To my Little Bird,
On the 18th April 2016 our lives changed forever yet again. For nine long months I said a little wish when I went to bed every evening, I wished that you would be born safe and sound. And at exactly 10.06am on that Monday morning I got my wish. You arrived into the world screaming and within seconds you completely captured my heart. It’s such a strange thing, outside those hospital walls there were millions of people carrying on as normal on their average regular Monday-driving on the motorway, sat at their desks, playing play dough with their children, yet I lay on that cold, hard hospital clinical table and put every ounce of my faith in those doctors and theatre staff.
It’s the most surreal feeling, lying there knowing that you are being cut open with a sharp scalpel and that any minute you will be meeting the person you have imagined every single day. It’s hard not to be in control of your own destiny, yet reassuring to know you are in the best possible hands. And how do you truly describe going through something so monumental? Meeting that person you feel you know implicitly, yet actually you don’t really know at all. I do know my heart was practically beating out of my chest, mainly because I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and machines telling me so. I held my breath and gripped your Daddy’s arm- and then we heard it. The most beautiful sound in the world. Your first cry. Your first breathes.
I’ve heard that magical sound twice before. But it doesn’t get old. It’s the most intense, incredible and utterly intoxicating feeling meeting your baby for the first time. Meeting you for the first time was no exception. This time around we knew that you were going to have to skin to skin, something I didn’t have with the girls. But I still had to wait, wait for you to be checked over, wait for them to make sure you were ok. Then they bought you to me. They placed you on my chest, struggling to find a way through all the wires. And you instantly took up the remaining space in my heart. It sounds a cliche but I felt like we already knew each other and I know you felt the same as being on my chest started to soothe your frantic cries. I had a son. A son I didn’t even think we wanted when originally we were ‘done’ at two children, but who I knew instantly then and there was truly the missing piece of our puzzle. We made the decision to make a little video this time around, I wasn’t sure about at first, let alone whether I would share it online. But I am so glad we did, because I will treasure it for the rest of my life. I don’t think I have ever been as happy to have that to look back on and I only wish we had done it for your sisters too.
And what a month it has been. From those first few days where we were all a bit shellshocked. You and I getting to know each other in the darkness of the night in the hospital. When you met your big sisters for the first time and I thought I would literally burst with pride. When we took you home and I would lie in bed feeding you and just cry from the sheer emotion of it all. How many times have I kissed your soft head in the course of this month? I couldn’t even possibly say.
You are the most beautiful and wonderful little boy I have ever met. Of course I would say that, after all you are mine. But I can be honest now and say that before you I didn’t really think I wanted boy. I was happy with my girls, boys were a little alien to me. Of course at your gender scan all I wanted was for you to be healthy, but secretly there was the tiniest part of me that hoped for another girl. When she said you were a boy, we were both in shock. But we were instantly thrilled, not realising just how excited we were to have a ‘different’ experience this time around. And now you are here, my goodness how wrong I was. Having a son is incredible. You are my boy and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I feel honoured and privileged I get to experience raising a little boy.
It’s been a wonderful month of getting to know you. You are generally a lovely and content little baby, but you most definitely are happiest in our arms. Mummy’s are the best, I know how to snuggle you just the way you like it. But anyone will do. Your biggest sister has the magic touch too, she seems to know how to settle you well. But your littlest big sister is besotted with you too and wants to hold you constantly. You will go down for limited periods of time and are getting better every day, but you do get unsettled after a while. But when you are in our arms you are content and chilled as they come. You are still at the stage where you sleep most of the day, but you have the odd awake and alert period. As I write this you are snuggled up on your Daddy while we watch Britain’s Got Talent. You seem to be more alert in the evenings, some days you are unsettled with wind and some days, like today, you are just so chilled out. You have been awake most of the evening but I have just glanced over at you and you have drifted off to sleep.
I take you up to bed around 10pm, sometimes earlier as I am so tired at the moment, sometimes a little later if I am feeling particularly energetic. Daddy changes your nappy and then I feed you, before putting you down in your crib. You are getting better in your crib, but again you are happiest in my arms. I didn’t once let your biggest sister in our bed and I only let your littlest big sister from around 4am onwards. But with you, you came in our bed a lot earlier. I put my arm out and you lie on that, snuggled in to me as close as can be. Throughout the night I kiss your soft head and just feel content knowing that you are next to me. For someone like me, who is strict on sleep routines, it feels a novelty. But you are my last baby and if I ‘make a rod for my own back’ then so be it. You are getting longer in your crib every night, last night you were in there until around 3am. I know I will miss our cuddles when you no longer need Mummy in the night. You are waking every 1-3 hours at the moment, so yes we are exhausted, but at the same time I know that one day I will look back and miss these days. I’m exhausted but deleriously happy.
Feeding is going well. I had problems breastfeeding both your sisters in the beginning, although we got there in the end. With you it came reasonably easily. Yes I was sore to begin with, but it was never toe curlingly sore like it was with them. You are a bit of a snacky feeder, during the day you will feed every couple of hours unless we are out in which case you will go longer. But you are obviously thriving on my milk, as we had you weighed when you 4 weeks and 3 days old and you were 10lb 11oz. I love that I get to experience feeding a baby one last time and that it all seems to have gone quite smoothly so far. While breastfeeding can sometimes feel a little draining and I hate the big boobs and leaking that comes with it, I wouldn’t change the way I feed you for a single second- I love the way it makes me feel so close to you. You do get quite bad trapped wind. It is horrible to see you uncomfortable, and it isn’t nice to feel powerless to make you feel better. But your big sisters both suffered with it too and we know it will get better eventually. In the meantime we are dosing you up on infacol and trying to wind you as much as we can. If it wasn’t for the wind, I don’t genuinely think you would ever cry.
You still live in baby grows. I put you in a little pair of romper dungarees for the first time today and it instantly made you feel a bit more grown up, but I wanted you to get the wear out of them before they got too small. I think I will keep you in baby grows until you are at least 12 weeks- I am in no hurry for you to be in outfits. You are still in the up to one month size, the last few days I have packed away the couple of newborn sized ones we had, but even though you are a good weight you still have a fair bit of room left in the up to one month size.
I should draw this letter to a close now, I could talk about you non stop but the longer I write, the longer it will be till bedtime. And I am ready to close this laptop, steal you off Daddy and snuggle you tight. Blogging, working and everything else has taken a bit of a back seat here, but I’m relishing the opportunity to take it slow and really enjoy these early days.
I love you my beautiful baby bird. Thank you for completing our family. Thank you for being all we could ever wish for.
This was the first in a series of letters written by Katie Ellison for her little boy Wren. There are many more wonderful letters by Katie to all three of her children Madeleine (Mads), Charlotte (Lottie) and Wren (LB) over on the blog Mummy Daddy Me and you can see more of their lives on Instagram and through Katie’s stunning photography.