Eight months ago I sat staring into the dark inky blue eyes of my brand new baby girl. Nothing could have prepared me for becoming a mummy. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had a fantastic, smooth ride of labour and a home birth. My labour was recorded as being under an hour long – It all happened pretty quickly and to say it was a shock is an understatement! Its speed is testament to my daughters’ personality. She was ready to be born and she made sure it happened quickly.
Since her birth, and still even now, I am climbing a steep learning curve. We have made it through to the other side of those first few sleepless weeks, through feeding problems, jabs and the first cold. Now the milestones are coming thick and fast. I remember being amazed and transfixed by my tiny three week old when she started to coo. It has been a domino effect from there on.
With each milestone comes a new challenge. The most recent development is mobility. She learnt to roll over when she was tiny and that became a way for her to get around. Now she has moved onto commando crawling and I am been given the chance to improve my fitness levels by chasing after her all day! She loves that she suddenly has this ability to get to exactly where she wants pretty quickly. But usually where she wants to go is exactly where she shouldn’t be going! Our relatively small house does not lend itself well to a newly crawling baby, eager to explore. Suddenly the cupboards, fireplace, stairs and plug sockets fill her with unadulterated excitement and me with fear.
In the last week the novelty of crawling is wearing off and hungry for a new challenge she is now starting to pull up and try to stand. I am both hugely proud and utterly terrified! Just when we had got the house safe for a crawling baby (stair gates, socket covers, catches for all our doors – you name it, we have it!) she decides she wants to jump, literally, into toddlerhood.
Now my challenge, as well as chasing after her, is to make sure she has a soft landing when she falls (or be there to catch her!). She loves to stand, but often gets so excited or distracted when she is doing it that she forgets to hold on and will fall.
So for the time being, I will be holding her chubby little hands as she hurtles towards taking those first tentative steps. She’s still that tiny not quite 7lb baby that smiled as I held her when she was born; it feels very surreal that before I know it she will be walking across the room to me. The next eight months are going to be just as much of an adventure as the last.