Ebony is three months old today. Three months.
Remember when three months seemed like forever? Three months could crawl by at a painfully slow pace. Like in Year 8, when I was waiting for the summer holidays to begin, it seemed like they would never come. Dull lesson after dull lesson stretched out like an eternity as I awaited my freedom. Or in Year 10, when me and my first boyfriend celebrated our ‘three month anniversary’, it felt like such an achievement, to be in such a long term relationship. The three month summer at university felt too long, especially the one I spent working at Gala Bingo. What a horrible place, and what horrible customers. Day after day of serving cheap pints to impoverished alcoholics, what a summer. I couldn’t wait for those three months to end so I could get back to student life.
Time used to seem so slow, whether you were happy or sad, time would always move at a steady pace. Not anymore. Pregnancy seemed to slow time down, make every week last a lifetime. Especially at the beginning and the end. The first 10 weeks, when no-one knew, time barely moved at all. It seemed like years until the time came when we could finally start telling friends and family the good news. As the pregnancy progressed, time seemed to slow down even further. I was huge, uncomfortable, cumbersome, exhausted, achy and in a really bad mood. I couldn’t wait to start maternity leave so I could stop having to get that hideous tram twice a day, oh the tram people they really are the lowest of the low. The hours, the days, the weeks were slow. But then finally, finally November came and I was able to finish working.
But even that didn’t speed time up. The daytime TV, the decorating, the knitting, none of it seemed to help time pass. I was still uncomfortable, tired and now I was bored as well.
The longest day of my life was my due date. Friday 6 January, it came and went, slowly. I knew it was unlikely anything would happen, but for some reason each minute seemed heavy with anticipation and frustration.
On Monday 9 January Ebony forced her way into this world, and I haven’t had time to be bored since. It’s as though Laurie has idiotically sat on the remote and put my life on to double speed. Whole weeks just disappear without me even noticing. It’s not really tangible. It’s not that I am busy speeding around getting all sorts done and that is why time is flying, sometimes I barely do anything and the day is over.
One day last week I got up, got myself dressed, got Ebony dressed, put some washing on, played with Ebony and sat down to eat breakfast only to discover it was 5pm. I have no idea where the day went, it is as though time is playing tricks on me. I have set my clock to Alice in Wonderland time and now have no idea how to get it back to normal.
Three months have passed. It feels like yesterday that the midwife handed her to me only to be met by my loud wails. I was, quite frankly, terrified and overwhelmed and in love all at the same time. She was so tiny (compared to me, not compared to normal babies. Let us not forget she was a 9lb giant) and vulnerable. She couldn’t hold her head up, and my Mum would loudly inhale every time Ebony’s head so much as wobbled upon her tiny perfect shoulders (loud inhales is exactly what new mothers do not want to hear by the way Mum). She could barely open her eyes, and when she did she couldn’t focus on anything. All she did was sleep and eat, mostly sleep. She would cry every time she was undressed, and she had no control over her randomly flailing arms and legs.
Just three months, or 13 weeks, later she is like a completely new baby. She shed her vulnerable skin weeks ago and is now a curious, inquisitive, attention hungry, focused and wonderful baby. She can grab, and kick, and pull, and hold, and smile, and stare. There is purpose and urgency in her actions now, she is deliberate and knows what she wants. I am amazed at how much she has changed in such a short space of time. She is no longer my tiny needy little smush, she is a person with likes and dislikes. She likes kicking dangling objects, she dislikes gum pain.
I have changed lots too over the past three months, more than I have in the five years previous I’m sure. New parents have to adapt so quickly to a completely new way of life. Everything changes. I no longer come first, I don’t even come second. I’m way down the list after each and every one of Ebony’s possible needs. She is my first and last thought every day. She really is the most important thing in the world. I thought I knew what love was before she was born, but I was wrong.