Last year was my first Mothers Day.
It felt much like any other day in the weeks before or after it – trekking in to the hospital, reading the chart to see how much Talia weighed and how much milk she’d been fed, watching the nurses take care of my baby. It was hard sometimes to even feel that she was really mine, when all I could do was change the occasional nappy, express my milk via a machine and hope for a cuddle once a day or every second day. I worried about her, I shed plenty of tears.
Taking her home and leading a normal life seemed a distant dream.
This year it is the NICU which is a dream, dimmed by time but not forgotten.
Pictures of premature babies on the news bring tears to my eyes but for us, so much has taken place, so much has changed in a year. My beautiful daughter finally allowed to go home. Breastfeeding, settling, weigh-ins. First smiles, tummy time, growing out of clothes, starting solids. Sitting, rolling, turning the pages of a book. Our first birthday celebrations.
Another Mothers’ Day.
We shared it with my mothers’ group, holding a joint first birthday party for our babies, born between March 20 (Talia’s birthday) and June 22 (the day Talia left hospital) last year. I made party food, sewed a gift and helped decorate the venue. Yes I am a real mum – I can walk the walk (while pushing a pram) and talk the talk and have the t-shirt to prove it (almost certainly with baby food smeared onto it). I still worry and I still shed tears from time to time, and maybe I always will. It seems to be part and parcel of being a mother.