I think I was sort of in denial about Harry turning 1. I knew it was coming and I threw myself into party preparations to distract myself but I think I was so busy focussing on the party, I managed to hide in my denial for a little longer than necessary until the day before his party when I actually realised what it was all for.
I was making up tissue paper pom poms and I was thinking back to all the ups and downs over the last 12 months – the difficult labour, the colic, the reflux, the teething. Then I thought about the amazing things he had done – crawling, standing, playing, trying to walk, trying to talk (it’s forever “Dada”) It was only then that I really realised we had reached the 12 month milestone.
Harry wasn’t the easiest baby, I think a lot of our friends and family felt sorry for us as he just cried so much but honestly, we were (and still are) just grateful to have him. Yes the sleepless nights and teething pains are tough going and the first part whizzed by in a blur as we prayed to reach 12 weeks when colic would just magically disappear! But really it has been wonderful, especially the last 6 months which have been amazing. Harry has been achieving new things quickly and effortlessly and we are getting a picture of the little boy he is becoming.
Don’t get me wrong, the baby stage is really precious and you can never get that time back, that’s the hardest part – time just flies by in the blink of an eye. That was the stage I thought I would enjoy most – cuddling my squishy little baby and just staring at him. I did exactly that but after recovering from an EMC under general anaesthetic and Harry picking up a severe infection in hospital, the ‘baby baby’ stage wasn’t quite what I had dreamed it would be. It got so much easier though and once we mastered feeding, developed a routine and got to know each other, it became so enjoyable and absolutely exceeded my expectations of what it’s like to be a parent.
It makes me incredibly proud to get to this point and to show off our beautiful boy. And just to prove us even more right about what a big boy he is, he took his first steps the day before he officially turned 1.
My advice for anyone pregnant with their first child, or a very new parent – in our experience, it’s hard going at first BUT I promise it gets easier and more enjoyable every day. Every day your baby gets a bit more confident. Every day your baby starts to understand new things. Every day your baby becomes more content. Every day your baby understands more about sleep. Every day your baby learns and feeds from you and your energy. Every day it gets better and better.
And for those mums and dads who have reached the 12 month milestone… Congratulations – you did it! Now it’s time to enter a whole new chapter of talking, walking, independence and confidence. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!