It’s Saturday evening and I’ve just put you down in your cot knowing that tomorrow, when you wake us at some ungodly hour of the morning, you will have been with us for a whole year.
I haven’t had much time to take in the first year. I haven’t been able to attend to every detail, or drop everything and spend hours just watching you because you are our second born.
As I stood there in your room tonight, holding you to me after you had fallen asleep, your head heavy on my shoulder, my nose buried in your neck, breathing you in, gently swaying back and forth, memories of this time last year came flooding back.
Fourteen days after your due date of April 30, my labour had finally started earlier that day.
This time last year I was rocking you, I was swaying back and forth, as I breathed through the contractions I had been willing on for well over a week.
As I stood there in your room tonight with you sleeping in my arms my heart almost burst because it is filled with more love for you than you could ever imagine.
Watching you grow from a scrunched up little frog into a beautiful, cheeky, feisty little girl has been one of the best years of my life.
I never got around to writing about your birth, not because I didn’t want to but because time ran away from me with two of you to look after.
Your birth was far less complicated than your brother’s, but your head got stuck and after labouring for almost 36 hours I was falling asleep in between contractions because I was exhausted.
You were eventually born by caesarean section just after 2.30pm on Friday May 15.
Your indignant cry at leaving the warm cocoon that had nurtured you for the past 42 weeks and one day was the most wonderful sound I had ever heard.
Me and your dad smiled at each other like loons and then you were brought to us swaddled in a blanket, all angry and red and perfect.
The first year as a mother-of-two has been a huge learning curve and challenging in lots of ways.
We are more tired than you could possibly imagine as you have no qualms about waking up for the day at 4.20am.
You like to sing; you do a funny little dance when you hear us sing or play music you like.
You adore your big brother and love to play with him and give him cuddles.
You are a beautiful girl who has brought so much love, light and joy into our lives and we can’t imagine you ever not being here.
I hope I can be a good role model for you as you grow up into the amazing woman I know you will become.
I hope my own hang-ups and insecurities never even enter your consciousness.
I hope you grow up to be a strong and independent woman who knows her own mind but can empathise with others.
I hope I never let you down.
What I do know is that I will always love you. I will never tell you that you are useless, I will never tell you that you are stupid, I will always listen to you.
You are mine, and even when you have flown the nest I will always be yours.
I love you, Elvi, more than you will ever know.