Ah, babies. I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t a Mother. I recall a brief time when Dylan was no longer a baby and William was not yet born, but for the last 7 years I have either been trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s been all about babies for a long time now. It’s safe to say, I have baby brain too.
The problem is, not having too little to say about the subject of babies, but so much that I don’t quite know where to begin. So I thought that I would take the opportunity to introduce you to my babies.
My eldest baby is Dylan. He was born in 2004, when I was induced due to preeclampsia, weighing 8lb 12oz of deliciousness. I was immediately besotted. As he was my first, he didn’t sleep at night and that didn’t matter. I fit my days entirely around him and as a result he was a happy contented baby.
From a very young age, people told me that Dylan was destined to be on the stage. From age 7 he has been enrolled in a local stage school. I know I’m biased, but he really is very talented. Every time I see him perform on stage, I am blown away by just how good he is and I end up blubbing like a baby.
Dylan is now 13 and has moved into the dreaded teens. While on the whole he still remains pretty well behaved, he is starting to have those moments where, and how do I put this nicely, he “can’t quite see that I have his best interests at heart”. Regardless of the challenges we now face in this new and uncharted parenting chapter, even though he is now taller than me, he will always be my baby.
My next baby boy is William. William was born in 2012 when I was induced with preeclampsia again. William weighed 8lb 4 oz and was just perfect.
From a very young age, it was evident that William is very clever. Before his second birthday he could recite the alphabet. Before his third birthday he could read fluently, yet had little spontaneous language. William’s development was what health care professionals would describe as “spikey’. While he was always happy with me, he struggled to communicate with others. He thrived on routine, which was great as younger siblings have routine naturally imposed upon them by things like the school run. It was, however, becoming increasingly evident that he became very distressed with any deviation from his routine.
After lots of phone calls, emails and general pestering on my part, we managed to get an appointment with a consultant paediatrician in record time. In 2015, William was diagnosed with “moderate autism”.
William is now flourishing and is doing better than we ever could have imagined. He continues to be very advanced academically. Since the diagnosis and subsequent provisions that we have put in place, I am delighted with how well he has developed socially. He is such a wonderful little boy who continues to surprise and delight us every day.
Baby number 3, my big girl, is Bella. I was induced once more at 40 weeks due to preeclampsia (starting to see a pattern here?) She was born so quickly that my husband almost missed the birth and she was nearly born in the lift. She weighed 8lbs 15oz and was just beautiful.
I had my concerns before she was born that she might be pushed around by William. I needn’t have worried. Bella is an absolute force of nature. She is currently 2 going on 22. She is incredibly charismatic and everyone she meets is totally spell bound by her.
Bella loves ballet, which she has been doing since she was 16 months old, princesses, tutus, wellies and anything pink. But the thing that she loves most in all the world is her precious pink bunny what never leaves her side.
Just like her name, she really is beautiful inside and out. She is, perhaps, the most strong willed of the 4. I am sure that she will give me more than a few grey hairs when she becomes a teenager.
And then we come to the baby of my babies, Zara. I was induced at 37 weeks with Zara, 3 weeks earlier than with the other 3. The induction medication took a little longer to begin working, then, as I was hypnobirthing, the doctors didn’t actually believe I was in labour. Long story short, they barely got my trousers off in time and my whole labour was recorded as “2 minutes”.
Zara was born weighing 6lb 7oz of perfection. We sent home later that day, but I was readdmitted to hospital 2 days later with sepsis. To top it all off, William & Bella came down with chicken pox the following morning so were not allowed to visit me. I felt so guilty that I was forced to be away from them. I was kept in for a week, then just one week later, Zara was admitted to hospital having contracted chicken pox from the other 2. So once again, Mummy disappeared into hospital and I felt enormous guilt for having “abandoned” my other 3 babies.
After a rocky start, Zara is now doing incredibly well. She is so much like her sister. Baby pictures of the two of them are hard to tell apart, except for the fact that Bella’s eyes are chocolate brown and Zara’s are a brilliant blue. They also share a delightful and wicked personality.
Zara, who is just gorgeous, can already command the attention of everyone in the room.
I am privileged to be able to watch my tiny baby turn into a bubbly beautiful big baby girl.
My only fear is that she is, like the others, growing up far too quickly.
So those are my babies, they are my world. Having 4 of them is certainly challenging. Days are chaotically busy and I’m constantly like a zombie, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
That’s a bit about my babies. You can read more about our family here.