Seven years ago I was huge, full of baby and anticipation. Just waiting for labour to begin and life to change. Days were spent folding babygro's, doing yoga, reading adventure travel books and books about horses; as I'd been told that when you have a child:
a) you'll never read a book again
b) you'll never backpack and travel again
c) and you'll certainly not feel like riding a horse again, for a very long time
I would walk to the café's in Brixton to sip coffee and wait, eager to know what my baby looked like. Time was suspended, or so it seemed, waiting for baby. I idled away the days imagining how I would feel, concentrating on the things I would miss, the freedom I would lose and the lack of self identity they said I would have. I thought about the friendships that would change, the relationships that alter and the job I could no longer do. I didn't think about the positives of having a baby because I didn't know what they were. I had heard about the love that you feel and the bond that you have, I'd heard that having children is the 'best thing that happens in your life' and I'd heard that all that love is painful sometimes. So I would sit there, amongst the hipsters and trendy's, and imagine. Stroking my bump with a glazed look in my eyes - as if I was the first person who had ever been through this monumental change.
And then she came, she swam out into the world and looked at me with large blue eyes and a wonky face; my baby was here and I had become a Mum. We looked at each other in surprise, I didn't recognise A and it took a while to get to know her. That bond that they were talking about hit me quite off-guard as I was strapping her into her car seat one day, on the way to a mother and baby group in some musty church hall. I then knew what they meant by love.
My big little girl is seven on Friday, she's a proper medium-sized child now - no longer a toddler needing help or a baby dependant on me for every need. She has her very own personality and is practising gymnastics as I write, in a lurid leotard and clashing leggings.
You were worth the wait, darling A.