Last week Milly had a growth spurt. As I’m breastfeeding this meant on the rare occasions during her waking hours when I wasn’t pinned to a sofa feeding, I was frantically looking for a coffee shop, park bench, car park… basically anywhere to act as an emergency feeding spot to attempt to satisfy the crazy huge appetite of my 11 week old baby. By the end of the week she had not only grown out of her carseat but also out of the newborn phase of her life. And this has reduced me to a state of sentimental mush.
My little baby now holds her head with startling confidence, coos and shrieks with glee, gurgles and giggles in response to our stupidity (who doesn’t love a raspberry noise, right?) and I’ve cleared a ridiculous amount of clothes out of her wardrobe that no longer fit my increasingly bonny bundle of joy.
But it’s not all about Milly. Poppy too has matured at a scary rate, particularly since her little sister arrived. A few jealous spells aside (life with two has definitely not been plain sailing!), she’s wholeheartedly embraced the nurturing role of being the older sibling and I’m so proud of the warm, expressive, independent, bright and crazy funny little girl she is turning into. But where have my babies gone?
After having Poppy, we knew we wanted another baby to allow her to have the incredibly special relationship with a sibling Mr J and I both have (I’ve talked about this here previously). So when Milly arrived I experienced an overwhelming sense of contentness. Our little family felt complete. As a result, it’s unlikely (without a drastic overhaul of our life plan) that we’ll ever go through the newborn phase again. And although I won’t miss the sleepless nights, the always horrendously timed poo explosions and having to hastily whip my boob out on a park bench to settle a screaming hungry baby (it’s impossible to be discreet), I will miss the sleepy cuddles, the elation of experiencing each and every one of the early ‘firsts’ and the general neediness of a newborn.
But it only takes an afternoon stroll with Milly in the baby carrier, her head lying with such sleepy contentness on my chest while her increasingly podgy arms gently cuddle around me. Or for Poppy to request me to “hold her like a baby”, to realise these moments haven’t been shunted away now redundant to the past, they’re simply evolving. My girls may not be newborns but they are still my babies. And they always will be.