Those nights that seemed to never end. Rocking, feeding, changing, cuddling, standing, swaying, walking, crying, screaming… both him and I. I remember the fake smiles I gave when the camera came out. I desperately wanted to be happy, but it felt like such an effort. I remember telling everyone I was okay with having a c-section in the end, but I wasn’t. I remember them saying how strong I was, but then, surely I should have felt it? I remember my aching back and neck, and my feet, why was my body always so sore? I remember scrolling through Instagram thinking “how has everyone else got this motherhood thing down and I don’t?” I remember that warning label on the formula bottle, like I needed another thing to feel guilty about. I remember my first “girls night out”… I couldn’t wait to get back home to make sure my baby was still alive. I remember these things, along with the other things that I only remember now.
I remember the very first photo I ever took of him, all cuddled up in that hospital blanket. I remember the first time my Mother held him, she was such a natural. I remember the first time my sister came round and she took him from me and let me sleep for hours, bliss. I remember the first time he smiled at me, ridiculously cute. I remember the way he used to look up at me when I fed him, those big brown eyes, staring up at me, his whole world. I remember the first time we fed him a lemon, funniest thing ever! I remember the walks on the beach in his carrier, when I could still hold him with ease, cuddled up against my body, nothing mattered except that moment in time. I remember when he sat up, crawled, rolled over, through a ball, said his first word and eventually, took his first step. I remember so much beauty from those months, which have now turned into years, yet when I was there, I struggled to see it.
People always say that us Moms forget, but I don’t think we do. The heart remembers, the really bad times, and thankfully, the really good times too, even if we can’t see them in the moment, the heart will remember (and of course your camera, so take lots of photos!)