• Jessie Lee

Chloe is almost one and it's making me emotional

The other night as I lay my head on the pillow to go to sleep, it hit me: my baby girl is growing up and we are coming to the end of our breastfeeding journey. The thought brought me to tears and not the dainty, one glistening tear rolling down the cheek kind, but the full-on ugly sobbing, Kim Kardashian crying-face type of tears. It took me a good few minutes to recover from my shock realisation that I am almost the mother of a relatively independent toddler. If you had told me eleven months ago that I’d be sad about not breastfeeding as often, I doubt I’d have believed you. But since Chloe is down to a very manageable three or four nursing sessions a day, I’m suddenly feeling very nostalgic about it all. Suddenly, I miss her needing me 24 hours a day. I have grown to love breastfeeding her - these are the times we get to cuddle up together and enjoy each other. I love that I am able to provide her with an unparalleled level of comfort, regardless of how worked up she is. It feels special.

My smiling baby

There are other changes happening too.

Last week I left Chloe so I could work my first few days since becoming a mother. It was hard - I cried the whole way to work, feeling so guilty that I was leaving her. I worried that she wouldn’t take a bottle, wouldn’t sleep, would feel sad without me. I thought about her all day and my eyes got misty every time I pictured her little face. But when I got home, she was absolutely fine. She was happy to see me, of course, but I’m pretty sure she’d barely even noticed that I’d left the house. It was further proof that my girl is growing up and doesn’t need me the same way she used to.

I’m not sure how I expected I’d be as a mother, but it definitely wasn’t this emotional wreck of a person who cries over irrational things like the aforementioned. Is this my new, permanent mental state, or will I one day go back to being my old, emotionally-stable self? To think that there was a time when I wasn’t even sure that motherhood was something I really wanted makes me feel weird. What would I do without Chloe? Who would I even be had I never had the pleasure of experiencing these feelings, these extreme levels of love? She has made my life SO complete and she brings so much excitement to every day.

Holding on to her baby doll.

At eleven months and four days, I’m seeing so much more of her personality. She has already perfected the art of tantrum-throwing and is not afraid to show me when she doesn’t like something. She is so headstrong and curious and determined. She loves a chat and her sense of humour is the best! She thinks it’s absolutely hilarious when I sneak up and surprise her or when I nibble her toes. She loves music and cuddles and books. She loves her baby doll. She loves Rylee. She is happy to eat almost anything I put in front of her, bar one exception - steamed broccoli. She has just begun to walk around while holding onto things and is a little trooper - rarely crying, even when she lands on the floor.

At the playground

Yesterday Chloe and I had brunch with a friend and I got to watch her enjoy her very first marshmallow and babyccino. She was in baby heaven! It made me think of how much fun we will have spending lazy weekends together, brunching in the sun, sharing new adventures as she grows.

Enjoying her first marshmallow.

Despite being a constant emotional wreck, despite the exhaustion of sleepless nights and despite the many frustrations and worries that come with being her mum, I really couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m so grateful that things worked out the way they did. During the months before I fell pregnant, when we were struggling to conceive, I often wondered why it was taking so long. Now I know - we were just waiting for our Chloe. No one else would do.

So thank you baby girl, for making me a mother.

Thank you for giving my life so much meaning.

Thank you for being you.

Playing in the grass.

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