Dear Rio, a letter to describe life with you at 4.5 months

Dear Rio,

How can I even begin to sum up these past 4.5 months? If someone had described to me what it would be like and feel like, it wouldn’t have even been possible for me to conceive. It is wild – it is so much love my heart could burst. It is a feeling of being overwhelmed at the same time, of feeling unsure and inadequate. It is the feeling of the deepest joy I never thought possible.

Dad is away in Joburg again and once again we find ourselves just the two of us. To me, it was a day spent housebound with my hair looking so untidy, my clothes feeling messy and baggy. My coffee went cold again, and dinner was cornflakes wolfed down with you niggling to be put to sleep. But to you – to you it was probably such a fun day, which is why I see you literally giggling in your sleep. We laughed together, you played in your jumper and with your toy mobile. I blew lots of kisses on your tummy and tickled your feet. You ate avocado (your new favorite) and tried banana for the first time. We took a walk to the pond and even though you probably don’t understand what they are- you saw the ducks. You also napped in moms arms and had your favorite thing – milk. So yes – to you it was probably a great day!

Yip, that’s my squishy tummy sticking out. No makeup, baggy clothes and hair in need of a wash. But I took this photo because I want to remember these moments – that despite how I BLEH I feel I felt so great at the same time!! Being your mom is amazing, and when you fall asleep I just stare at you in awe. I’m so blessed to be your mom!

Putting you to sleep once again felt a little frustrating – you LOVE lying with your mommy and nursing to sleep. Except this time you ended up vomiting all over me and the sheet. Yet you were unphased – you just wanted to keep drinking. Eventually you passed out on my lap, and your breathing grew gentle and slow, curled up. The thing I found myself wishing for throughout the day- freedom and feeling like an adult, something other than a mom – was here. And what happened? I instantly missed you! I missed your smile and your new giggle. I missed you grabbing your toes and sucking your fingers. Is this the paradox of motherhood? I literally took a photo because I want to remember this moment! Because I know time is fleeting, and even at four months you’re already so much more different than you were as a newborn. I know one day you’ll sleep in your own bed, I know one day you won’t breastfeed anymore. I want to remember these moments and cherish them. I want to remember them and look back on them because really – despite the lack of freedom, the lack of sleep, the lack of makeup and nice clothes and hot coffee – these are truly the best days of my life. I would not trade them for anything.

I never expected to love motherhood so much and yet here I am – sitting on my bed that has vomit on, watching you sleep and smiling this goofy smile. And my heart is overflowing. You could not be more cute if you tried. While I love video content and photographs, I do want to start writing more about these early days so that i can go back and read them as you grow up.

Some things that spring to mind currently are:

  • You just started solids and it’s been mixed between “I’m angry when the food is finished” to “Why are you wasting my time with solid food?” but this weekend was a hit. You ate avocado with sheer enjoyment and really seemed to like banana too. The mess is not fun to clean up though!
  • You love anything dangly and grip it with force- you’re already so strong and can really pull something when you want to.
  • You suck your thumb but it looks more like you’re eating it -you chew it in the corner of your mouth. 95% of the time you suck your left thumb. We sometimes wonder if you’ll be left handed like me?!
  • You love standing, assisted of course. You spring and laugh with glee when standing. You’re not a fan of lying down – you love to see and watch what’s going on.
  • You have a book with a squishy lion on it and it’s the only thing that keeps you from screaming in the car. Okay, sometimes no matter what, you scream. But our best chance of a quiet ride is to put that book in your face and let you play with that lion.
  • You haven’t slept in your cot once! Haha..you love to sleep near mom & dad. Co-sleeping is not what I had planned but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love having you so close.
  • You love to talk – you’re discovering your voice and each day it seems like there is a new sound. You have long chats that seem to make a lot of sense in your head. You let out a long sigh and then start talking. But it’s so sweet- in the morning you take a few minutes to wake up (much like your dad!) and you’re super quiet, blinking and taking it all in. Then suddenly out of nowhere this long sound comes out and it’s like you’re saying – “Good morning guys!”
  • You adore having your nappy changed which is also funny because you screamed your way through it the first month of your life. Now you laugh and kick your legs like crazy – we have to be careful you don’t kick us! You also love to wee when the nappy comes off so that is also something to look out for.

Rio, you made me a mother and I’ll always thank God for that. It’s like the world is suddenly in sharper, brighter colors and I see everything through this lens. You added a dimension to me I didn’t know existed, and I think we share a special bond because of that. When you’re sleeping, or my hands are actually free to do something, anything I want like do my makeup or cook or read, I feel strange. Like a part of me is missing. It’s like I carried you in my stomach for nine months, and now I carry you in my arms – we’re still so attached, you and me. It feels like you’r/e an extension of me!

The moment you were born and placed on my chest, bellowing screams commanding the room, you wrapped your fingers around my finger and held on tight for dear life. I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. The first time we met face to face. Yes, the days are long. Yes, I’m tired and my body aches from carrying you around, from bouncing on that darn exercise ball so much. Yes, I long for the days of sleeping 8+ uninterrupted hours. But you have made my life sweet. Your smiles light up my life. I am your mother, and you are my son. And I thank God daily that He gave me you, the most precious and perfect gift.

 I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
And in darkest night You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a Father
I’ve known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

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1 Comment

  1. October 21, 2020 / 11:17 am

    Your writing style is so beautiful – I’ve not been stunned by a blog post in such a long time!

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