Three days ago was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day- I’m sure for many it was a heart breaking day of wounds that haven’t yet healed, or memories of empty wombs, or sterile hospital walls.. for some I know it would be a day of remembrance a memorial for those little feet that once tiptoed around the house. I can’t even begin to imagine the sense of loss that comes with losing an infant..
A few days ago Ava and I headed out to a play place with some friends and their children. We jumped on jumping castles and played in ball pens. We climbed ramps and slide down huge slippery slides- it was a great day! Towards the end of our time there we went back to the little kids area.. inside the play area was a mum and her baby boy- he was probably around 10 months old. I noticed straight away that she had a white cain. A mixture of emotions flooded my mind and heart.
Her baby boy fell a few short seconds after we walked in and began crying.. I went over and asked her if she would like me to help him, but she said she was fine and promptly packed up her cain and started following his cry to pick him up and console him. I burst into tears.. even re-writing this experience is making me cry.. I turned to my girlfriend and commented at how sad it was that she couldn’t see him.
My heart broke for her. Had she always been blind? Had she ever seen her son or was she blind from his birth? Something I take for granted every day was not “granted” to this mother and it broke my heart.
I take for granted being able to see Ava and play with her. I almost see it as a chore putting her to bed every day or bathing her.. times when I wish I could simply sleep uninterrupted for 6 hours but instead find myself getting up multiple times during the night..
There are mums who have never experienced a child calling them mumma, or dads who have never had someone to rumble with.. there are mums who are deaf who have never heard their children’s voices and dad’s who have never seen their children play a soccer game.
I felt like I needed to document what I experienced as a reminder to cherish every day I have with Ava. I hope this little part of my day reminds you to be grateful for the things you are able to experience, the children you are able to hold and even the waking minutes spent rocking that little one to bed. No time spent with your children is wasted or inconvenient.
We are 7 weeks into this parenting experience! I don’t think you can even call it ‘parenting’ at this age? More like, 7 weeks into the new job role of bottle feeder, burper and high-pitched laughs.
Ava is growing and developing well- we had her 6 week shots last week which were terrible, but she was fine after the initial jab (my poor baby).. yes, I was a blubbering mess.. She’s consistently sleeping through the night, waking only once to feed- we’re on a pretty good routine at the moment. The only problem with this routine is that she eats when we eat.. will I ever have a hot meal again?! I made a list a few days ago of all the things I haven’t done since the birth of Ava (the list is pretty comical!!):
- Had a shower lasting longer than 15min
- Eaten toast (at breakfast) while it was still hot..scratch that..eaten any meal while it’s still hot
- Drank a full cup of coffee at breakfast while it’s still hot
- Drank ANY beverage at breakfast and finished it while it was still hot
- Gone on a date with my husband.. unless church music practice counts?? HA.. (we are ticking this off the list tonight..)
- Left the house in less than 5min
- Only done one load of washing a week… Who knew something so small could create SO MUCH LAUNDRY
- Picked something to wear in less than 2 min- now it goes through the if-spit-up-was-to-fall-on-this-item-would-it-stain test..
Raising Ava has been nothing but joy..despite all the challenges new mums face! Some days I find myself worried that I am failing – am i under stimulating her, am I not talking to her enough, is she too hot or too cold, am I going to make her sick (I’ve been battling the flu for a week), does she need more Vitamin D (she is PALE folks), what milestones should she be hitting at this age.. if she hitting them?! So many what ifs and questions.. they don’t give you a manual when you have a baby.. I wouldn’t mind a how-to on ‘raising a functioning, caring and loving child’- the tagline could be: ways to not stunt their growth or crush their dreams.. It would cover everything from birth to say 14ish (after 14 your on you own…ha.. I can’t help you there..even I turned feral around this age)
I found this quote the other day which perfectly reflects the need I have for God to be involved daily in this new season of my life..
I can imagine that as Ava gets older the ‘load’ of motherhood will sometimes get heavy and complicated – but I truly believe I need just as much of God today that I will in 10 years time.
Below are some photos of my angel baby.. By no means am I a professional photographer however I have a pretty good Nikon camera which I’ve tried to work out myself..