ONE. One whole year, 12 months, 365 days since you were born and turned our lives upside down in the best way possible.
You were born in Harrogate Hospital at 2:51am on Monday 7th March weighing an impressive 8lb 14oz after a long two day labour. I know it’s such a cliché but it’s true, where have the past 12 months gone?
I’ll admit I never got that first rush of love when you were born, if I’m honest I was just stunned, overwhelmed and exhausted but over this past year my love for you has grown by the day. Now I struggle to remember how we filled our time before you were born. We used to think we were busy but in reality we didn’t know the meaning of the word until I went back to work and suddenly we were juggling childcare, nursery runs, sickness, working long hours and keeping on top of things at home.
Speaking of work and nursery I went back to work on the 3rd January after almost a year off with you my darling boy. So far you have settled in really well although you can be a little emotional when I arrive to pick you up. Daddy does drop off and assures me all is fine and the staff always say you have had a good day but I can’t help but worry about you. If I could I wouldn’t work but we both want to give you the best in life therefore we must send you to nursery. You seem to get a lot out of it and do things I would never think of doing at home especially the messy play! I feel so proud whenever we pick you up and a staff member hands me some crafting you have done. The Valentine’s Card in particular nearly reduced me to tears – “I toe-tally love you” with your little footprints on the front.
Thankfully I don’t work Fridays so we spend that day catching up with our mum and baby friends. It’s always a busy day but it’s important to see the people who we so special to us in that first year. I have noticed you can be a little clingy on Fridays especially when we are around other babies. I have wondered do you think it’s going to be like nursery and I’ll leave you but I won’t. You don’t need to worry little man, Mama will always be here and when I leave I will always come back.
You never were a great sleeper but thankfully now we seem to have more good nights than bad nights. Recently you have been going down around 6:30pm and we don’t hear a peep from you until 6:30/7am. Sometimes you waken once for a quick feed but we still count that as a good night. A bad night is 2/3 wakeups but thankfully these wakeups are becoming less and less. You also sleep so much better in your cot now. Gone are the days of co-sleeping, now you want to be left in your cot to sleep and spread out.
Foodwise you are doing really well. We are down to two breastfeeds a day now (and sometimes a night feed) with the plan to wean you off the boob in the coming weeks. I only ever set out to give you colostrum and then make it to six weeks so I’m feeling very proud that we have made it to one year. Unless you are poorly or your teeth are bothering you, you eat really well. There isn’t much you won’t eat (apart from greens) and oranges have to be your absolute favourite. We were in Aldi recently and you leant out of the trolley and grabbed a bag of oranges off the shelf – little monkey! I used to worry about how much solid food you were consuming and found myself comparing you to other babies but you got there in your own time. I do think nursery helped too as we have noticed your appetite has increased since you started. Oddly I never worried how much you ate when you were only breastfed but now I can see what you eat I do fret that you aren’t having enough.
You are also getting so much more mobile. You are so fast at crawling and can climb the stairs too so Daddy has had to install safety gates. You pull yourself up on everything, cruise around the furniture and love to use your walker but you have yet to take those first steps. You are so confident at walking provided you have something to push – you love pushing the kitchen chairs and your highchair around the kitchen but you won’t let go. On a few occasions you have stood for a few seconds but it has been when you were distracted. We were convinced you would be an early walker as you started crawling at the end of October but confidence is your issue. I know though you will get there in your own time, it’s just a question of when.
Oh Ethan, I could talk about you all day but I need to draw this letter to a close. You have brought so much joy to our lives, you have brought Daddy and I closer than we ever thought possible and we feel privileged to be your parents. We don’t always get it right but we do our best and I hope you know how loved you are. Happy 1st Birthday Monkey. Thank-you for being ours, our beautiful blue eyed boy.
We love you to the moon and back