Tomorrow you become a big sister

Photo credit: @hannahbphotographyuk

 

Juno. Tomorrow you become a big sister. Mum and Dad have wondered if our second daughter will look like her beautiful big sister, with her mums brown locks and her dads monkey toes. Or will she be totally different!? After 38 weeks of waiting, tomorrow we will finally get to find out.

In years gone, people talked about the baby who comes after a baby who died being a replacement child, but I want, I NEED you to know that it’s all complete and utter nonsense. You are absolutely irreplaceable, you were made in your own uniqueness. We forged you from our own essence, we love you with such a fierceness, and miss you more than we could ever, ever imagine. It is actually completely impossible to describe.

Our love for you is so great that at times it feels difficult to bear such intense emotion. But we do so with such incredible pride and wouldn’t take any of it back if it meant not having you in our lives.

Tomorrow we are destined to get a lot busier; and we hope to embark on a more traditional parenting journey. Nappy changes, sleepless nights, endless feeding and we very much hope, nurturing your sister for the years to come. Watching her grow.

It is sure to be both magical and painful, as with every milestone we pass, we will wish that you had the same opportunities in this life. We will forever wish that you could have been buddies, that play and laugh together, that share a life together, bridesmaids for one another, sisters that confide in each other when you are hacked off with your somewhat overprotective and overbearing parents. All these things and a thousand more.

Please our darling girl, however busy we become, you have to know, that you are still –

Just as loved. Equally missed. You are the daughter that made me forever a mother. The very proudest mother. You are no less important, nor cherished. Now and forever.

Yours always,

Mum.

For more follow @rememberingjuno on Instagram

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Always follow your instincts

Artwork: Letters To Loved / Photo: Amy Ransom

 

The following letter was written by author and mum of three Amy Ransom  for her two daughters. You can read more of her work through her blog here or follow her on Instagram.

 

Never let anyone make you feel you need to fit in.

If you’re feeling this, then it’s because the people you’re trying to befriend aren’t YOUR people. It’s as simple (and as hard) as that. Keep looking until you find those friends that totally get you. Accept you. And love you. Friendships shouldn’t be hard work. And they shouldn’t have ulterior motives or agendas.

Don’t pluck your eyebrows.

 I mean it. They’ll never be the same again. As you get older they get thinner. There are other ways to tame them. Which is why I am removing all tweezers from the house NOW. I haven’t forgotten the time you cut your own hair, Beaver. And then got to work on your sister’s.

Choose the best university you can.

And do not base your decisions on any of the following a) proximity to current boyfriends b) proximity to hobbies you can’t bear to leave c) proximity to me (you really don’t have to go to Scotland to escape me, if the teenage years have left us less than friendly).

Travel as much as you can.

Work abroad if you get the chance. New York would be good. Because then I can come and visit. And live vicariously through you. I’m kidding. (I’m not.)

Have faith. In yourself. And your own destiny.

Don’t worry if the road you walk isn’t always straight or free of fog. Don’t worry if others around you seem to know where they’re going and you do not. You’ll get there when you get there. And it will be wonderful.

Never underestimate the power of experience.

Everything I am lucky enough to be doing today, is down to having experiences. Mainly as a result of having you, actually. (Thank you.) So embrace the good ones. The bad ones. And never be too stubborn or scared to learn from them.

Take on board other people’s criticism of you.

As long as it’s coming from a good place (you’ll know the ones that are and quickly filter out the ones that aren’t). Sometimes, there is no greater value than seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes. And if you aren’t evolving and becoming a little bit more self-aware than you were yesterday, you’re standing in your own way.

Always follow your instincts.

They have rarely let me down so trust yours. They will see you through some tricky decisions that neither your heart nor your head can resolve.

If you marry, marry only for love.

Nothing else. Because marriage is hard and if you don’t have that solid foundation of love, it’s much easier for the walls to crumble.

Become a mother, if that is your will.

You will experience the purest, most unconditional form of love there is. And as hard as it can sometimes be, there isn’t anything else I’ve done in my life that has shown me more about myself than raising you. Or anything I’m more proud of. Don’t wait too long (there’s never a perfect time). And don’t worry about being a perfect mother. If I’ve done nothing else, I hope I’ve at least shown you thatdoesn’t exist. Instead? Love your children. Say sorry when you mess up. And be brave enough to carry on.

I will always be here.

So never add me to your list of things to worry about. (But please. Try not to worry. It’s a waste of energy and rarely constructive. Plus? I’ll probably be lying awake at night and doing enough of that for all of us.)

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Passions

Photography: Charlotte Peach

 

Charlotte Peach, Creator of Letters To Loved.

I wrote the following letter for my daughter after a chance discovery of some old photographs from my long neglected hobby. I wanted to talk to her about the importance of indulging our passions.

 

 

 

 

Darling girl,

I believe a part of who we are as individuals is driven by the things we are passionate about. By passions here, I’m referring to our hobbies or time we spend do things simply because we love them. It not only determines what we spend our free time doing (or try to spend time doing) but also influences how we experience the world around us.

Making sure you find time to enjoy your passions as you get older can sometimes seem frivolous or self indulgent which means they can often be sidelined in favour of more ‘practical’ endeavours, ones that seem to have a point to them.

One of my great passions is photography. From the moment I picked up my Father’s camera, taking photographs has always been something of an outlet for me. I’ve never properly studied it and I still don’t understand how I’ve achieved half the shots I’ve captured, but this collection of happy accidents, some of them framed and hanging on the walls of our home well, they make me happy. Quite proud maybe too.

When I became your mum, you became my passion and will always be, the greatest love of my life. My priorities changed when you came along and so whenever I picked up a camera the purpose was to capture your chubby ankles, your long eyelashes or your soft blonde curls on the nape of your neck. To take a picture of you pulling a new face or achieving a new milestone. Shots of your face evolving from a milk-drunk sleepy newborn to a sassy, comedic three year old.

Whilst looking for some other photographs this week I came across a stash of my old ‘hobby’ photography. From the days where I would head out in an unfamiliar city with my camera strapped to my body and spend hours taking candid shots. I felt something again looking at those pictures and realised I had been missing out on something I really loved doing. Something I was passionate about.

You mustn’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a single one of those pictures I took of you. They are pure gold to me and I’m grateful that we have them. But I realised how little I’ve done to capture all the other things that trigger something in me. How my pursuit of capturing light and dark, catching something interesting in the face of a stranger or the line and form of my surroundings, makes me feel a sense of contentment and peace.

I think the reason I’m writing this is just to remind you to look for a balance in your life as you move into the ‘grown up’ world. The one with, bills, mortgages and deadlines. The one where you think about your career development and whether or not your child has enough vitamins in their diet. It’s very easy to get tied up in doing all the necessary ‘life admin’ and forget the things you can do to simply enjoy your life more. Try to see carving a slice of your time to ‘indulge’ yourself with something that you’re passionate about as less of a luxury and more of a smart investment.

Without certain people ‘indulging’ or committing to their passions we would be without some of the greatest works of creativity and scientific and technological discovery. Wouldn’t the world be different without a young Walt Disney’s love for drawing or an eighth grade Bill Gates’ passion for programming early video games?

People who ‘indulge’ their passions can achieve monumentally great things. But, most importantly it may simply help you to achieve a true feeling of peace – fulfilment and contentment in your life.

And those things are definitely worth indulging in.

All my love

Mum x

Photo: ‘Dancing in the street’. Paris, 2012 by Charlotte Peach

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Please keep sending me flutters baby girl.

The following letter was written by Laura who is Mum to 3 year old Emmeline and Arthur who was sadly stilborn in July 2017. Laura is currently pregnant with a little girl and wrote the following letter to her. You can read more of her work on her blog After Arthur and follow the on Instagram.

Pregnancy After Loss: A letter to my unborn little girl 

My dearest baby girl

So here we are at 21 weeks pregnant, my bump is now showing and I’m starting to feel you move. I feel as if you are becoming more real. Not that you were not real before, but before you were visible to the outside world, whilst you were a secret kept only between myself and your daddy I was able to function almost in a different place, somehow shielding myself from the reality and thus potential heartbreak if I was to lose you to. It is not that I do not want to celebrate you or that we are not happy that you should hopefully be joining our family. It is fear. Real deep fear on top of raw side splitting grief.  I feel as if I am now dreading all the questions that people will ask about you. All the questions that I do not have an answer for, people presumptions that we are now in some way cured and over our loss. We will never be over losing Arthur, he will always be our son, and your big brother. He will always be our missing piece, so loved and so wanted, just as you are and I hope more than anything that I can tell you all about him when you are older.

You are so very wanted by both mummy and daddy and your big sister, Emme. Whilst at the same time I am feeling so lost and conflicted I just don’t know what to do some days. I am grieving for your big brother, he has only been gone 31 weeks. I miss him so much and my heart is quite literally breaking each and every day from his absence. I want to believe he somehow sent you to me, knowing that you could help my broken heart. But I also feel as if I need to protect myself and I can’t allow myself to get too invested, we lost him 3 weeks before he was due. Therefore, we know in the cruellest of ways that even when things are ok, it does not mean that things will continue to be ok. The naivety around pregnancy is gone and with that my hope has been taken too. I want to be hopeful for you, for us, for our family. I want to believe that you will be joining out family in June, I want to picture a world where you play with your big sister or ride high upon your daddy’s shoulders. I want all of that, for you and for us.

I want to believe more than anything that we can make it through this journey and be together. Deep inside I am hopeful for us, I am so wanting of you. I am just also heartbroken and missing your big brother, every week I count forward with you, is a week longer I have been away from him. I know nothing will ever bring him back and if in some way he has sent you to me, to us, to Emme. Then I hope he is watching over us all. I want to believe we all have a guardian angel, that somehow, he will be able to guide us all through this.

If I seem sad and not able to talk of you or acknowledge you are there, it is not because of you, or because you are not loved or wanted, it is just because I am broken, so very very broken. My heart has and always will have an Arthur shaped hole in it. It doesn’t mean I don’t have space in my heart for you. I do. So much space and believe me, you are already occupying some of it, it’s just allowing you into my heart, opens up the possibility that I could get my already smashed heart, smashed that bit more. I don’t even know if it’s possible for it to be any more broken, but I’m scared of the possibility, scarred of allowing an inch of hope back in and that too being taken away.

So for now, let’s try and ride this journey together, hoping that somehow our guardian angel is steering the way. All I would want you to know is this, you are loved already, you are so very wanted and so so needed. You have an amazing big sister just waiting for a sibling to play with and you have the best guardian angel for a big brother, that I know will always be watching over you. There is room in our family and all of our hearts for you, I hope more than anything you can join us.

Please keep sending me flutters baby girl.

I love you

Mummy xx

24th February 2018

Photo: @after_arthur

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Balloon

Artwork Credit: Wonder & Rah

 

The following poem was written by Stephanie (you can find her on Instagram @seppicino) for her son.

 

Balloon Mobile

 

We bought you balloons,

symbolic, you see –

so you’ll know if you want to,

you’re free to be free.

 

We won’t tether you down

to us or our home,

we want you to wander,

we urge you to roam.

 

We’ll untie the rope,

you can float as you please

and we’ll be here waiting,

your daddy and me.

 

We won’t cringe at goodbyes,

or sob as you go,

we’ll not stand there maudlin

in sadness and woe.

 

Son, we will cheer you

as you fly away

to adventure this world,

to go seize your day,

 

to shoot through the skies,

and master terrain,

battle with oceans,

and leap over flames.

 

The Earth is your playground,

this planet, your toy,

and when you come home

we’ll be waiting, my Boy.

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