Every year as the days approach my children’s birthdays, I find myself reliving where I was and what I was doing the year they were born. Particularly the 24 hours just before. My eldest boy just turned twelve. If anything, as the years pass these days seem even more special. Reliving their births and remembering how wonderful it was to be pregnant with them, adds a sentimental value to their birthday beyond celebrating their life so far.
I wake up the day before thinking ‘This day 12 years ago, I woke up for the last time before I would be changed forever and become a mother.’ I had no idea the impact the next 24 hours would have on me or how my life would change forever – my soul tied to another – who shared my body and grew from love.
How did the years move so quickly? Twelve years of mothering. Buying a house. Studying. Working.Taking trips. Having more babies. First days of school. Ferrying kids to a from sports and activities. Family meals. Endless loads of laundry. Play dates. Baby groups. Parent teacher meetings. School events. More laundry.
I look at the clock randomly and think
‘11am, this time 12 years ago I was just getting on the dart with my cup of tea to go in for my 41 week hospital check.. Rubbing my big bump. Feeling my baby kick. Wondering what he will look like’
I look at my beautiful boy and wonder again where the years have gone. He is almost as tall as me now. Yet I can still feel his tiny newborn body snuggled up to me. How it felt to kiss his soft cheeks. That gorgeous baby smell as I sniffed his tiny head with wisps of hair. The absolute joy I felt breastfeeding him. That glorious bond of mother and baby, in our own little bubble of calm.
‘3pm, I was making my way to that cafe for a smoothie. I was feeling uncomfortable. Little did I know, I was in early labour and a few hours later I would be heading back to the hospital to give birth.’
I still get hugs. Sometimes (once his friends are not around) Kisses are restricted to a peck on the cheek. The hormones are running through his body. Bouncing him from my boy to a young man. Regular melt downs. Slamming of doors. Change is happening.
‘11pm, in the car on the way into hospital. Excited to meet my baby but fearful of what was to come’
My seven year old comes bouncing in and kisses his baby sister. Before I know it, he will be at this stage. No longer jumping on me for big sloppy kisses and a massive squeeze of a hug. Enjoy this time now I remind myself. The days seem endless sometimes, but the years seem to fly by in a flash.
‘8.08am, my world shifts a gear forever. I am someones mama. This perfect, tiny, human is mine. Image of his dad of course. Surrounded by love. Filling my heart to bursting point’
As we all sit around the kitchen table singing happy birthday. My handsome boy blushes. He is embarrassed by the fuss now. I am grateful for the memories. Some hard. Some challenging for sure. Overall as I remember my experiences of motherhood, I am filled with love. It is not always perfect. Nothing is, right? But I wouldn’t change any of it. My children are my world and I love celebrating each journey into motherhood, with each individual experience – once a year.
So to all the mothers out there on your child’s birthday. Happy Birth Day memories to you too. Your strength, love and power got you through and will continue to do so as the years fly by. Take a moment to remember. Maybe every now and then you can pause and relive your experience too.