My dearest Leah,
Tomorrow, you turn one year old. How time flies. It has been a roller-coaster journey for your mommy. From the moment I knew that I was expecting you, my life changed. I have never been more exhausted, tired or grateful in my life. A weird combination of feelings, I know, but that’s exactly what I feel. It feels like it was just yesterday that I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test kit. By the time you are able to read this, those kits would probably be so passé.
The day I delivered you via emergency c-section was a nerve wracking one. I was so looking forward to delivering you naturally, but what can I say, being the drama queen that you are, you decided that your arm would make an appearance first instead of your head, and mommy had to go under the knife to not risk fracturing your tiny little arm. When I heard your first cries, I cried too.
I won’t lie and say that my journey with you has been a bed of roses. There have been many hurdles that I have had to overcome, and I guess that makes this journey through motherhood a memorable one. The day you were born, you made me cry with joy. The same day, you had problems latching on to breastfeed and you made me cry with frustration.
The first few months of your life, you were a slightly colicky baby, and I would dread the evenings when you would start crying. Thankfully, that phase passed when you turned 4 months old. As you grew, you became a chubby, babbly baby. Your daddy and I have countless video clips that show you giggling and babbling, and I think there’s even one in there where you let one rip really loud! Your daddy reckons it will be the perfect tool to deter the boys that may come a-calling soon enough.
At 6 months old, I started you on solids. That has been quite a fun-filled experience. From not knowing what to do with food in your mouth, you are now a greedy little toddler who tries to grab food off your mommy’s plate. You love yoghurt and blueberries – Avocadoes aren’t exactly your favourite (but your mommy is smart enough to mash it together with banana so you’ll happily gobble it up). You have been quite the champ when it comes to food, and I cannot ask for more. I proudly declare that you have mommy’s taste buds for all things edible!
If there was one thing I could wish for though, is that you sleep better. From the time you were a newborn, you have been a light sleeper. You unfortunately have your mommy and daddy’s light-sleeper genes, where the tiniest little sound jolts you awake. I have lost count of the times I have gotten so mad at our noisy neighbours and even family members who accidentally wake you from your catnaps. Unlike many babies who nap for 1-2 hours at a stretch, you have always napped for a maximum of 30 minutes. Each time you’re napping, my heart goes into overdrive, hoping that no-one accidentally makes a sound and wakes you up!
Eventually, you developed a habit of nursing to sleep during naps and at night. You would awake many times at night wanting to suckle to sleep. I must say, over a span of one year, it began to take a toll on me. My back would hurt from having to lie sideways all night, and the constant waking made me exhausted and cranky during the day time. Your daddy thinks that mommy could well be a reincarnation of Dr.Jekyll. Anyway, in order to be a better wife and a happier mom, I have decided to sleep-train you. It has been a few days into this training, and although you cried angrily the first day, you seem to be getting the hang of it now. Let’s hope you be a good girl and start to sleep through the night.
You have been such a joy in our lives, and each time you reach a major milestone, your mommy can’t help but to shed a tear or two. The first time you crawled, the first time you clapped your hands, the first time you stood and the first time you called me MAMA (instead of your usual “nya-nya”) have all been significant moments in my life. I wake up every morning thanking the Almighty for His beautiful gift that is you, and I go to bed every night asking Him to protect you and to bestow nothing but all that is good in life to you.
I end this letter, dear daughter, with these first words I uttered to you when the doctor placed a newly born you next to me whilst I kissed your forehead; “I love you baby, always have, and always will”.