separation

I’ve been waiting until I had the courage, to dive into a dark place and explain what has happened to me… to then have the strength to leap back out of it and carry on living out my new chapter. I still don’t know how I’m going to do. I feel like I’ve lost my voice. Like writers block, except I’ve almost got too many words to make sense of. Too much to say. Too many feelings. Too much happiness. Too much rage. Too much growth. Too much sadness. Too much fear. Too much freedom. Too much of myself back. Too much fire in my soul. Too many questions. Too much sass to filter any of it. Too many things that I still don’t understand. Too many things that I do…but wish I didn’t some days… perhaps?!

My life changed. Suddenly.

One minute, my beautiful family and I were skiing in The French Alps as a family of five and the next…like literally a month later, my ten year relationship and almost seven year marriage was over. Done. And I was being treated like none of it was real. Like none of what we had together was important. Like none of it was special. Like none of it made the world go round. Like none of it mattered. I was told it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. We weren’t enough.

We have three children. He watched me grow them. He watched me beat myself up. He watched me find it hard. He watched me put myself last. He watched me bring them into the world. And I think this is where I can feel the tears burning me from behind my eyes. This is where I get most angry. This is where I feel like I want to scream, so loud, to frighten the tears away… because I don’t want them to fall fast down my cheeks… not because of him. I cried enough when it first happened and I’ve really come so far. My life is happy. I am genuinely happy. Better than I thought I ever would be again. And then I think about this part. And it fuels a rage so fierce, I scare myself a little.

I gave him three beautiful, funny, intelligent, spirited children. I brought them into this world. He was present in those late night conversations about how we wanted to raise them. About the life we wanted to give them. About how they deserved everything. He listened to me and held me as I sobbed about being a working mama, about how guilty I felt about everything. About how sad I was because I missed them so much. He saw the tears flood out of my eyes because I always wanted to be more… Even when I really and truly didn’t have anything else to give. Nothing else to offer the world. I pushed and pulled myself to give them everything that I knew they deserved. I was always fighting to give them all of me, all of us… Just everything in my heart. All of the love that they would ever need. Desperately trying to give them a family and a childhood that they didn’t need to recover from. It was the most important thing to me. The thought in the back of my mind every single day, that would drive me to be my best. He was a part of something that, while it sounds exhausting… it was magic. It was the real, raw, honest, unconditional and true kind of love. The kind of love that moves mountains. The kind of love in the movies or in fairytales.

I brought our three children into the world but we, him and I, chose together to give them life. And somewhere in the haze of raising human people… He just gave up!

I guess he would say that he gave up on me. I mean, he did say that! He said it wasn’t about our children. He said he loved them. He said this wasn’t their fault in any way. It was me. He couldn’t make himself love me. He said it on my front doorstep once, in front of my neighbours and even though my response was ‘Do you think I would want you now?’… When I shut the door, went inside and realised that our children had heard the way that he had spoken to me, my heart shattered into a thousand pieces, right there and then. We all sat on the floor, in a heap and cried our eyes out. That was the day that left me broken. He had thrown too much at me, too much spite, anger. He spat words at me and looked at me with something resembling hatred. And I remember thinking, some people have beautiful eyes, beautiful hair, beautiful bodies… but the most beautiful thing about me is my heart and I couldn’t believe that the person that I had spent the last ten years loving, thought that this was what I deserved. I couldn’t believe that he thought that I deserved to be handled so carelessly. Like it didn’t matter that he had torn me apart.

My sister had to come and cuddle me that night and let me cry. She washed up for me, wiped my ten month old baby’s hands and face after dinner and drove to Tesco to buy water wipes. I was ever so grateful… but I hated that I was so sad over someone who didn’t care.

After everything we had. Everything that we had been through. Everything that we had dreamed up together and everything that we were still planning, just days before the end. He had no respect for any of it… No respect for me… And seemingly none for himself. After all, I am raising my sons to never treat any girl or woman with disregard or disrespect. Especially the mother of their children. Yet just four months after he called time on things, he quite comfortably tells me that he is booking a holiday for him and his new girlfriend, if he can find one for a decent price. They are going to Egypt in November. Because I fucking loved hearing all about that. Twat!

Anyway, after that… I started to feel quite numb to him and his constant disappointments. The way that he was in a new relationship within weeks and the way that he distanced himself so greatly from being able to parent as a team. He became everything I hate in other people’s separation stories. For someone who is the father of my children and was once the greatest man in my eyes… He was now nothing more than a cliche. Almost just, nothing! I never wanted to think of him that way. I never wanted to see him in that light. I feel like I deserved more. I know that the kids deserved more. I made it so easy for us all to have more too, even him. I reached out and asked for it… He just couldn’t give any more of himself.

And some days, to this day… I defend him. I remind myself that we all have to own our journey. We have to change the things that don’t work for us anymore. We have to be bold and brave and tough and sometimes ruthless. We have to chase down and choose happiness.

And some days I just want to phone him to call him a c**t.

 

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The Last Days Of Pregnancy

Wow! 2017… What a year? I mean, in 2017, we completed our beautiful, crazy team and became a family of five… So it is definitely one of those years that will take some beating. It was a whirlwind though. A real knock you off of your feet, months in a bubble of loveliness, high on life, Holy shizzle kind of whirlwind. It started off feeling difficult. Well actually, the first half of it was really hard. Exhausting. Overwhelming. A struggle. I’m not ashamed to admit that being and feeling constantly sick during my pregnancy, wore me out. I remember the day that I made my pregnancy announcement video. I wanted it to be so beautiful because nothing that I went through affected the love that was growing in my heart for my baby. I felt like the luckiest person in the whole wide world and I couldn’t wait for this little life to be in my arms. But… once I started talking, the tears started to flow and it turned out to be so raw. I remember feeling so thankful that I could get everything that I was feeling out.

I have to say that as time went on, The relentless truth of feeling torn between my children was a much more excruciating pain to endure, than having hyperemesis gravidarum or the crunching, stabbing pain in my pelvis, every time I tried to walk or move. The way that my emotions fluctuated in that time were nothing less than savage. Brutal.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I felt that I was failing at everything in my world. I pushed everything to one side so that I could place my energy into being the best mama that I could possibly be at the time. Looking back, I guess I did okay. Noah and Ellenah weren’t late for school once in that time and they always handed in their homework done and on time. They receive countless praise for being hardworking, enthusiastic and kind from their teachers and I almost felt validated every time that they were awarded ‘Pupil / Reader / Most Improved Speller of the week or term’ certificates. I was determined not to fail them. I couldn’t let myself let them down. That focus was what kept me keeping on most days.

As Noah Turns Eight

My confidence took a knock as I struggled to walk, run and play with my children. I hate to say out loud that I suffered… because I know that in comparison to many around the world, I do not know the true definition of the word… but to me, every day hurt me. Every day started and ended, alone in my bathroom, a little heap on the cold floor, searching for strength to push past the restrictions of my tired, broken body. Pelvic Girdle Pain was truly horrific and I have the deepest sympathy and empathy for anyone trying to manoeuvre around life while struggling with the condition.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

My third pregnancy, was hard and long.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I mean, like most things though, there were some beautiful, magical moments along the way. Little glimmers of hope. Tiny bursts of magic. Finding out the gender of baby number three was kind of wonderful and the day that we filmed our gender reveal was one of the moments in life when I felt so beautiful. I was so proud to be carrying another beautiful boy in my body. It’s the one day that I felt like I had that pregnancy glow that people talk about. I felt like I was radiating all of the love that I was feeling from within.

More beautiful than how I felt that day though, was how excited Noah and Ellenah were about have a new baby to love. I watched them change a lot as the days went by. They talked about how they would love him, care for him and keep him safe. They bickered over who would change nappies and feed him in his highchair first. They both wanted to be the one to share a bedroom with him. Noah made a plan to put wax in his hair before school when he is old enough and to teach him to ride his bike without stabilisers. Ellenah spent her days drawing pictures of our little baby in my tummy and pictures of her holding hands with him. She was excited to choose his clothes one day and to read him bedtime stories. They both opened up their world to this new human who they already loved so fiercely and they invited him in with open arms. They made space for him and couldn’t wait to meet him. The involved him in every decision and game in the months leading up to his arrival. They wanted to know who he would sit next to at the dining table and came up with an agreement between them as to who he would sit next to, so things would be fair.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

So in the early hours of Tuesday the 4th of July, we were all ready and excited for baby Dexter to make his appearance in this world. To begin making his mark. He was born in the tiny bathroom of our home while Noah and Ellenah slept soundly in the room next door. His birth was empowering, intense and beautiful. It was the most perfect labour and the one that I wished so hard for. I gave myself permission to dream for it and to want it, after all that I had been through. I felt in control and I know this sounds mad, but I was so in tune with my baby that I felt like we were talking to each other, every step of the way.

And then he was here. My beautiful, sweet Dexi with his big blue eyes and his pure and innocent soul. And then nothing else mattered. I felt the struggle evaporate, like it was all just a dream. All I could think of in that moment was love and my family of five. I imagined our adventures, our new normal and all of the fun that we would have over the next year and beyond. Without hesitation, I lost myself in our baby bubble and our new family dynamics. It was everything that I could ever want. This was us. Our lives now. I remember feeling so calm, content and peaceful. Everything felt like it was meant to be like this. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing that you are on exactly the right path.

Baby Dexter's Birth Day

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Life as a family of five, I’m pleased to say, came quite easily to all of us. Loving every second, with all of us falling in love with each other more very day.

We took Dexi for his first trip out when he was just four days old, to a wildlife park and it felt good jumping feet first into making new memories. I still to this day can’t believe how alert he was, he was already taking in so much.

And then, at four weeks… We took him camping for the first time! Camping plays a big role in our family life. We adore our time living the simple life, being outside and dreaming by the fire. Noah and Ellenah are their most free when we have set up camp for a few days and make a home from very little. We had a bit of a shock a few days into this camping trip though. Noah was climbing a tree with his sister and cousins and he fell around six feet, plummeting to the ground. He landed on both hands as he tried to stop himself from falling but the impact caused his head to hit the earth with brutal force. I can still remember his Uncle running with him, in a little heap in his arms towards me and the blood in my body turning cold. I remember everyone crowding around him and because I was holding Dexter, I couldn’t get to him. Everyone was afraid because his stare was so vacant. He was so pale and his lips had turned blue. His body was rigid and he couldn’t move, stand or…anything. I remember screaming, with a shrill voice that I wouldn’t recall as my own, ‘GIVE ME MY SON!’… and I threw myself at his feet. I was terrified inside… so terrified. I went into auto pilot… trying to figure out how bad things were… needing my baby boy to be okay. I stroked his face and spoke to him so calmly, desperate for him to respond to me. I needed so much to hear his voice, I needed him to say something, anything. I needed hope, that my darling boy was going to be okay. For a moment there, I just didn’t know and it was one of the worst moments of my life.

His mouth was full of mud, from when he hit the ground so we tried to remove it and I recall him looking like he was going to be sick. I held water to his lips, begging him to sip. Begging him to drink. I was desperate for him to respond. Desperate for him to come back to me.

He finally started to come around and when he did, I saw fear in his whole face. He was so afraid and he was beginning to panic.

I acted so calm.

I held his beautiful head against my chest, careful not to hurt him. I asked him to listen to my heartbeat and to breathe with me. He kept trying to fall asleep and every time he did, I looked him in the eyes and said ‘Noah, Noah… I love you… wake up… you must not go to sleep… Do you understand me????!’ and then we continued breathing together.

He broke both of his wrists that day and thankfully, because I prayed with everything I possibly had within me… He is fine now.

Aside from the massive low that saw Noah properly hurt himself for the first time, all of the mama guilt that goes with it and wanting to turn back time so that I could change it… My three beautiful children spent the rest of the year, truly thriving. It feels amazing to be able to look back on them in 2017 and to feel this proud. Obviously a new baby in the family is big news, a big deal but honestly… It made me fall in love with Noah and Ellenah all over again. We were all in this glorious baby bubble and I had the time, while on maternity leave, to be present, observant and a part of this new chapter, right by their side. I think that is why they adjusted so well… because, I spent so much time with them one on one and loving every minute. I spent some much time letting them know how grateful I am for them, how much I appreciate them and how much I love them, every day.

Our happiness at home was having a positive effect on them both with their school work. They both soared and really shone brightly. They loved going every day, skipping through the school gates, always with beaming smiles on their faces. Always, happy!

Noah spent two nights away from home again with the Cub Scouts at the end of summer, early autumn. Again, he left me so easily (ahh my heart) and much to my disbelief, so independently. I watched as my skinny little boy, dragged and carried his bags over the swampy ground, saturated with rain. I watched as he set up his tent with his friends. I tried to help but he wouldn’t let me so much. I tried to steal a kiss goodbye when we left him but he pecked me on the cheek and ran off, laughing. I cried a bit, in the car on the way home. I wasn’t sad! It was still a high point of the year. Seeing how much my son, my first born…. Is capable of without me. Seeing how much the one who made me a mama, was growing up in front of my very eyes.

Noah's 8th Birthday

Ellenah participated in a Christmas dance show with her dance school in December. She did a ballet performance, a tap performance and she danced like an angel. I felt so proud of how she managed to keep up with an intense rehearsal schedule, school and her home life without feeling a little pulled apart… but she took it all in her stride. Watching her up on stage, finding my emotional face in the audience while she danced and all while looking so confident… It was incredible. The cherry on top of a stunning year.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

Noah and Ellenah had joined the Christmas choir around this same time also and proved themselves to be true ambassadors for the school. As always, Ellenah performed beautifully and Noah was praised for his kindness when they visited a care home, to sing for the senior ladies and gentleman, needing a bit of Christmas cheer. Noah happily gave his time to some of the ladies, while they waited for the school bus and I was told that he lead the way with such confidence and ease when talking maturely with them, striking up wonderful conversations and finding ways to spread joy. He made their day and probably some of their Christmas’. Obviously I am very proud for this.

It’s great when you are a mama and you have those moments, when you realise that ‘wow, I have raised really good kids!’

Anyway, along the same lines as the choir… One day, walking home from school in the dark, they were both singing ‘Silent Night’ together. Ever so sweetly. Not too loud but enough that any passers by could hear them over the wind. As we walked past one house at the end of our road, where the loveliest woman lives, they sang the part ‘All is calm, all is bright’ and we noticed how she had stopped, still in her front garden to listen to them sing. They both smiled at her as they sang their hearts out, their little legs carrying them ahead slightly. The lady looked at me, emotionally and with her hand pulled up to her heart, she told me that my lovely children had made her day and that they had just made her so happy. And with that, she said ‘Merry Christmas’ and blew them a kiss.

Aside from the odd grumble here, there but very rare… 2017 was oh so good to me. Like most new mama’s do, I lost a little of my personal confidence along the way. Triggered by losing myself a little, not having much in the way of sleep, throwing my hair in a bun a lot and feeling like I had lost my style and identity. I mean, I accepted this very quickly, forgave myself for it and tried to remind myself that life, myself and motherhood is not and will not be like this forever. I reminded myself to embrace the chapter and the blank canvas that comes with having a baby. The new beginnings and the chance to change and grow as we are all meant to.

I then steered my energy into being the best mama that I could be and into the breastfeeding journey that I had hoped for with baby Dexi. And just like that, any bad thoughts, any unkind ones that I would direct at myself… I turned them into something great.

I’m pleased to say that as much as I suspect that our breastfeeding journey may be changing soon…because my baby is so curious about food and EVERYTHING else… At almost six months, we are still in our little bubble of feeding time, comfort, sleepiness and all of the lovely cuddles. I feel so blessed that I get to have this and anything that happens beyond this point, will be because of Dexter’s needs. My milk supply hasn’t dried up. My baby isn’t hungry. My baby doesn’t need more from me. And I am proud of myself for not only trying this journey again after things not working out two times before… but for persevering with the demands from a hungry baby boy… and for finally being able to do it. This was a dream come true for me this year.

So much happened in 2017. It was truly my happy mess. My hopelessly devoted chaos and if the year 2018 is anything like the one that sparkled before it, I will be incredibly blessed and humbled by it. I know one thing, I’m excited to see what comes next… What the twists and turns of life have in store for me and mine. Saying that, as long as we have love, laughter, patience, respect, humour, kindness… but most importantly, each other… Then I couldn’t want for much more. Could I?

With Love,

Ria x

four months with baby dexi

 

 

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As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

Dear Ellenah, on the eve of your sixth birthday,

These letters are so much more than simply saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to you. To my best girl in the whole world. This is where I get to reflect on the past year, all of the changing you have done… All of the growing. All that we have been through together. All of the wonderful ways that you have become… You… As the most beautiful, clever, funny, charismatic, almost six year old ever.

There are absolutely millions of things that I could say about you from this past year… You have surprised me endlessly and shone so brightly… As you always do.

The year that you were five started so subtly, so calmly…

I was growing your baby brother, Dexter in my tummy and I didn’t find that the easiest time. Our days were spent getting from A to B, squeezing in the fun when I could manage it. I watched you a lot in those months. I watching you ever so closely. I was looking for signs that you resented our temporary pace. Observing your happiness… ready to pounce if it ever faltered from the smiley, energetic, slightly loopy little hurricane that you usually are. I’m pleased to say that you didn’t change and looking upon you in those difficult days made me feel such hope, happiness and strength… I will always be grateful that I was blessed with a little girl who is as cool as you are. Your smile is a healer sweetheart! As if by magic, you instantly make me feel better.

I noticed a lot about you over those months. I saw your imagination flourish as you played the most beautiful games with the tiny little figures that you had collected over time. You played alone quite often, content with your own company. You easily shut out the noise and lost yourself for hours in your world of make believe.

I saw you dance, even when I could not hear any music. I watched you leap, twirl and tell a story with your moves. I watched you twist, contract and lose yourself in the steps that you improvised so naturally. I smiled as you commanded your space to ‘Be You’. I held onto my beating, emotional heart as you did this. I saw a version of myself from years and years ago, except you are more expressive, confident and brave than I was back then. Probably more so than I am, even now. And I want this for you… To be better, to shine brighter… Than I ever could.

You made up songs too. Lots of sweet melodies. And the lyrics would always reflect your feelings…or just what happened in your day. Towards the end of the year, you learned a little something’ about rhyming at school and that became a lot of fun for you. Whatever the words though, the tune would always be bright, cheery, happy… Like you. Despite the fact that your songs were long, they would always make me still. They still do.

You learned to run even faster this year. People have commented in the years before, how fast and how far your body could take you and I would always nod and say ‘Yep, she never needs to stop!’ but in the year that you were five, You got extra speedy. Like Dash from The Incredibles. And I felt like I had to be even more like Elastigirl… always needing longer, quicker, more bendy arms to keep you safe. You won the running race at sports day. You left your classmates far behind. You made it look so easy and I will always remember your face that day, looking behind you, wondering where everybody was. It was amazing. It feels amazing… to have a healthy daughter, who loves to run.

On the 4th July, you became a big sister to baby Dexter. You finally got to hold your little brother, to look at him and into the eyes of this little person who you had already loved so fiercely in the months before. You crept in to meet him on the day that he was born and emotion washed over you, so intensely. You cried with joy as you smiled at him and you have helped me to keep him happy and safe ever since. Not a day has gone by when it seemed like the ‘novelty’ has worn off. You have done everything in your heart to make him happy. You have made me so proud of you. You handed over the ‘baby of the family’ badge with such ease and are practically bursting with love from within. You are a perfect big sister and it makes me so happy to know that your brothers have you in their lives. This strong-minded, spirited girl with the sweetest soul. We are all so lucky that you are ours.

You started Year One at school in 2017. Polar Bears class… With a teacher who resembles and teaches just like Miss Honey from Matilda. A teacher who thinks that you are wonderful too. She sees how you sparkle, just like the rest of us. In September, you were a little unsure of yourself and maybe doubted yourself a little too often. It is a trait that comes with being a perfectionist, which you are. You like everything just so, aren’t great with sudden change and you prefer your work to be neat and lovely… even if it means that you don’t end up doing as much. In September, you found reading and writing such a challenge. You were scared of getting anything wrong… Because one thing that never changes about you my darling, you hate to be wrong. By the time December rolled around though, you were flying. You had picked up so much confidence and everything seemed to click in to place so beautifully. Now you are thriving and have fallen in love with reading and story-telling. A girl after my own heart.

You were given the role of the wise lady in the Christmas nativity play too and this was something that you were very proud of. It still breaks my heart to know that I wasn’t there to watch you. Next year, I will try my hardest to get tickets for more than one performance, but this year, I dreamed that I would attend with Daddy and we would watch you for the first time together. Noah was poorly though andhad been sent home from school about thirty minutes before your show was due to start. He asked me to stay with him and even though it was the right thing to do… It was hard to watch Daddy get in the car and drive to watch you on his own. I cried the whole time that he was gone and only managed to pull myself together, seconds before you walked through the door. I asked Daddy to record your parts though and I watched them with you when you got home. You were fantastic… Such a star. It suits you up on stage!

Talking of the stage. You took part in your first dance show this year. It was at the beginning of December and you performed a ballet and a tap number. For ballet you danced to Winter Wonderland and wore a beautiful white tutu with a baby blue shrug. For tap, you were dressed as a little snowman. Olaf from Frozen actually because you danced to ‘In Summer’, a song from the movie. You looked so beautiful. You danced like an angel. It really was a big deal. You were so brave for dancing in front of so many people, with lots of lights blazing on to you and all while being so little still. You loved it that I let you take in my subtle pink blusher and a nude lipstick in your dance bag. Your face was beaming when you told me that you had shared them with the other girls when you were ‘getting ready’. It threw me ahead in time to when you will get ready to ‘go out’ with your friends in quite a few years time. I can imagine you and your girlfriends taking over our bathroom, music blaring and you stealing my nice make-up, the stuff for special occasions. I’ll pretend I don’t know what you are doing and giggle to myself as you walk out of the door, to have fun and to live your best life with abandon.

You achieved so much in the year that you were five baby girl and you should be so proud of yourself. I am… So proud of you. I could almost pop some days, when you are doing these amazing, incredible things for someone so tiny. I feel like that in our every day’s too Ellenah. When I see how kind, determined, courageous and lovely you are. When I see you smile sweetly with a glint of fire in your eyes. You are bold and you care… about people, the world, life.

You inspire me. All of the time. When I need to find courage and strength, I think of you, who you are… what you would do. And it’s almost as if I can feel the fire from your eyes, ignite a flame in my gut.

So you deserve this birthday, to be wonderful and everything that you could ever dream of. You deserve for everyone who loves you, to gather around you and celebrate the beautiful human that you are.

Happy Sixth Birthday My Little Bella-Rina,

I love you more than words could ever do justice!

From, Mama x

 

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Four Months With Baby Dexifour months with baby dexi Four Months With Baby Dexifour months with baby dexiFour Months With Baby Dexi Four Months With Baby Dexifour months with baby dexiFour Months With Baby DexiDear Dexter,

I have had the most beautiful month with you, My Sweetheart. For the first time since you were born, time doesn’t seem to matter at all. I can only assume it went fast, as all months do when you are watching your children grow up… but we have all been lost in it somewhere, in the days that made you four months old. Before now, you have been our baby boy. You have cooed, smiled, laughed and all of it has been oh so sweetly. You have shown such love for us, we who love you the most of all. We have fallen in love with your sweet baby days and everything that has come with it. Noah and Ellenah have held you in their arms, felt the weight of your long, squishy thighed body. Daddy has talked with you, softly and let your laughing eyes steal pieces of his heart. I have stroked your beautiful face, your soft, flawless skin until you have fallen asleep. I’ve felt your heavy breath and shallow but gruff snore on my face, when you have slept in the nook of my neck. I have stayed with you, in the darkness as the ‘O’Clocks’ that I had long forgotten actually exist in the night, pass us by and you want to do nothing but look into my eyes. I have been there waiting for sunrise with you. Doing everything that I can to make you happy. Everything to prevent a tear or sad thought. Everything to give you a happy start in your happy life.

But… Somewhere in your fourth month, things changed. I started to catch glimpses of you, as much more than ‘our baby boy’. You have been trying on ‘Dexter James’ for size. Dexter with your weird and wonderful ways. Your little but big personality traits. Your opinions. Your thoughts. Your likes and dislikes. Your expressions. It has been so exciting to meet this part of you. It’s going to be so much fun getting to know this side of you.

I thought that seeing you change so much would make me sad. And you know, it does… because you are my last baby and this is the last time that I will have this chapter again… but, you are so delicious and eager to figure this world out and for that reason, I’m happy for you and excited for you. I’m in love with the feeling in my heart, that reminds me that I get to see the world through your eyes with you and the reminder that I have the privilege to introduce you to your life.

Dexi, I love it so much when you fall in love with things. Your face lights up, full of pure joy. When I read you ‘The Gruffalo’ in a silly voice, sing ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’, giving my all to the actions and when we watch Thomas The Tank Engine together… you coo loudly, you giggle and you become wide eyed and coy. You get so excited.

My darling, you love playing with our hands, stroking our arms and I can tell that you feel great comfort in stroking our skin as you pull our arms into and around you. You are still as affectionate as ever. Still wanting to be protected, safe and feeling secure constantly.

You suddenly can’t wait to join in with Noah and Ellenah. You watch them play with anticipation and love in your eyes. I feel like sometimes, I can see you thinking… almost as if you are dreaming of the day when not too far from now, you will be able to play with them. I can see how much you already admire them both. You follow them with your eyes, smile when they so much as glance in your direction and you are interested in everything that is theirs. Everything that they will always give to you willingly, if you have made even the smallest sound about wanting it. Dexter, I just know that they would do anything for you, anything in this world to make you happy. They are dreaming of that day, not too far from now, when you can play with them too.

They made you a little tent the other day. You were playing on your play mat and they hung your favourite swaddle muslin over the top. You were delighted. They watched you like hawks, so no danger or harm could ever come to you. They lay inside with you, looking up together at your reflections in the mirror. You smiled, laughed and cuddled. You were so happy.

I was so happy. Looking upon my three beautiful babies, bonding and making memories… It made my heart ever so warm and complete. In that moment, I wondered if things could ever be better than this. I remember taking a deep breath and thinking, ‘Wow, this is us!’ … and it was quite a special moment in time.

You are desperately trying to move around now Sweetpea. I don’t know if it is the desperation to keep up with your siblings or because you are busy by nature… but I like to think that it is because you have an adventurous heart. You rolled for the first time this month. On the 23rd of October. Just three and a half months old. You rolled from your front to your back. If you had enough upper body strength, you would have crawled off by now too. You have been lifting your legs, trying to shift them forward from underneath you for a while too… but your body goes nowhere. Yay, I have a little longer before we celebrate that milestone. Yay because I can continue to tickle you in the folds of your neck to hear that dirty belly laugh, without you being able to crawl away.

You look lovely in Autumn Dexi, your first Autumn. We have wrapped you up a little warmer lately, to keep you from getting a chill. It’s funny. I’ve always loved this season but I feel like I forgot to notice things, how my world changes around me. The colours, the smells…Just everything. And then, I wanted you to see it. So I had to find it to show you. Show you how the leaves change colour and texture, how the mornings feel cooler and even the sound of the rain dancing over your rain cover while we are out walking. It’s like I get to see it all, for the first time again.

We visited a Pumpkin Patch too sweetheart. A first for us all. It was a beautiful day and the sun shone on us. I wore you around the muddy field, holding you close as your body fell heavy and you dozed off to sleep. You were content, peaceful. Noah pushed the wheelbarrow and Ellenah found our pumpkin friends. She chose you one too. It was fun and we smiled a lot. I sat with you on a hay bale while I drank tea from a polystyrene cup and ate a homemade marshmallow and rice crispy cake from a van when we were finished. Sun beams washed over us and I remember stroking your back, closing my eyes with my face slanted to the sky and feeling so happy.

It was Halloween this month too. I dressed you as a little pumpkin and took you trick or treating with Noah and Ellenah. Again, it was the first time that we had been. I didn’t used to understand why it was fun. Knocking on peoples doors, hoping for sweeties. I do now. I used to be a nervous Mama I think. A little shy perhaps. Wanting to keep my bubble a little smaller. Trying to organise and control the fun, maybe. But I’ve realised that I don’t want you, Noah and Ellenah to think small, limited or restricted. I want you to jump in and make every day great. So I am changing. You are changing me. All three of you are making me in to the kind of Mum that I dreamed that I could become one day. You deserve a Mummy who is confident, fun and free. Oh darling, we are going to have the most fun, you’ll see. I’m going to have to make life interesting really. You are into everything. Curious and a tiny bit nosey.

One thing in particular that captures you is food. You watch us all eat, you chew at our hands, fingers and your own and you make little bite and chewing motions while sitting with us at the dinner table. We let you hold a banana this month to see what you would do with it. I think you liked the idea of it. You spat out every bit but you did NOT want us to take it away either. I know one thing, you made a lot of mess but you knew exactly what to do with it. I suspect that weaning is going to be a lot of fun with you…but that is another chapter for another month. We are still breastfeeding right now and we both love it so much. All the while you will let me feed you on my own, i’m all yours. You will never know how much this breastfeeding journey has meant to me. What this bonding time has done for my heart and soul. I have loved and continue to love every minute. We have tried to introduce a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime lately because I am due to leave you for a few hours in the evening in November… I’m trying to prepare for leaving you properly for the first time. I won’t be close by. But… you absolutely hate it and just want to be with mama. I’ll let you in on a secret baby boy… I hate it too.

Just like every month, my little hair pulling beast… You have surprised me endlessly. My love for you has overwhelmed me and I think my heart grew again to make extra room for you, your brother and your sister. Just like every month, I feel so grateful, to have the three of you.

Seriously Dexi, this is us. Incredible, isn’t it?

I love you,

From, Mama x

p.s. I’ve made another video for you… So that I can remember you in the month that you were four months old x

 

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Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Three Months With Baby Dexi

To my darling, Dexi

You are different. You’ve truly changed. You’ve grown so fast and so much. All in just a month. Another month. How has another month been and gone? Why do we keep finding ourselves here, like this. You, happily spending your days, fully throwing yourself into this world and diving straight into your life. You are on a journey to learn, grow and find yourself. In your very first chapter. Me, constantly looking at you, loving you, wanting to hold you, dedicating myself to making sure you are happy, safe and free to be you. My first chapter was a long time ago. The chapter that I am in is the ‘raising my family and being the best mama that I can possibly be’ chapter. But, whatever. We keep finding ourselves here. You, thriving in the moments that come and go. Me, holding onto the moments as tightly as I can, cherishing them and wanting to rest in them, to prepare myself for the one’s to follow. You, wanting to see what you can do, what you are capable of. Me, wanting to slow time down, wanting to control it, not ready for it to take the most beautiful moments and times that I have had with you, and make them the past.

When Mama and Papa planned to bring a third baby into the world, I knew that I wanted to keep you, in the baby days for as long as I could get away with. And sweetheart, never think that I am disappointed in how quickly you are already leaving them behind, in your obvious wish to catch up and keep up with your big brother and big sister… It’s just bittersweet. This past month, I’ve seen you start to move. I’ve seen you shimmy along the floor like a little caterpillar on your back. I’ve seen you shuffle to get somewhere else, from where I placed you gently and lovingly on your play mat. I’ve seen you do it over and over and I feel so proud of you. I will feel proud of you, for every milestone you reach throughout your life, no matter how big or how small. But I will always miss you, as my newborn baby, those first days and weeks when it was just me, only me that you wanted or needed. Now it has started, now you will always be curious, determined and adventurous… which is exactly what I want for you too.

You are now interested in the bold, bright and happy looking baby toys that surround you each day. You reach for them, stare at them, shuffle towards them. You have an opinion on them. See, I told you that you are changing. You used to care about milk and cuddles only. It seems that now, you are broadening your horizons. It makes my heart happy that you have fallen in love with the soft, leggy caterpillar that Noah and then Ellenah played with as babies though, that is a beautiful thought for mama to hold on to. And obviously, I will never throw it away and will treasure it until the end of time. He has charmed you with his simple, happy looking face. Since day one, he has gone by the name of Pillar Pillar, although I can’t remember why.

You still adore being spoken to, included in conversations and quite recently, you have started to enjoy it when we read to you. It doesn’t matter what it is. I could read you a menu or food packaging, and you would be engaged and excited to listen to more. Obviously you prefer books, the bright, baby kind. The ones with different textures are best. You find it wonderful when I take your hand and move it across the furry, crinkly, bumpy pictures and it makes you smile and squeal with happiness. This is one of the things that I have embraced and enjoyed most about you growing so quickly. Your mama is a complete book lover. I desperately want that for you too. So as you grow, you can lose yourself in your imagination and fall into that happy place that reading takes you to. Loving books is and will be great for you. Fingers crossed you will always love story time as much.

I know that I started this letter off by sounding quite emotional but Sweetheart, we have had so much fun together this month. You are so delicious. So happy, playful and loving. You are absolutely a bundle of joy and you are very quickly becoming my little sidekick. You laugh hard when I pretend to eat your feet, you wiggle as I make noises that sound like I’m gobbling them up. You feel calm and peaceful when I pretend to use them as a phone though, your arms drop heavily, up by the sides of your head and you lay so still, your big eyes fixated into mine. We pretend to call Papa, Noah and Ellenah and you take it all in. listening intently to the conversations that I have into the ball of your foot.

Talking of your tootsies. You have found your toes. You pull your legs up to your head by pulling your feet up and you move them around, rocking your body, very gently from side to side. It’s fascinating to watch you discover yourself as a human. Watching you realise that you are you.

You are so good with your hands, little one. You are way ahead of yourself with your pincher motion. The way that you can grab and hold onto the hanging toys from your play matt surprises me every time. I’m always grabbing anyone nearby in excitement, like ‘Look at Dexi, isn’t he clever?’. You concentrate so hard to get the exact toys in your hands that you want. You are so incredibly focussed for your age and you hardly show frustration. You have shown such patience, which is definitely not a trait that you share with me or your Papa. So it is just glorious to see. You make me want to try harder when it comes to my own patience, rather than at times being high maintenance, a little demanding, perhaps. You completely inspire me.

You have been such a delight during these past three months, that I decided to take you to a few baby groups. I thought that we would try them on for size after quite a daunting experience when Noah was a baby. You just fit right in. You were completely unfazed and perfectly happy to be with other children. You made it so easy for me, so enjoyable. Your favourite group so far was Rhyme Time at our local library. The session is only half an hour and you love to hear people sing. Around you and to you. It is a lovely group that encourages a lot of interaction so by the end of it, you are always ready to nap. In a good way. Not because you were bored. I like that it is in the library too. As you get bigger, we will start to borrow books that you choose… so it feels like it works. I’m hoping that you may make some little friends too. That would be ever so sweet.

You must make me feel really brave when I think about it baby boy, because this month we have taken you on your first train ride and for an event at the YouTube Space in London… All in one day. You didn’t mind the train until it became very busy. We went early so it was full of commuters who piled on at each stop. It became a bit too much for the last part and you basically screamed for the last ten minutes of the journey. It was tough… but everyone was really nice and said that the train makes them feel like that too. I agreed. Other than that, you didn’t falter. Even through a whole day of presentations, we happily bopped you at the back of the room and you were as good as gold. So warm, calm and happy. You were charming and the ladies loved you. You were and are a complete angel.

You are a darling even when you aren’t feeling your best, You battled your first little cold that came and went in a day and a half ( thank God that we are breastfeeding!) and even when you were so tired from very little sleep, you managed to smile and coo until your heart’s content. You really are a little drop of sunshine. My shining light. I say this even after we had to succumb to Peppa Pig on the iPad one time, in the very early hours of the morning to settle you, when you were struggling to understand why you felt so crummy. I still think that warmth radiates from your beautiful, little soul.

You don’t make anyone work for their smiles anymore really, do you beautiful boy? Your smiles and laughter explode out of you, too big for you to keep inside. They are much bigger than you. I truly think you find the happiness in everything. Always finding the thing to smile about. You’re hardly ever sad. Do you know, you are just so easy to love?

Three months has been so good to you Dexi. And us. I ask, why do we keep finding ourselves here… but everything really is as it should be. And despite what I say, you are still my baby. The little baby who I rock in my arms, who clings to me tightly when he needs comfort, who feels better when I sing the same song from when he was just hours old, who sucks his thumb when he is falling asleep, who lets me stroke his soft hair, who saves his most special gummy smiles for his mama, who still stares deeply in to my eyes like he is looking into my heart… My baby boy, who I love more and more each day. With a love so fierce, a love so big… A love so profound that the thought of existing without it, makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

Thank you for another beautiful month Dexter James,

I love you, so much

From, Mama x

p.s. I have made another little video for you, to remember your third month by. I hope you like it as much as I loved making it x

 

 

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