Dearest Little Bebe,
I stumbled across these photos and I couldn’t help but think, ‘where has time flown?’
Feeling like it was only yesterday, I was sitting and waiting anxiously in the dark after having taken a pregnancy test. Whilst nibbling on the corner of a nail, something I haven’t done for a really long time as I came to the conclusion that it was best to wait for what the results were before I had a mini breakdown and midlife crisis at 28.
I guess in way, you could say I was worried and concerned because like most women who have suffered a miscarriage and a part of them is deathly afraid to admit they want children with someone they’ve pictured spending their life with. Whether someone chooses to become a parent on their own, be in a committed relationship or the child is created by other means that aren’t necessarily loving; I genuinely hoped I was pregnant and the symptoms I was experiencing wasn’t a figment of my imagination.
After the seconds, minutes and what felt like hours ticked away slowly as I continued sitting in the dark, I placed a hand on my lower abdomen and thought of how my body could possible create and nurture something and I shed a few tears, prayed for the first time in what felt like forever and promised I would look after you, raise you to be the best person you could possibly be and that if you were a man or woman, I would encourage you to be strong and powerful. All I needed in return was the golden ticket to be able to do so.
Yes, my Little Bebe…. your mother is a fan of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and will forever throw out sporadic quotes from this novel and from her other favourites from Roald.
That evening, I walked numbly into the lounge room of our little getaway villa with a stunned and shocked facial expression as I handed over a positive pregnancy test to your father, we knew the dynamic to our relationship would change forever after this night. This news would change our relationship in the sense of becoming closer as a unit, our focus changed from one of being honeymooners who’d been dating to becoming something even more serious.
We also knew this stage in life would and is the best thing for us as individuals and a couple.
In the future, if you stumble across photos of myself while I was carrying you or your father touching or cradling my stomach throughout my pregnancy, you can feel how proud we are at taking the next step in adulthood and how blessed we felt. Even through those difficult times where you decided it was time to make your grand entrance at 32 weeks, than again at 34 weeks and eventually 36 weeks and 4 days…. we took each step while holding each other’s hand, stared into each other’s eyes and said to one another that it was going to be okay, as yet another contraction wracked my body.
You, my Little Bebe, have definitely taken after your mother in the lack of patience department and the need to keep your parents on their toes.
Trust me, you do not need to follow in my footsteps and do everything I’ve done as a child. But knowing you, you may follow in my footsteps, experience your childhood from a different perspective and while it may be daunting because you will remind me a lot of myself as a little child; if it’s anything to go by who I am as a person, adult and parent today… then maybe it’s for the best.
I guess I need to embrace the philosophy of not being able to wrap and smother you in bubble wrap so I can protect you at all costs, dive in front of you as you go to hit the deck and get a scratched knee or hold your hand until the age of 17 as you walk into your high school gates for the last time and ignore the fact, you’re dying of embarrassment because your mama still walks you to the gate and it’s no longer cute or necessary.
Hate to admit it kid, but when your father and I signed up to be parents and decided our social life was no longer acceptable or needed, we weren’t given a manual on how to be acceptable and non-smothering parents the day you arrived. In fact, we’ve had to literally fly on the seat of our pants and we take each day as they come.
Although, I often find myself begging out loud for the parent’s manual guide in times where I am doubting myself. It’s during these times, where I think back on how far our journey has gone and to the times where I would encourage myself to purge my system of all the negative thoughts I had about my mothering skills, knowledge or lack thereof, how badly I sucked at being a mama compared to others’ who appeared to have their crap together and why I had failed at breastfeeding you.
What I fail to mention is: I had these thoughts from the moment you were born and I still continue having them, even to this day. But you know what, Little Bebe, I probably will continue having these thoughts, feelings and wonderings of ‘am I doing a bad job as a parent? Have I traumatised my children beyond normality?’ until the day I die.
Prime example: I’m 31, have a relatively good and if not, fantastic relationship with your Nelly and Poppy as well as your Aunts and Uncles. From your Nelly, I still get asked to this day if She is a good enough parent, how can your Nelly change and has She traumatised me beyond all comprehensible levels. As for your Aunt and Uncles, I still mother them to this day and the strangest thing is, I simply can’t stop as it’s built into my DNA and I have a need to protect them.
Just like I have with you, your siblings and your Daddy. Except, it’s a different kind of protection that I feel as compared to your Aunt and Uncles.
For all of the moments I ask if I am failing you as a parent, you come over to me and give me the biggest and most delicious hugs and kisses and I know, I haven’t. The strangest thing is, it’s almost as if you’ve known from birth that I need confirmation I’m not a shit parent because the first time I ever asked, you opened your teeny little blue eyes for the first time that day and we sat there in complete silence, simply staring at one another.
I was drawn to you and in that moment of picking you up from the pale blankets in your crib, I nuzzled you into my chest and simply breathed for what felt like the first time in such a long time.
The sense of relief of knowing you were here came over me and with that, washed away the struggles to fall pregnant, my initial fears of having a miscarriage and keeping you until we reached a safety bracket in our pregnancy; the battle of trying to overcome my anxiety and depression that was running rampant and how I wished to have a normal labour and birth.
Instead, we simply laid there in silence as the world outside our door continued bustling and humming and I silently wept tears of pure joy.
Ignoring the pain that wracked my body with each sob as I chose to forget about the long and difficult labour I had with you. The fear and deathly calmness I felt as we were rushed into an emergency caesarean and the guilt I had for not being able to have a normal labour and birth because my body simply couldn’t dilate and you were going into distress. Just like I did with your sister’s labour, I apologised to your Aunty Kaffy for her not being able to be there when you were born for I felt as if I had let her and those who were there during your labour, down.
As your Daddy bent down to give me what felt like could be my very final kiss as he left the theatre room with you, before beginning the scary journey to the NICU and before I went unconscious; I knew within my heart that we would do it all over again. Just so we could have you.
While others would see a cute little toddler playing havoc at the beach and groaning at the fact you would bring the sand home; all I and your family can see is the extreme amount of love we have for you as a collective. As for your own Fairy Godmother, in case we aren’t around to tell you in person the reasoning and you stumble across this love letter, this is the reasoning as to why we decided to make Aunty Kaffy your Fairy Godmother.
We, your Daddy and I, made a list very much like Santa and we checked it twice, thrice and four times before we made the decision. We spoke at great arms and length of what we wanted in a person or couple, how we envisioned you and your siblings lives to be and why this person/couple would be the best decision. Slowly but surely, we crossed those off the list who didn’t fit, couldn’t and would never fit the mould we wanted for Godparent/s and eventually, we settled on one very special, very important and very surprised person.
Your Aunty Kaffy.
We chose Kaffy because we knew within our souls, she would and will guide you and your siblings through the intricacies of life, love and adventure. With and without the support of your other Aunties and Uncles. We knew Kaffy would tell and show you where you need to focus your attention. School being one of course and assist you in anyway in regards to what you plan on doing with your life and show you how you can get from A to B.
Aunty Kaffy would be like Mama’s own Fairy Godmother and that being: firm but loving, playful and yet powerful and possesses the heart of gold. If and when you come to them with a problem and are in need of a solution, answer or a firm talking to you about pulling up your socks and getting on with life; all of that would be available in any means.
In the moments where you don’t need it or are particular offended by the reality check: just know that they don’t put up with bullshit from outsiders and they will be fiercely protective, no matter the costs. Or, the life expectancy of those crossing their paths will be shortened dramatically for you are their child.
Both your siblings and yourself will come to learn, realise and hopefully embed this knowledge into how you receive, process and relay information is that, our family motto is: “ride or die”.
Alongside, “For we are The O’Chunky’s”.
You, my Little Bebe, are my ride and die.
On second thoughts, you are many people’s ride and die.
Just remember this my Little Love:
If you ever have a question for your Daddy or myself, we will try our hardest to answer it and if we don’t know the answer than we shall seek it.
If you ever need to leave a party for whatever reason, your father and I are only a phone call away.
If you are going to do something illicit, I would rather you talk to your father and I before you do it or talk to your Godmother, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to us. Just know, your parents will inevitably find out and we will still end up talking to you about why you felt it was necessary to try whatever it was/is. Once again, I would prefer you doing it under the roof of our home so I can look after you and know you are safe.
If you feel like listing your siblings on eBay for 5 cents with interest, please don’t and I will be disconnecting/cancelling your account.
Lastly, if you ever need a hug, kiss, home cooked meal or warm bed to sleep in than our front door is always open.
I love you with all my heart.
Mama & Daddy xx