On Your First Birthday

My little Darcie May,

One year ago you were one day old, tiny and helpless in my arms. I feel like I’ve blinked and the last year has whizzed by me and you are now a confident, sweet and funny little girl. I’ve savoured every second of being your Mum so far but still it’s like a whirlwind and I can’t quite keep up. Looking back through photos I realise how much you have changed and then I realise that is because you are not a baby anymore. I still call you my baby girl (and I probably will until you are 21 years old!) but you have lost some of that baby look in your face, your features are distinct and we can see the little girl you are becoming. More and more people have started referring to you as a toddler, I wasn’t ready the first time it happened and I didn’t realise they were even referring to you. Surely my baby girl isn’t a toddler already?

You still need me for a lot of things but you are growing in confidence and independence with each day that passes. When you were first born you would cry and refuse to sleep unless you were in mine or Daddy’s arms. Now you snooze happily in your cot, with you little bum in the air and your arms out like a starfish. For the first six months of your life I completely sustained you, other people could hold you and make you smile but it was me that fed you, my body that created the exact milk that you needed to grow. Now you slurp your spaghetti and steal my croissants, you still have your milk but I know it won’t be for much longer. This first year of your life has been just you and I the majority of the time, Daddy goes out to work, other people come over to see us, they play with you and make you laugh and smile but mostly it’s just us. Day in day out, we fill the days with babygroups, playtime and story time. I treasure every moment because as you grow you will spend more time away from me, you will one day go to nursery and then to school. You will have friends who will influence you and you will gain even more independence. Daddy and I won’t always be the centre of your universe.

No matter how big you’ve grown sofar you’ve always been the perfect size and shape for my arms. When you were 7 pounds and now as you are 21 pounds, you’re always happy and comfortable in my arms. I wonder how long this will last for? My beautiful baby girl, I love that you are growing so well and so healthily but I will always hold onto this time we have had together where you have needed me so completely. I’m so grateful that Daddy can go out to work and I can stay here with you, it’s the greatest gift he ever could have given me. To have a strong relationship with you and to have all this precious time with you makes my heart and soul happier than you could ever imagine. One day you might have children of your own and then you will know what I mean, but until that day you’ll just have to humour me every time I want to squeeze you in my arms or tell you how crazy I am about you. As you get older you will almost certainly be embarrassed of me sometimes, because I’m definitely going to be that mum. The one that tells you I love you in front of your friends or that triple checks that you are safe and waits up for you when you’ve been out at night. Just know that it’s all because you are my world, know that it’s because I’ve never met anyone as precious or amazing as you are and that I won’t ever quite believe my luck that you are mine.

The first year with any baby is tough, especially the night times when you still need me to comfort you. I’ve been so tired over the last year but looking back now, I’m grateful for every last one of those cuddles, when it’s just me and you. The sky is dark and the world is asleep, all you need is my arms and my milk. I’ll be glad when I get a full nights sleep again but I’ll miss these moments with you.

As much as I feel sentimental for this year and want to keep you my baby forever, I know that the fun is only just beginning. Every day is different and exciting as you are learning to do all these new things and growing more and more into an amazing little lady.

Thank you for this year, you won’t remember it but I will never forget it. You have taught me more about myself than I ever thought there was to know, and we’ve already had so many amazing times on this crazy ride.

You will grow and you will change but please just stay sweet, stay kind and stay you.

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