One ~ A Lockdown First Birthday

Last week we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday at home with balloons, decorations, music, lots of presents, and a few inches of snow courtesty of Storm Darcy.

Fair haired with grey-blue eyes like mine, but bearing a strong resemblance to her dad at the same age, she is part of me, part of my husband, and all of those that came before us, yet every day becoming more and more herself. Our daughter is strong-willed, curious and cuddly with such a cheerful, sunny disposition (most of the time!). It’s incredible to compare the difference between the tiny, squirming newborn who could barely lift her head a year ago and the boisterous infant now standing unsupported, so close to taking her first steps, and saying her first words (“mmmum” and “hiya Rara” ❤️).

I’ve tried to record her first year on the blog, noting significant milestones, and yet they’ve come so thick and fast from the first smiles and giggles to sitting up, rolling, crawling, standing and now crabwalking around the furniture, her first teeth and solid foods (she’s turned out to be quite the adventurous little epicurean whose favourite foods include enchiladas and paneer/tofu masala, as well as the more mundane cherry tomatoes, peas and fruit).

Along the way, there have been moments I’d rather forget too: a surreal and scary trip to A&E after she had a reaction to her first set of immunisations at six weeks old during the first lockdown, struggles with breastfeeding, getting to grips with her silent reflux and a suspected lactose intolerance.

In the absence of baby groups and playdates, I’ve been looking for ways to keep our inquisitive and lively daughter entertained at home, we’ve built a den filled with teddies in the corner between our couches, her old bath has been turned into a ballpit, we’ve created tunnels out of cardboard boxes, and her big present from us was a swing in the garden. We’ve spent happy hours building towers out of blocks for her to topple like a little Godzilla, bouncing around to her favourite songs with rattles and shakers, and chasing each other around the coffee table. There have been more walks than I can count, at least one every day whatever the weather, trying to make up for the fact that her world is so much smaller and more local than it should be. I do feel that my daughter and I have missed out in some ways, but I hope that she’s also benefitted from having both parents at home for her first full year.

My blog has always been a record of family life capturing the highs, lows and all the ordinary moments in between. In 2020 it felt even more important to document it all because it was such a strange year when life as we knew it was completely disrupted, but caring for our daughter kept us grounded in the present and reminded us just how fortunate we are.

Now approaching the end of my maternity leave, I’m full of nerves about returning to work and anxious about how our daughter will settle into childcare, but I hope we will find our way – or at least muddle through – just as we have together up to now. Take care, and have a lovely week. X

Easter Greetings

Easter

Easter weekend coincided with spring sunshine and warmth this year, and normally we’d be heading out for day-trips or visiting family, but with the country still in lockdown we’ve spent most of the weekend at home, savouring the simple pleasures and little luxuries of hot cross buns and cherry blossom tea in the garden.

This isn’t how I expected to spend my maternity leave, and although I’d planned to join the bookbug sessions at our library and the local baby sensory group, I’m quite content to potter around the house and garden with the wee one. I feel very fortunate to be able to stay at home with my daughter when so many others are risking their health at work during the pandemic. My husband had only just returned to work after a month off on paternity leave before the lockdown began and he’s been working from home since, but it’s been lovely having him around to help out and enjoying more time together.

Playtime

Luckily, our little daughter is too young to understand what’s going on and it’s easy to entertain her at home. We’ve been filling our days with tummy-time, singing nursery rhymes and reading picture books, pulling faces at each other, and she’s been rewarding us with lots of smiles. Now nine weeks old, our baby is so alert, her blue eyes wide open observing the world around her.

We’ve also been venturing out most days for our government-approved walk around the neighbourhood for some gentle exercise, zig-zagging across the street to avoid others we encounter, and spotting all the rainbows in the windows and decorating the streets for the NHS staff and other key workers still working hard.

Pram Walks

The last few weeks have been disorienting and overwhelming at times, but we’re trying to make the best of it, enjoying our time together and embracing a slower pace of life. Wishing everyone a happy Easter and a lovely week. X

The Wait is Over… ❤

Born in 2020

February is not a month I usually look forward to as it’s often a cold and dreary end to the winter, but this year it’s been very special indeed, as we welcomed our daughter into the world.

I expected to hate being pregnant but I was lucky to have a straightforward, easy pregnancy. I had a few extra ultrasound scans, and I’ll never forget the first time we saw our baby on the screen at just 8 weeks looking like a little gingerbread man with oversized head, truncated limbs and most importantly a flickering heartbeat. I’ve felt our baby swimming around my tummy like a little mermaid, a squirming fidget tickling me from the inside, and a master of hide and seek who could be so still at times that I was scared our dream was over before it had begun.

Our fair-haired, blue-eyed daughter was born on a cold and stormy Friday evening after a relatively quick 20 hour labour, and I’ll be eternally grateful to the doctors and midwives who helped deliver her safely.

It feels like we’ve waited a long time to meet our baby. Now the wait is over, my husband and I are starting to find our way as parents, we’re already seeing glimpses of our daughter’s temperament and we’re so looking forward to getting to know her properly.

Born in 2020 cards

We’ve spent the last week in a cosy, little bubble at home while Storms Ciara and Dennis raged outside, welcoming visitors who braved the winds, sleet, hail and snow to meet the newest addition to our little family, and just enjoying the novelty of it all. Have a lovely week. X