Dear Aviya – Letter To A Five Month Old

My darling Aviya

You’re five months old today. Five months. Five months. I say the words out loud and I struggle to believe them. I write them down and they look wrong, feel wrong. Where has the time gone?! Have I held on to enough? Can I recall your scent? Will the memory of your hand clutching my little finger live with me forever?  I fear I’m already forgetting every moment that wasn’t captured on film.  How has it gone so fast?

I’ve learned so much about myself in the last few months. Things I’d never have known if it wasn’t for motherhood, and if it wasn’t for you. For one thing, I’ve learned that you can pick yourself up and drag yourself out and confront the world with a smile when you’ve got something – someone – for whom  you have to ‘go on’.  I’ve also learned that I’m made of pretty strong stuff.I knew the transition from no children to one would be huge, and I know that it was thoroughly life changing for me, in every facet of human-ness, but I had no idea that the move from one to two would be equally big, in entirely different ways.

I just hope that having gone back to work, no matter how ‘part time’ it has been, so early on hasn’t had an effect, negatively, on you.

I don’t think so though. Honey, you are the smiliest baby ever. You wake up and stare at the ceiling for a while, gurgling and being happy. It’s a foreign concept to me. Also, unlike your big sister, you are perfectly happy to lie there, watching the world go by, and then, perhaps, in a while, have some milk. It’s rather bizarre!

Everyone always asks me if you’re a ‘good’ baby. Of course you are. I mean, you’re a baby, you can’t even sit up yet. There’s not really a lot you can do ‘wrong’ in a prone position! Pedantics aside though, you are such a contended child. It’s an honour being your mama. You’re the baby books are written about!

You have a realy laid back and relaxed character. Nothing really phases you, and you smile at the drop of a hat.

Ameli adores you. The biggest threat to your safety is her all-consuming, overwhelming hugs.   She lies on top of you, with her arm around your neck, and you rarely stand a chance! She loves lying next to you, picking you up onto her belly, then rolling over you and bringing you back up again. It gives me a heart attack every time, but you just smile at her, even laugh at her sometimes, which is total encouragement to her to do it again!

You’re not sitting or crawling yet, but you’re trying really hard to. In fact, you get so frustrated when you’re lying on your back straining your head, arms and legs in an attempt to get up. It’s quite funny, actually, and so endearing. You have managed to ‘scoot’ yourself off the bed twice though, so I’ve put you in the travel cot for the early parts of the evenings now.

Your wide, open-mouthed smile is gorgeous, it lights up your face. It stops strangers on the street. Everyone that meets you comments on your beautiful eyes and your amazing smile.

You’ve started ‘chatting’ to yourself, which is superbly cute. You say the ‘goo-goo’s and every now and then you’ll throw in a ‘da-da-da’. I love it. You’re so beautiful.

I was worried, once, that your ‘firsts’ wouldn’t be such a big deal, since we’ve been through ‘firsts’ before, but no, it’s not like that.  Every time you do something new, I feel a thrill, an absolute wave of pure, unadulterated, unbridled joy. I have so much pride wash over me when you reach over and grab a new toy, or when you learned to jump in the jumperoo, or when you roll yourself over.

I smile at, and because of you, all the time. It’s just wonderful being part of your life. I regularly look at you and thank God for giving us you. I thank you for choosing us. I thank you for coming to us. At least once a day I close my eyes and breathe you in, trying to capture, and to remember these days, these moments.

I try to remember how you grab my breast with both your hands when you’re nursing. I want to remember how you hold on to my nursing necklace sometimes, and how you love playing with it. I want to remember how you like lying on top of my nursing as I rock you to sleep.

A few weeks ago you were asleep on my shoulder and you put your arm around my neck. A purposeful placement and I melted. I love that. I remember doing that with my dad and feeling so secure in his arms. I hope you feel secure in mine.

I am overwhelmed, sometimes, by the awesomeness of motherhood, by the magnitude of a love I spent 30 years not knowing I was even missing out on. I wouldn’t change a thing about who you are, about who you are to me.

I heard a quote about birth this week that I loved:

“The instant of birth is exquisite. Pain and joy are one at this moment. Ever after, the dim recollection is so sweet that we speak to our children with a gratitude they never understand.” ~Madeline Tiger

I think that’s true of being your mother too – I will forever have a gratitude to both my girls that neither of you will understand, until perhaps, you hold your own babies in your arms.

I love you so much

Mama

 

Dear Aviya – Letter To A One Month Old

My dearest Aviya

I’ve been staring at this page for days now, as I’ve been thinking about what to say, how to open my first letter to you as you, rather than as someone I was waiting to meet. I’ve been wondering how to begin to tell you about you, your entry to the world, your first few weeks in it, and what it’s done to me and to my life.Read more: Dear Aviya – Letter To A One Month Old

Dear Ameli- Letter To A 19 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

My angel, I’m so sorry. This letter is a week late, and you’re 19 months and 1 week old already. It’s been so busy here that I’ve just not had the time to write to you.

We’ve found somewhere to live, and although it’s been so lovely staying with Aunty Lindi and Uncle Ian, I’m looking forward to our new home in a whole new part of England. It’s not always nice starting ‘over’ on some levels, but I am excited about exploring a new part of the world. I’m just looking forward to being ‘settled’ for a little while again.
Read more: Dear Ameli- Letter To A 19 Month Old

Dear Ameli- Letter to an Eleven Month Old

Hello beautiful girl,

How we have come 11 months in the blink of an eye I just don’t know. Our lives have changed so much in so many ways, and yet in some ways they don’t really feel like they’ve changed at all. It’s so hard to explain, but it is what it is.

This has been an incredible month. I’ve felt motherly pride rise up in my so many times in ways and for things I never thought possible. I know you’re not the first baby to go through these things, but you’re my first baby to go through them and they are your firsts.
Read more: Dear Ameli- Letter to an Eleven Month Old

Letter to a Nine Month Old

Dear Ameli

I was just reading through the letter I wrote you last month and it feels like just last week I wrote it, but reading it back now, it seems like you were a small baby then.

I don’t really know where to start with this month. Your great-granny from South Africa came to visit with your uncle from Australia. You smiled at them, but preferred to be with me, at first. It only took a few days, though, and you were as much at ease with them as with Daddy and me. You and Granny got on really well. She whispered to you and you listened closely. She pretended to be the wind and you giggled. She rubbed noses with you and you squealed with glee.

Read more: Letter to a Nine Month Old

Dear Ameli- Letter to a Seven Month Old

I know I say this every month, but I cannot believe that it’s been seven months.

I sat you in your Bumbo this morning while I was hanging the washing and I was telling you about your birth and about that exact time seven months earlier, when you couldn’t sit in a Bumbo, or eat a biscuit or any of that. It’s phenomenal. It’s miraculous, this whole growth thing.

Let’s see…

A month ago I thought you were mobile. Thinking back, I had no idea. I think you’ll be walking soon. You pull yourself up on everything: tables, your cot, my trouser legs. In fact, you’re pretty much incapable of sitting still. It’s a neverending squirm with you. You have so much energy, I am surprised you don’t eat more.

Speaking of eating, you are doing really well with your baby-led weaning. Your favourite food so far is smoked salmon, but apart from grapefruit, there’s really not much you don’t like. I can’t blame you on the grapefruit, though, it had no sugar or honey on it!

You had your first flight this month. We flew to Norway to visit your aunty Deshaine, and you were great on the flight. You breastfed for take-off and landing and slept for the rest of it. There was this huge volcanic eruption in Iceland the day we flew out and it caused a bit of panic, but we got home on schedule and had a fantastic time.

You’ve definitely reached the clingy phase. I can’t really leave you for too long and you start crying for me. It makes me feel special, but also a little bit tired sometimes.

My Beautiful DaughterOn the plus side, you have stopped screeching so much, which is a major improvement, and you laugh a lot more. Especially when we hang you upside down or play aeroplanes with you. Or sing ‘Open and closed, open and closed, don’t get in a muddle, open and closed, open and closed, give yourself a cuddle’ – that does seem to be your favourite.

On the other hand, you’ve started clawing at my breasts when you feed, a little like a cat on a scratching post when it’s been removed from its mother too soon. As a result they are currently various shades of green from the bruises.

We’ve had a reprise from your teething pains for a while, but that came to an end recently, and I suspect you’ll have a whole bunch of new teeth to show off soon. At least your sleep has improved, even though you still wake two or three times a night for a feed.

Well, honey, mommy will be going to sleep shortly, and I’ll curl up next to you and hold you close to my heart. I’ll watch you in the moonlight and hold on to these moments, knowing that they pass all too quickly. I’ll wake up in the night and listen for you, for your breathing, just to make sure you’re okay. When you stir I’ll pull you to me, and I’ll drink in your baby smell, holding my breath in an attempt to capture your scent forever in my memory. When you suckle at my breast and make little ‘hmmmm’ sounds, and after when you nuzzle in to me, those are the moments that I know your whole being is an extension of my heart.

You are more precious than I ever thought possible.

I love you for always.

Mommy

Letter to a Six Month Old

Dear Ameli

I can’t believe you’re six months old today.

You’re asleep here next to me, and I look down over your long little body and my breath quickens as I try to take it all in. I can still see you, a tiny little curled up figure, barely bigger than my two hands lying in the same position this moment six months ago.

Read more: Letter to a Six Month Old