My dearest Hannah bear,
Tomorrow you’ll be one, one whole year old. One whole year of knowing your face, your cry, your smile, you. How can it be a only a year? I feel that it’s been eternity, I’ve known every facet of you forever. How can it be a year? It feels like yesterday you were born.
My precious girl this year has been the best year of my life. 365 days of holding you, loving you, watching you grow and learn. Oh I loved those early days, hours spent curled up on the couch in the afternoon sun watching your sweet little lips twitch as you dreamt. I loved the firsts, first smile, first laugh, first roll, first crawl, and so so many more, etched into my memory as clear as day. I’ve (mostly) loved our night time cuddles, midnight feeds where it’s just you and me. I’ve loved how my body responded to your needs – nourishing you with exactly what you needed. I’ve loved holding you close, and dancing round the room. I’ve loved our adventures, big and small.
It’s also been the hardest year of my life. I’ve felt like a complete failure, a total wreck, a stranger to myself. I’ve felt total isolation, complete frustration, utter exhaustion. There have been times where I’ve yelled and sworn and cried. Times where I wished I was somewhere else entirely. I’ve hated what’s happened to my body, couldn’t bear to look in the mirror. I’ve resented those around me for their sleep filled, relaxed lives. There are days where I wondered if I’d made a mistake. I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad, unwanted, unloved. I want you to know how good it was, that even through all these hard and awful feelings, I have never been happier.
If I could slow down and rewind time I would my darling girl, relive it all over – even the three days of labour and the nights with barely any sleep. But it doesn’t work that way, I have to hold on to what we’ve already had, cherish the memories in my heart.
Tonight I’ll hold you a little longer, drink in those long lashes and sweet, twitching dreaming lips. Burn the memory of your weight in my arms into my mind, try to remember the sound of your little snores. I’ll try to hold on to this moment for as long as I can. Tomorrow you’ll be one.