Tony and I are fairly isolated from our families, seeing how his are up north in Brisbane, and mine are mostly in Singapore. So it’s been just wonderful having our peeps make the long trip to welcome Atticus to the fold.
It’s quite mind-boggling to us, her parents, that on this date 2 years ago, we welcomed our munchkin and she looked like this:
And her first mutual scrutiny of family ties with Tony looked like this:
And then last year, on her first birthday, she looked like this:
And then – whooshka! She turned 2, weighs a hefty 14.6kg, and stands about 90cm++. And she is more entertaining than ever.
I can’t decide if it’s my first or second Mother’s Day. It feels like today should officially be the first because the child, you know, is grown and tangible and extrauterine. Which helps.
But on 8 May last year, I was big. I was with child. I was waiting. And felt every stretched inch a mother in my own right.
The Chinese – the real traditional Chinese – are said to count a person’s age from the time of conception. And depending on which side of the Lunar New Year you’re born, you could find yourself zero days old and yet celebrating your first year in the world. It does your head in, but it’s a concept I like very much because it coincides very happily with what I felt and believed throughout my pregnancy.
That I was already a mother. That it was already three of us, not two. That if Arddun had died before she was born into the world, her life would have been sorely missed and I would have classed myself every bit a mother. One who had lost her living, kicking baby.
And so yes. Today is officially my first Mother’s Day. But it also is my second. Because I was a mother from the very beginning. And once a mother, always a mother I say.
Happy Mother’s Day. xx
I have a huge curiosity for what Blobette will look like at full term. You have to bear in mind that pregnant women get inundated with unflattering images of growing in-utero babies with swollen heads and teeny arms, and all the proportional grace of a T-rex without the claws and the sharp teeth. It takes a while to get used to the fact that eventually, out pops an actual baby. Who will hopefully look like the best version of both of you because – let’s face it – we are all secretly rather vain creatures.
I must be mulling over this more on some subconscious level, because I’m finally starting to see her in my dreams. Usually in semi-nightmarish situations. For instance, there was that time I dreamt I could not breastfeed.
Here I was with the newborn, first day back in the house, and… nothing. I plop her on, and she’s looking at me accusingly as if to say, “Is this a joke? You know I’m not falling for that again.” And then… nothing.
And because my perfect newborn baby girl is a mutant with a brain of epic proportions, I’m asking her for feedback. “How about if I do this?” I ask. “Or this?” And she’s looking up at me and shaking her head. Nup, she telepaths because she can. It’s not working, man. Let it go.
Or how about the other dream where I’m giving birth. Except I’m still in the house in the main bathroom with the tub, and there’s two midwives with showercaps on, who insist on getting into the tub (fully-clothed, thank heavens) with me. Of course, there isn’t enough space for the actual birthing mother to stay in the tub, so I step out… only to turn around and face my newborn, sitting on the counter next to the sink, ensconced in the corner between my Clarins Younger Longer moisturiser and the tissue box.
Except she’s HUGE. One moment, she looks like she’s 4 months old, and then she looks like she’s actually 4. And she’s also fully clothed and clean and kinda looking expectantly at me.
And I, too, wait. Any moment now, I think. I’m gonna feel this rush of maternal love and goodness wash over me and I will be overjoyed. Except nothing happens. She’s sitting there like a lump, and I’m standing there, looking at her and willing myself to love her. It’s the most dreadful feeling. Meanwhile, I’m wondering why her hair is black and coarse and spiralling like tight corkscrews, and why her mouth looks a little like Tony’s mouth – except fixed on upside down. And wait… hang on… she looks like a cross between two very Chinese classmates from primary school.
And looks nothing like either Tony or me.
And I wake up both times with a HUGE inadequacy complex. I cannot give birth, cannot breastfeed, and cannot love my child because I am a shallow, shallow woman. I am going to be a stinky mother. STINKY!
Guilt has already set in.