Iona is 70 days old.

Today she found her feet and I have spent every spare moment watching her kick the tiny fluffy rabbits that hang off her baby gym, her eyes wide in wonderment as her foot connects with the objects and they move.

I can almost hear her wee brain thinking ‘Again! Again!’ and can see how much delight this discovery brings her. She’s not the only one. These daily developments make me feel so proud, it’s scary. I mean if I’m going gaga over these first kicks, what will I be like when she achieves something big? Like taking her first steps, saying her first word, (which will be ‘mama’, of course) or starting school.

Actually I can’t bear the thought of her starting school. Because while I love watching her grow and learn, there’s part of me that wants to stop time and keep her just like this. Tiny. Beautiful. Innocent. Snuggly. And 100% dependent on her mama.

Today is also around about the time Iona was conceived, just over a year ago. She was what her dad and I like to call ‘a wee surprise’ baby. In other words, she wasn’t planned. So I guess you could say I wasn’t prepared for motherhood. Of course those of you who are mothers will know that nothing really prepares you for motherhood. Well, except nature that it.

It just comes naturally really, pretty much from the minute you hold your baby. Instinct takes over and you and your baby soon work out a way to understand each other. I’m not saying it’s easy. Hell, no. I had intended to start writing this blog on Day 1 of Iona’s life. Ha! The naivety. Fast forward 69 days and this is honestly the first time I’ve been able to grab half an hour of ‘me’ time to write.

The last ten weeks have been a whirlwind. Days fly by when you factor in eight feeds, at least the same number of nappy changes, two loads of laundry (minimum), work, walking the dog, feeding the fish, etc etc. Not to mention things you used to take for granted like washing and feeding yourself, or going for a look around the shops. These things now take almost military-style planning. Romantic dinners have been replaced with ‘I’ll eat while you hold her then we’ll swap’ style dining. Candlelit baths have become two-minute showers. Shopping is done online in the couple of hours in between her going down and waking up for her first nightfeed.

I’m sure that some of the highs (Iona’s first proper, non-windy smile) and lows (having to do a poo whilst holding a one week-old Iona as I couldn’t bear to hear her cry and she was screaming whenever I put her down) of the past ten weeks will emerge as this blog grows. For now though, there’s no time to look back, only to be present.

Iona isn’t the only one finding her feet. Ten weeks in and I’m starting to feel like I am too. It’s all getting easier. I’m an expert at doing things with one hand. I am surviving, if not thriving, on about 5 hours’ sleep. I can put a nappy on so that it’s poo-proof and my nipples don’t hurt anymore because, as my health visitor put it, ‘We’ve cracked breastfeeding’, Iona and I. And I’m loving this motherhood lark so much, I don’t want to miss one single second. So on that note, I will shut down the Mac, lay my weary head on my pillow and spend the last few minutes of my day staring at my beautiful daughter lying here next to me.

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