As a morning person, I started work very early and as with many demanding careers, often finished late. Commuting meant that more often than not I would leave for work and return home in the dark. Consequently the beautiful Essex village where I live was often only something I enjoyed at weekends.
I would consider our day to day life somewhat unique and hugely beneficial to us as a family, as my husband runs his own business and is mainly based at his office adjacent to our family home. Being a ‘hands on’ Dad this means we spend a great deal of time altogether. I must be honest – every bath time, lunch time and milestone Siena reaches that we share together are truly savoured, we are blessed and I am grateful for this each and every day.
David and I have always believed in a ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy, and consequently have always rewarded ourselves with the things in our life we enjoy, a Wagamuma’s and a sunny holiday being our favourites! Adding a baby into this would indeed be interesting. We have always been determined to continue our full and fun packed lifestyle and introduce our baby to all the things we love to do. As a couple we really did not understand our friends who would leave early as their baby had to be in bed by 8pm – we were not going to be ruled by our baby’s routine……looking back, I have to say we were naïve. However, I sincerely hope we have struck a healthy balance in what we enjoy and our baby’s needs, routine being the biggest one. I guess this is something you will find out over the course of my blog and you can decide for yourself! I know that some of our decisions have already raised eyebrows and got a response of ‘oh really?’ I must confess, in many ways this pleases me as I know we haven’t become too stuffy and sensible just yet!!
I knew that I wanted to have a baby when I was not more than a babe myself and in many ways wish I was able to start my family sooner. I picked up the label of ‘career girl’ along the way, but always wanted to shout back– “No – this is not true!” Labels, don’t you just love them? I seem to have been given many in my life and love shattering people’s images – just when then think they have you sussed! My career always required me to be highly organised and very logical. And so another label I was given was ‘head mistress’. People thought I would schedule my baby’s routine as I did the rest of my life and try to bring up my baby in a clinically clean environment. Once again, I even surprised myself, and although I am a firm believer in routine, I allowed Siena to find her own way and set her own routine which needed little if any tweaking to fit into our every day lives. I have spoken to mother’s who would regimentally wake their babies every 4 hours for feeding – even setting alarms of their phones. As I chose to breastfeed, I on the other hand did not worry about how many ounces Siena drank and how often she fed or slept and very quickly she naturally fell into a regular cycle, healthily putting on weight and knowing the difference between day time and night time. As for the clinically clean environment, well that’s another story!
As we know, the path to true love is never easy and so I didn’t meet my Prince until I was 27 (so thankful that I did), and after 6 years of our work hard play hard life, we found our true love all over again in Siena. Aged 33, this put me very nearly into the ‘high risk’ category during my pregnancy. Am I the only one to be shocked by this? To me a wonderful brand new chapter was just beginning and immediately I was nearly given another label which simply said ‘old mum’! Thankfully this is something I have not lived up to.
Although having always known I wanted children, to be granted this blessing within a wonderful loving relationship – for some reason I still couldn’t actually imagine having a baby. My belly grew and grew, and just when you think you are so close to your due date and you can’t get any bigger, yep – you grow some more! I kept asking myself “So what exactly do you think is in here?” Even after all the scans I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that the most wonderful, life long dream – quite simply the miracle of creating life was actually going to happen to me!! Once Siena was born and I held her in the birthing pool, with her eyes wide open looking straight up at me I could understand how something so amazing was until then so hard to comprehend.
As I know Mums and Dads will understand what I am saying, those expecting their babies have this joy to come. Siena was a little face I had never seen before and yet so familiar. She had a smell on her skin that pulled me close – like I couldn’t get enough of it. We simply did not want to let her go, not even for a moment and a minute not looking at her was a minute wasted. We were all now connected, bonded, in a way that would never leave us. I believe there are truly no words in our vocabulary to be able to express or explain this feeling.
Not long after Siena was born I stumbled across an article about something called Joeng which I found so fascinating I would like to share it with you: Jeong is a Korean culture (I choose the word culture rather than feeling because it is so much more). It has been described as a feeling of affection or attachment. Such a deep connection with something to the point that it is a part of you, and it is inseparable from you. I had never heard of Joeng before I had Siena, and even if I had, I don’t think I would have understood it. This is something I feel I have for her and I know parents everywhere have it too, but like me they didn’t have the words to describe it.
So, welcome to my world, always a rollercoaster; loving, challenging, hard working, caring, resourceful, strong, soft, kind, inventive………mothers – all of the above and so much more! Exploring and discovering new things about our babies and ourselves everyday, I hope you enjoy the journey with me….