for a magical first birthday
During the first few weeks of our baby’s life, it felt
like time suddenly stopped still. The 12-week milestone everyone kept raving
about when things apparently get easier felt like an eternity away, and every
challenge seemed to last forever.
But then something astonishing happened – our newborn
baby turned one.
to a one-year-old
My daughter’s first birthday was probably one of the
only times we were awake before her, waiting eagerly for her to get up. I don’t
know why we were so excited to see her little face, it would’ve been just the
same as the day before, and the day before that. But this was the first time
we’d see her as a one-year-old.
Before, Moo* had been “x-days old”, then “x-weeks”,
finally “x-months”. But now, quite simply, she was “one”. And it suddenly
sounded so grown up.
mother’s prerogative to go overboard
As a first-time mum, I found it hard to work out how
to celebrate our little cherub’s first birthday. I’d never done this before, so
gauging what to spend on a present, what to do for a party and who to invite
were all mysteries to me.
After confident declarations of “we won’t do much –
she won’t even understand”, we did the exact opposite. Moo ended up having not
one, but three, birthday parties, three birthday cakes, and a whole host
We had a birthday party with her friends (aka our friends’
children), one with her NCT baby pals, and one with family. Of course, each
party needed a separate cake, decorations and activities, and there were
I still (perhaps naively) claim that this was a unique
birthday – her first one! Therefore, it’s only natural to go a bit overboard
and get excited, right? But I can’t help but feel there will be many more
birthdays to come that are met with the same enthusiasm as her first.
about last year
Of course, Moo’s first birthday wasn’t just special
because it was such an important milestone in her life. It was also significant because it brought me back to the
events of last year – her birth.
I found it so poignant to recall the days leading up
to labour, knowing our lives would change forever but not really understanding
how. And then as soon as she was born, it was like we’d never been without her.
She’ll probably tell me to “shutup mum” when she’s
older and I’m trying to tell her the beautiful story of her birth every year on
her birthday. But I still find it moving – from the speedy labour and being
rushed in a wheelchair to the delivery suite, to being told she’s a girl by my
husband and holding her in my arms for the first time.
All of it was difficult, painful but amazing. And
that’s probably one of the main reasons us mums all go a bit mad over our
babies’ first birthdays. Because it reminds us of such a phenomenal point in
our lives, and all the amazing changes that have occurred since.
years fly by
In the end, our baby girl becoming one was a huge
turning point for us. Not so much for Moo, who had already been walking and
chatting away for a couple of months.
However, for my husband and I, this was the first time
we could see the years fly by in front of us. Instead of feeling as though time
had paused and the weeks were passing ever so slowly, like they did in the
beginning, it suddenly dawned on us we’d be preparing for her second birthday
before we knew it.
And now as I spend my weekends learning how to bake a
Peppa Pig cake and trying to throw a special (albeit much smaller) celebration
for Moo as she turns two, I realise we were totally on the money.