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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Dear Dexi,

It makes me want to physically cry when I say it out loud that you are two months old. It feels like it actually hurts my heart. Just a couple of days ago, we were sat together, having a cuddle… You were asleep and I was as some would say, stuck beneath you. It was one of those times that I knew I wouldn’t be able to move or even breath too deeply because it would wake you. You’ve been a light sleeper since the day that you were born. The smallest sound will instantly wake you. Most days I try… try and place you gently in your sleepyhead or your moses basket to nap for an hour a couple of times a day, like your brother and sister used to. Heck… I’ve tried laying you in the centre of our bed, on the couch, on cushions on the floor and nothing will work. Nothing will settle you enough. As soon as you are not in my arms, you know. Sometimes it feels like even if you’re sleeping on my chest or in my loving arms, if I’m even thinking of moving you… your eyes will ping open, as if you had never fallen asleep… just to prevent me from moving. So anyway, on this day, I gave in. I just let you sleep on my chest, cozy, content and fast asleep. Your tiny body was heavy and your arms relaxed, weighty over my chest and draped at my sides. I was happy in that moment. I could smell your hair, I stroked your cheeks with one thumb and held one of your hands in mine. I watched your body rise and fall with each breath and noticed how much you had grown since I sat in that exact spot with you on the day that you were born. You had changed so much. Your face was much less squidgy and your arms and legs, not so scrawny. They had a healthy layer of fat covering them now which pleased me. In that moment, I looked around our living room… At the little trail of chaos that comes with taking care of a new baby. There was a bouncy chair, a sleepyhead pod, blankets, nappies, wipes, your change bag with the contents bulging out from when I had tried to find something, baby vests, baby grows, dummies (that you wouldn’t entertain because you only liked the green one with the hedgehog on it) and it just made me smile. It’s crazy how much mess one baby who relies on you for everything can make. But, my smile fell off of my face quite quickly if i’m honest. The reality of you growing up faster and faster every day darkened my thoughts. I looked around again and the thought of our living room not looking like this one day, full with your things from being new to the world, made me sad. The thought that one day our home would be neat and tidy, it upset me. And then I realised that I need to hold on to these baby days for dear life because they go by so fast and when they are gone, I will miss them… I will miss this… I will miss you like this, just as I do your big brother and sister.

Every day I wake up and look at you laying next to me in the bed and I still can not believe that you are mine, how lucky I am… how truly wonderful you are. I consciously try and notice everything about you. Every growth, every small change, every development. I have to know everything about you.

I don’t want to forget that at six weeks, you found your hands. You held your fists in front of your face, a look of such pride sat in your eyes because you had managed to get them up and keep them there. You stared so hard at them, overwhelmed by what was supposed to happen next and I could see your eyes cross and lose focus. I watched you concentrate so hard, for about a week until you figured out that you could do more with them. You think it is all kinds of wonderful when you wave your fists around like you are about to go twelve rounds in a boxing ring. You think it’s even better when you manage to knock a hanging toy, while laying on your play matt. Your eyes follow its movement and you love the noise it makes when that happens. Your favourite little toy is Crazy Croc right now. You stare at him for a long time. You are going to love punching him in the face over the next couple of months… in the most loving way of course.

I’ve watched your smile become a slight squeal which became your first small giggle this month. You have been able to better express just how happy you are. You think it is funny when you lay on the play mat and watch yourself in the mirror above you. I remember watching you giggle for the first time when you were laying there that day. You were so fascinated by your reflection… Not that I think for one second that you understood that was what it was… but you liked your happy little face looking back at you. We’ve named it ‘Mirror Friend’. Forty minutes you stayed there, smiling and squealing for the most part. From the first day when you were born, you were a baby who didn’t like to stay in one place for too long, easily growing bored… but not on the ‘laugh day’… that was special.

You have fallen in love with so many things this month… Other things apart from your family.

At only two months old, you have already been on two camping trips and the outdoors life is so obviously in your blood. You are happiest when outside and somewhat feral. Since then, you have changed the way that you feel about a comfortable rest in your Sleepyhead, opting for a nap on a camp chair in the garden instead. The breeze on your skin soothes you and the sun dancing over your face makes you instantly at ease.

You are fascinated and in awe of other children, especially your big brother and sister. You throw smiles at other children easily, eager to join in with them soon.

You have made friends with many fixtures in our home. The lights (Light Friend), a dream-catcher (Feather Friend), Curtains (Stripe Friend) and still, your old pal… the black and silver cushion (named ‘Friend’).

I don’t ever want to forget that, even as you’ve made so many ‘friends’… You don’t like anyone or anything more than you like me right now. I am your most favourite person in the whole, wide world still. I make jokes about it being because I have the milk and you are a hungry, growing boy… but actually it isn’t just that. I was reading something a couple of days ago and the truth of it, is that you still think that we are one person, a single entity, the same being. You don’t yet understand baby boy, that you are your own human. And for right now, that is the best thing that I could have ever read. It makes me feel excited about our bond and the difference that every song I sing to you makes. It makes me feel like I am cementing our relationship as mother and son that little more, every time I massage your hands and feet, speak to you for hours, with our faces almost touching so that you can see me clearly, tickle your feet gently, rub your back and stroke your tummy. I do all of these little things because I know that you love them. You kick, smile and squeal and I love it so much because I just want you to be happy. I want you to be so happy because I love you so much. You are worth every pair of tired arms from when I’ve danced the baby bop to get you to sleep, every puffy eye from another sleepless night, every back ache from where you have fallen asleep on my chest and I have stayed in the same awkward position for hours, just so you have enough rest. I wouldn’t have things any other way.

Some days, I still feel overwhelmed by my love for you. It is so fierce.

You make it ever so easy to love you too, sweetheart. Everybody loves Dexi. You have these big, smiling eyes that tell everyone exactly who you are and what  you are feeling. As you grow, they will be a blessing and a curse because you won’t be able to hide behind them. Your eyes will tell a thousand stories. Just like mine. Your eyes smile before your mouth does and they widen piercingly when you are worried about me leaving the room or when you hear a noise that startles you.

It’s funny to me, that for a baby with so much joy in his face, how much you make people work for a smile. You don’t throw them away easily. But when you do give them up, you have the most beautiful, gummy grin in the world and then there is no stopping you. It is so wonderful and so infectious.

You are wonderful… happy, playful and sweet.

And, I don’t know what I did to deserve you. My third blessing.

I love you, unconditionally

From, Mama x

P.S. Dexi, my darling… I made another little video for you to watch when you are older. I hope you like it as much as I do. Two months old looked beautiful on you and within your second month you changed so much each day… x

 

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The First Days With Baby Dexter The First Days With Baby Dexter The First Days With Baby DexterThe First Days With Baby Dexter

The first days with Baby Dexter went by in a heartbeat. Why is it that your best moments go by so fast? I found myself throwing myself into every single second to try and absorb this precious time with every part of me. I stopped looking at my phone, I stopped knowing the time and I stopped thinking about anything other than him and my little family.

I let myself relax under the heavy cuddles of his relaxed body against my chest as he slept there. I fed him on demand and held onto both of his hands while he did. I stroked them as he gripped my thumbs for comfort. It was the sweetest thing and I hoped that it would be one of the lovely things about our breastfeeding journey that would stay, so I wouldn’t have the chance to forget it in time. I stroked his hair when he looked sleepy. His fine, dark hair with a reddish tint, and a thick tuft of it at the back of his perfect, little head.

I watched his eyes roll around when he had wind and I loved to watch his smile break across his beautiful face too. I know that it was because he needed burping… but it was like a sneak preview of his smile to come. Not that I was wishing the days away. I was perfectly happy resting in these moments. Breathing in that new baby smell. One that I would happily keep in a bottle. The best smell in the whole world.

I spent hours studying his face. Touching his pure, soft skin. I closed my eyes and traced over his eyebrows with my finger. Traced over his squidgy lips that drooped down at one side when he was asleep or relaxed. Brushed against the fair covering of baby hair covering his cheeks, knowing that one day I would look and it would be gone without me having noticed. I wanted to know him like this, with all of my senses. I wanted to keep all of the ‘Dexi being just like this’ moments, banked in my memory. I want to remember and know everything about him. I need to know exactly who he is right from the beginning. I need to so that in the moments that he loses himself as he grows… I can remind him just how special, how wonderful he is in the way that only his mother can.

Looking at him exist was the best way that I could have spent my time. I pondered over the colour of his dark blue eyes and wondered if they would stay that way or even lighten like his Papa and his big sister. I ran my nose up and down his, pausing for a while at the bottom by his cupids bow, just above his lips to feel his milky breath hit my face. I gave him eskimo kisses and kissed him on the tip of his nose, when I had a spare few seconds. I said ‘bless you’ excitedly, when he sneezed… which was often and due to his new environment but oh so sweet. I massaged his eyelids incredibly gently when he looked tired and I loved the way that one of his eyes always appeared to be spying on me from a squint, while the other was wide open, a little like Popeye. The way that his head bobbed at my chest for food made me smile too… and then it made me panic that he was too hungry because I had read something somewhere about knowing the signs, so that your baby doesn’t cry with hunger. I DID NOT want my baby to cry… or to be too hungry.

He did cry though… sometimes! In fact, he had staying power… a set of lungs on him, some would say! It was a sound that broke my heart in a second. So I desperately tried to learn which cry meant what. I tried to learn fast. The thought of him being unhappy, even for the smallest moment, hurt me. I had promised him the happiest life… and I don’t break promises! I figured out fast that he liked his feet to be held and massaged to settle him well. He liked to be cradled tightly and close to my chest… doing this as I walked, bobbing him as I went was an all time win.

The crying was something else entirely when compared to ‘The Fear’ though.

The fear that comes with giving birth to a newborn baby, a life, a human, your flesh and blood, who you would do anything for… It’s overwhelming and fierce. You just want to raise them well, have a healthy, happy baby and be a good mother. And I don’t think it matters if you have one baby, three babies or twelve… The first few days after bringing them in to the world, is really scary.

I quickly realised that co-sleeping would suit us for right now. My need to check Dexter while he napped and slept was almost ridiculous but I had to know that he was okay, wasn’t laying in sick, hadn’t kicked his covers off, wasn’t too hot, wasn’t too cold and was breathing well. I had to check that he didn’t need me. Sleep came last. Having him close by made me more relaxed and content, which was better for us all. It was our way of having it all. Peace of mind, a little rest, perfect cuddles and a wonderful bonding experience.

Back to the fear…

Once the cord came off on day five, we bathed him for the first time. Honestly, getting the temperature right was hard work. We used the thermometer, googled the temperature, googled it again, felt the water with our elbows, googled it again, wondered if the thermometer was broken, swore because it was definitely broken, decided it wasn’t broken, added cold, added hot, googled the perfect temperature yet again and then decided it was okay to put our newborn baby in the bath, which he hated… but that is for another time!

In the heat of the summer, I worried about Dexter being too hot, too cold. I put clothes on him, took them off again… put them on and took them off… again! We had never had a baby who was naturally hot like Dexi. He is going to be a dream to snuggle with in the winter months, a perfect heater. But in the Summer… It was scary. It made him upset because he just wanted a cuddle but didn’t want to be held. In the end, I surrendered to stripping him off, laying him down and holding his hands or holding his feet to let him know that I was close by.

Close by? Ha! When wasn’t I? I missed him when I left the room to pee…

The day that he projectile vomited all over me two times was awful. He screamed for half an hour and I was pacing the room with my sweaty little beauty in my arms. I had the phone on my bed, ready to call an ambulance and Matt was looking up his symptoms online. P.S. Any new mama’s reading this… NEVER do that! I was convinced within three minutes that our baby was really poorly and it made me very upset. Thankfully my maternal instincts kicked in and I realised that I knew what was wrong and how to make him better. It was from that moment that I started to find my stride with being a new mama for the third time, after a five and a half year gap.

Like I said, the first few days were scary. For me they were scarier than being a first time mum and a second. Maybe it was because I was out of practice. I had definitely forgotten a lot. Maybe it was because I was so in love, it was overwhelming. Overwhelming because I had fallen in love with Noah and Ellenah all over again, as well as being newly in love with their baby brother. It wasn’t that I had fallen out of love with them…at all! The birth of Dexi just made me remember all of the little things about them in their newborn days. It made me remember them when they were Noah and Ellenah ‘just like this’. It encouraged me to dig out their baby pictures, comparing them all, cooing over how beautiful they both were (and still are). And then, it made me appreciate just how far we have come. All of the ordinary days which they made special. All that we had been through. All of their milestones. All of the smiles, laughter and chaos that I have loved with every part of me. And the memories…oh, the memories that we have. The funniest times. The most beautiful madness. And being in the here and now with them, experiencing this wonderful time with them on my team. Watching them love their baby brother unconditionally, watching them care for and protect him, watching them rise up and step into their new roles with such pride…it made me see them through different eyes, almost like I was seeing them for the first time again. And I suppose I was in a way…a new ‘just like this’. Maybe I was more scared because this was the happiest time in my whole life and I knew how lucky and blessed I was to feel that way. I am a mama to three beautiful children, a wife to the love of my life and my family was whole, complete and perfect. When you are terrified that you might somehow lose, change or break something… You know it is something worth gripping on to with both hands. Worth cherishing, loving hard, with everything you have and appreciating, every single day.

The first days with baby Dexter were everything that I hoped they would be. They were quiet, calming, relentless, chaotic, noisy, emotional… and we had some defining moments as mama and son. I easily fell for him. I lost myself in him completely and became even more excited to raise him, watch him thrive… be a part of his life and world as he grows  up. The first few days allowed me to daydream for me and simply dream for him. Dream that he has a happy life. Dream that he knows what love is. Dream that he is always free to explore and to let adventure take hold. Dream that he will be all that he can be. Mostly I dreamed that he would have the courage and conviction to have dreams of his own, to protect them, to chase them… and to have them come true.

After all… Him, his brother and sister are the perfect proof, that it can and does happen x

 

 

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Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby BrotherMeeting Baby Brother

Meeting Baby Brother

The moment that Noah and Ellenah met their baby brother for the first time, on the morning that he was born, was one of the best moments of my life. It was easily better than christmas morning, better than any birthday, better than most other days that has lead us to here actually.

Dexter was born at 1.55am, that morning. He was born in the very small bathroom of our family home. The home that has seen five of Noah’s eight years and all of Ellenah’s, other than just six months. It is a safe place. It is where the children have seen magic unfold, from the christmas’, the tooth fairy and even better,  to the games that they play where their imaginations have no limits.

It is the home that has watched Matt and I grow, up together and a little bit older I’m privileged to say. It is where we have fallen in love with each other, over and over again. It is where we talk about our future as a family… and together, when the children grow up and have lives of their own. It is where we laugh, where we are allowed to cry and it is where we are happy. Our home is where we dream together , about so many things. It is where we dreamt of this family. Our family. One with five of us. It is the home where that dream came true.

I was exhausted but awake when I heard the first creaking of a door opening that morning. I had been awake all night. I squinted my eyes in the darkness, to watch Dexter breathing. He was awake for the most part of it too. He was watching the shadows and flickers of light that made up the silhouette of his mama. He knew me already. I made him feel safe. He hardly made a sound the whole time.

My eyes were heavy by the time I heard the door that morning, so far from feeling ready to go to sleep though. I was on cloud nine. Walking on air. Singing ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams to myself in my head and humming it out loud, when ultimately I forgot myself. I had been waiting for this moment for nine, long months. It was my happy thought that kept me going since just before 10pm the night before when I had my first contraction. Our new beginning would mean that I had made it to the end. I let myself imagine what our lives would become. How it would change in the best ways. I could see how happy we were and are going to be. The smiles of my children meeting each other, meant so much to me.

I heard little, dainty footsteps. I knew that it was Ellenah walking towards our bedroom. Ellenah who we tucked in to bed last night at the same time as Noah, after telling them both that by morning, they should have a baby brother waiting for them in our bedroom. I knew that behind that door was a nervous little girl. One who was hoping with all of her heart that she would be opening the door to the boy, who was making her a big sister.

The door opened, very slowly. I saw her bright blonde hair first of all and then our eyes met. Her big blue eyes, full of hope, found me across the room. She tiptoed towards me, as quietly as she could. She stopped short of my reach… and I so desperately wanted to cuddle her. She stopped and turned towards the beautiful moses basket that had been waiting there, empty for two months. She gasped when she found it empty. Her face fell and she looked so sad. In her shaky, quiet as a mouse voice, she spoke. ‘No baby?’ was all she could manage in her disbelief.

She was right. He wasn’t in there. I couldn’t be apart from him. Even for a few hours while the country was fast asleep. We had been together for nine months. It was alien to have him anywhere else but nestled in my arms.

‘He’s here sweetheart!’ I whispered, as I pointed towards him, in-between Papa and me. She stepped forwards and looked over me hesitantly, to the middle of the bed where he was actually sleeping for the first time.

Words could never tell you, how beautiful Ellenah looked in that moment, so vulnerable and happy. Words could never do justice, to describe how every emotion that she felt washed over her face. Her large eyes grew bigger as tears sat behind them and the smile that she wore, I had never seen it before and I’m sure that I will never see it again. That one was for Dex. It was beaming but shaky. Her hand reached towards her chest and she gasped inwards, again. Almost as if she was breathless. Like she had been hit in the heart with overwhelming love. She looked at me and back at Dexter…and back at me, then Dexter again. She didn’t know what to do, what to say… how to explain how this made her feel. So I reached for her. My little girl. And, I held her so tightly as she dry sobbed with such joy. Her body vibrated against me with excitement and she asked if she could kiss him. I nodded and watched her lean over so gently to kiss him on the head. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen her experience and I will carry it within my heart until forever.

It didn’t take Noah long to bound in to the room after that. Noah being much less subtle in his ways. Noah who boldly pushed the door open and asked me if his little brother had arrived. Again, that look of hope was very much present… but the sheer excitement was apparent and definitely not something that he could filter or condense. Noah was true to his personality. Charismatic, bold, excitable and full of heart. He walked in with swag before anyone could answer him and clambered clumsily around the bed until he was at my side. He kind of landed there with both feet, flat to the ground and standing tall.

And then he saw him…

Noah’s eyes fixed on to his baby brother and rather than the emotion dancing across his face like it did with Ellenah… each and every feeling came out of his eyes, in tears. As they plopped down his cheeks, all big and fat…he looked surprised. And very much like his little sister, it was as if Dexter had taken his breath away.

Noah squinted his eyes and rubbed at them both with his finger and thumb. Pinching them together, he was desperate to stop crying. I asked him what was wrong.

‘I’m just so happy Mum… And I’m so proud of you!’ He told me, as his voice shook.

Hearing those words from my sweet little boy… the one who made me a mama first, broke me. The tears stung my eyes and it was almost as if I could feel my heart grow inside me, when I didn’t believe it could possibly make any more room. It had already made space for our third and final baby. Enough of it to love him unconditionally, until the end of time. I wondered how my heart could grow any more.

But it did… I think it does every day.

When my beautiful children say beautiful things. When I watch them get lost in each other. When they choose love. When they choose happiness. When they are kind, thoughtful… warm.

My heart grows because of them in so many ways.

While my heart was having a growth spurt on this day. While I watched Noah and Ellenah fall head over heels in love with their new brother, smothering him with kisses and looking upon him in amazement. It felt like everything was in slow motion. Like time had stopped. Like nothing else on this earth mattered.

Unfortunately, the clock waits for no-one. And with less than an hour until the children were due to walk through the school gates for a day of learning, we had to test out our new normal… try it on for size. Well, as much as I could from my bed.

Watching the children say goodbye to each other that morning was so hard because I just wanted us all to be together, in our new baby bubble. Seeing how they said ‘hello’ to each other though, seeing how Noah and Ellenah welcomed Baby Dexter into our world… The world, was priceless. A moment that I will never forget. A moment that I wouldn’t change. A moment that I could never wish was different. A moment that was EVERYTHING to me… Full of my favourite people in the whole world.

It was absolute perfection… x

 

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