First Birthday Milestones and Memories

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Today my baby is one.
 Today I have been a mum for 366 days.
 I honestly didn’t think I would be so emotional about Alfie’s first birthday, but the past year seems to have gone so quickly, I feel like I haven’t had time to get used to the fact my baby is growing up.
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One year ago today I had been in labour for 42 hours, and had been taken down to theatre to have the baby delivered via emergency c-section. The details are blurry now, which is both good and bad (good because it was quite traumatic, bad because I’d quite like to be able to remember how my first child was born). From the first time I stepped in to the hospital and was told I had to be induced, to the first time I held my baby in my arms, my life has just been surprise after surprise.
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The first surprise came when they told me I had a baby boy. I was convinced I was having a girl, I kept saying it was mother’s instinct and I just knew! Apparently, my mother’s instinct was waaaaay off!
The second surprise came when I was told I had carried and given birth to a 10lb 3oz baby. I had a feeling I was going to have a large baby, maybe an 8 or 9lb-er as Craig and I were both big…but I never expected a baby over 10lbs.
Ever since that day, Alfie has continued to surprise and amaze me.
The year has gone so quickly, but we’ve packed so much in – here are some of my favourite moments from the past year:
Breastfeeding 
Being able to give my baby the best start in life by producing his milk for him is a wonderful feeling, and I feel a huge achievement that we made it to his first birthday still breastfeeding. We’ve had a few challenges, but overall we’ve had a pretty easy journey. I don’t know how much longer I’ll feed for, but even if I stopped tomorrow, I would feel proud of us for getting to where we are today.
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Milestones
Alfie’s hit some pretty big milestones in this past year, all captured by my wonderful Milestones cards. Every month we took a photo with his cards and it has been fantastic to see how he has grown – even though he was a big baby, I forgot how tiny he was! I think the most exciting one was when he was sitting up by himself at 3 months old. I couldn’t believe he had done it so early, but he’d been pretty strong since birth and was able to hold his head up on his own from very early on. Since then we’ve had first smile at 6 weeks, rolling over at 5 months, solid food at 6 months, first word at 7 months (of course that was da-da) crawling at 10 months and now his first birthday!
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Christmas 
I was way too excited for Alfie’s first Christmas. We had a lovely family photos shoot done, and I went overboard on presents even though I said I wouldn’t because he didn’t know what was going on. Alfie’s first visit to meet Father Christmas felt like a huge  huge milestone for me, even though he had no idea what was going on! It felt so much more fun doing the Christmas tree together and putting out a mince pie and glass of milk for Father Christmas. I can’t wait for when he’s older and actually understands about the magic.
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Baptism
We had Alfie baptised when he was 4 months old, and even though he wasn’t his usual happy self, it was a very special family occasion and wonderful to celebrate in his first year.
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Baby groups
We did two regular baby groups this year – our first one being Sing and sign  (our favourite!) and the second one being Hartbeeps.  Both were great fun but Sing and Sign has been amazing for us – we’ve made some lovely new friends and Alfie has learnt a way to communicate with me through signing – he can tell me when he wants milk, when he wants to eat, when he wants more and recently when he’s all done. He can also clap and wave when you ask him to. It’s so amazing to see him do this and I was so sad when we had our last class last week.
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Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
I really wanted to make these two days a special occasion, being our first, as it was a way to celebrate how far Craig and I had both come as parents. I feel hugely proud of the mum I am to Alfie, and also the dad Craig is to Alfie, and I’m glad we took the time to celebrate that.
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Babywearing
Before having Alfie I didn’t really see myself as someone who would baby wear – I thought it was a bit hippy and didn’t know anyone who did it. Oh how I have been converted! I adore baby wearing now and really believe (along with the breastfeeding) that it has helped to strengthen my bond with Alfie. I love that Craig carries him as well, so it’s something we have all been able to experience.
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The little things
As well as all the big, momentous occasions, there have been so many little moments that have made Alfie’s first year on this earth fun, exciting and hilarious! Every time he burps or farts, we both find it the funniest thing on earth. His little giggle when you blow raspberries on his belly and pretend to drop him just melts my heart. When he learns something new, like how to share or how to build his blocks up, or how to pull himself up on the chair makes me so proud, I think I might burst. Every time he eats I marvel at how well he has taken to solid food. I often think it’s these little things I cherish more than the big moments because they’re normal, every day occurrences. And it’s these little things I’ll miss when I go back to work full time (which I’m not going to dwell on, this is a happy post!)
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I can’t believe how much my life has changed this year – I feel like as a person I’ve grown up, I’ve become more fun but more sensible at the same time. I’ve learnt not to take any bullshit from anyone  (when you’re surviving on 5 hours broken sleep, you just don’t have the patience anymore) and I’ve learnt that I don’t need as much sleep as I thought I did (I still wouldn’t say no to 8 hours uninterrupted sleep though!).
It’s a funny thing being a mum. It’s hard but so rewarding and so fun. I must admit I haven’t found it that hard adjusting to having a baby – I feel like I was meant to be a mum and therefore have found it pretty easy.  I sometimes lust after the easier newborn days where Alfie would sleep for hours at a time and I could actually get stuff does without having to say “no don’t touch that” 20,000 times a day! But I also love this new stage of exploring and learning who Alfie is now he has gained his own little personality. He’s funny, he’s cheeky, he’s strong and independent. He’s a Daddy’s boy mostly but a Mummy’s boy when he wants to be.
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I’m proud of who I have become and how we’ve raised a gorgeous, content little boy. We have a few rough weeks to come with me going back to work full time and Alfie going to nursery full time, but I know we’ll get through it as a family as we have everything else.
When I first started writing this post, I have to admit I struggled as I knew I wanted to write something to celebrate Alfie’s first birthday, but I didn’t know what. I’m pleased it’s turned out how it has, and it’s been wonderful to look back and see how much we’ve achieved this year.
Happy First Birthday Alfie Bear. May you continue being the cheeky, smiley, gorgeous blue-eyed boy you have grown to be.
We love you always and forever.
Mummy and Daddy xxx
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13 thoughts on “First Birthday Milestones and Memories

  1. Happy 1st birthday (to baby and mummy!). It sounds like you were born to be a mummy, and it really is such a wonderfully rewarding job to have. I’m with you – I think Christmas is so much more magical when there are children in the house! #MarvMondays

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  2. Ah what a gorgeous post – one that you will be able to look back on in years to come. I love the milestone cards! What a fantastic idea!? Happy birthday to your little superstar and good luck for your return to work – though I’m sure you won’t need it as you’ll take it all in your stride. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

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