Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Don't Forget...

My first foray into motherhood was in 2009 when I gave birth to a big beautiful girl. She was quite honestly the most divine baby...please don't hate me when I say this but she was one of those babas that slept through from around 6 weeks *runs for cover as people start to shout at their screens* and took to milestones like an Olympic athlete. Nothing challenged her, she just whizzed through the first year like a champ. I totally adored every moment of my maternity leave with her...I only wanted to be by her side and when I wasn't (when I returned to work part time after 10 months) it felt as if someone had cut off one of my limbs, such was the loss I felt. 

What I didn't realise then, that I do now, is just how good I had it. Sure - I knew she was a contented baby but I was blind to how much motherhood would change for me as the years passed. My eldest has taught me what true patience is - she has never complained about the time I had to devote to her younger sister during her first, tumultuous, year. There was an unspoken understanding that I had to focus on this fragile little being that had invaded her home...somehow, even in her fledging years, she had embraced this truth and accepted it. Without question, she missed out on things and this pained me (it still does)...but at that point there seemed no other way.

As the years have elapsed, I have been determined to put this right. When I write things like this, I always feel a bit silly...I obviously don't get it right all the time - I make mistakes everyday but I'm trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy quality moments just us. We had 4 years being a little double act, so whenever it's our time we instantly slip into our old ways...and I love it. Last week, because of the Easter holidays and my husband taking some time off work, my mini-me and I spent lots of time together. A cheeky cinema trip to see Zootropolis (which, by the way, is brilliant!) and then a lovely hot chocolate (obviously I had coffee - I pretty much have an IV of coffee plugged in at all times) with chats about everything & nothing. 

Just being with her makes my life richer - she reminds me of my wonderful first moments of becoming a mum, she made me a much better person and I will be eternally grateful that she is mine. I know that her journey as a sister differs from most and for that I feel guilt that is beyond expression. The future is hazy and I know we have so many difficult conversations ahead of us. The grief, that we have come to terms with now, is yet to be digested by her. I would give anything to take that away from her but I can't. So instead we have to face it together and savour the gorgeous moments - the days out, the hot chocolates, the giggles and her incessant love of spending my money!! 

Having a child with complications, whatever they may be, makes life challenging but I'm working hard not to forget that it's equally hard for their sibling...so don't forget to catch the simple opportunities to let them know they are still your darling. 

Bibi xx

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