun being on your face. You love your milk (that’s a story in itself). You love being held and much prefer sleeping on me than in your crib. That’s ok really coz every time I move you into it my heart breaks a little and I want to pull you back to me. It’s almost like the umbilical cord is still joining us. I know I should be stronger where this is concerned but then I’m also aware this time will fly by and I want to relish every single moment. Your Daddy berates me for this, I think he’s just jealous but that’s just between us two 😉
You hate your nappy being changed and this act often leaves your darling daddy traumatised because you cry so much. I don’t blame you, it’s cold at the moment and I’d cry too if someone stripped me naked. You’re slowly getting used to being bathed, it’s hit or miss at the moment as to whether it’s met with a mild tolerance or a passionate hatred.
You are currently curled up on my chest like a little dormouse in the most delicious sleep, I should move you into your crib and get some sleep myself as you will be awake again in a few hours but I’m relishing and treasuring these beautiful moments knowing that they’re going to be gone in a blink of an eye. I have a lifetime to sleep and can’t help staring into your beautiful sleeping face and wondering what life you will have.
Your life is stretching out before you darling, a life filled with exciting new experiences some good, some unfortunately not so good but remember that you have a loving Mummy and Daddy that’ll always be there to offer you a hand or give you advice. We’ll be there to pick you up when you fall and to lift you up to enable you to achieve your dreams. Don’t ever stop dreaming Noah, life is for the taking and you must grab it with both hands, it’s there to be enjoyed and you can achieve whatever you set your mind to regardless of the obstacles that appear to be in the way. The world is full of the most wondrous and beautiful places and I hope that you’ll get to enjoy it as I have and more. I hear my mother talking to me when I think of how I will advise you and think this must be the same for every generation, to learn from the mistakes made by the generation before you and hope the next won’t make the same.
My want for you Noah is for you to be, above all else, happy. I want you to achieve your dreams. I want you to find something you love and to do it to the best of your ability. I never want you to settle for second best. I want you to be courteous, kind and respectful of others always. I want the very best for you my darling boy and will try my damnedest to make sure it happens.
Merry Christmas my beautiful boy. I love you more than life itself, never forget that.