The best year of our lives…

10 Jun

A year ago today I met my daughter Squidger for the first time. It’s been the best year of my life I reckon! But as I reflect on what we’ve enjoyed and achieved over the last twelve months I do sometimes feel sad that we didn’t know each other for the first 6* + 25 months of Squidger’s life on the planet. [*Squidge was born at 29 weeks]

Prem baby at 29 weeks - not actually Squidger tho'

I didn’t experience the life changing news that my body was going to be incubating a baby for the next few months. I didn’t feel what it was like to have her growing inside me, to feel her kicking and shifting to get comfy. I didn’t hear her heartbeat through a machine at a hospital visit or see her tiny, developing body on a scan picture.

I didn’t have 9 months to plan and get excited and prepare.

I didn’t hear her first sound as she arrived into the world or give her her first cuddle. We don’t even have pictures of Squidger at anything under 12 months old. I didn’t have the sleepless nights as this tiny thing drank her body weight in milk. I didn’t make friends through NCT classes or coffee mornings. I didn’t hear people saying, ‘Ooo she’s got your eyes!’. Or ‘Well done!’

I didn’t watch as Squidger’s face shape changed over the months form baby to infant to toddler. I didn’t hear how her gurgling grew into recognisable words or her unco-ordinated movements changed from shuffles to sitting to crawling to walking. I wasn’t with her for her first or second Christmas or her first and second birthday.

Instead I read a report about the first two years of her life and heard bits and pieces from social workers, foster carers, medics. I read how Squidger came into the world 11 weeks early and had to spend her first 3 months in a Special Care Baby Unit as police and social services decided her future. I read the history of her parents and their families, of the heartache and dysfunctionality. I read how Squidger was developing and the effect she was having on those around her.

And that’s when I fell in love with her. Five months before I met her.

Hers wasn’t the only report I had read but it was the first one where I really wanted to be that child’s mummy. A few meetings where social workers assessed whether I was the right mummy for Squidger; an interview in front of a panel of 15 or so social workers, lawyers, pyschologists, adopters, health visitors to further assess whether I was ‘the one’ and it was decided.

May 6, 2010 – the day I became Squidger’s mummy.

But I still hadn’t met her. I’d only seen a couple of pictures; an out of focus black and white and a couple taken at her foster carers. I didn’t know what she liked to do, to eat, what her routine was…How tall was she? What did she weigh? Was she talking yet?! A few of these questions were answered at a planning meeting with social workers and foster carers.

I started to plan, to organise. A whole 9 months worth contracted into 4 weeks! I had to be ready for ‘Intros’ [where you meet for a week and get to know routines etc] w/b 10th June, 2011.

Which brings us to today’s anniversary!

There’s a lot I haven’t been able to share with Squidger at the start of her life and there’s a lot I don’t know to be able to tell her in the future. Her first words? When she got her first tooth? Started to walk? First trip to the beach? There’s no photographs of her first two Christmases and Birthdays.

But crikey, what a lot we HAVE shared this year! I feel very lucky and privileged to be Squidger’s mummy.

Love you, Squidge xx

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8 Responses to “The best year of our lives…”

  1. Barbara June 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Most beautiful story, your little one is one lucky, lucky girl!

  2. Richard Potts June 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Now then Mrs M! Lovely story – I remember everybody being so anxious for you in the run up to this day last year. So glad that things have worked out for you and Squidger. x

    • howwelaughed June 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

      Hey, Richard! LOVELY to hear from you. How’s your little one? Thanks for reading 😀

      • Richard Potts June 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

        He’s great thanks! 21 months now, getting quite chatty and very cheeky! If you do Facebook, click on my name and add me as a friend – plenty of cheeky boy pics! Nice to be in touch!

  3. Terry Murphy June 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Lovely 🙂 xx Terry or FBH

  4. Jenny Flintoft June 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    What a lovely, lovely post. May you continue making lots more special happy memories together as the years go by x

  5. Mamatiara1 June 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    What a lovely uplifting post. I wouldn’t worry too much about the missing data (for that’s all it is). You could have the first words/tooth/beach visit etc since Squidge has been with you. After all it sounds as though her life really started when she met you. Take care x

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