I’ve just been re-visiting some of my old blog posts… because, well, why not?!
I came across a post I made this time last year, on this exact date, and I feel like I need to respond to myself.
The beginning of last year/the end of 2016 was an incredibly tough time for me. Probably the toughest time of my life, in a way, and for certain reasons I am not permitted to discuss why.
I’ve come to peace with a lot of it now.
I also refuse to delete/remove the blog posts from that time.
I was hurt and depressed and struggling.
My writing was my outlet.
It still is, but I am no longer hurt and depressed and struggling.
So here are some excerpts from my post (a letter to my baby who we were struggling to conceive) this time last year, and my responses to past me:
Dear Baby Mad,
You don’t exist, and perhaps you never will. You do now, at least in my tummy, and I cannot wait to meet you.
You don’t really have a name either, but in my head I call you lots of names. Freddy John Maddocks, I repeat your name over and over again on a daily basis. I hope it suits you! I hope when you arrive we don’t change our minds after meeting you!
I’d love to give you a middle name, either Joyce, after my beautiful Nan, or Frederick, after my wonderful Grandad. Surely it’s going to be obvious to you, little boy, that Freddy is a homage to my wonderful Grandad?! He was an amazing man, and I’m so privileged I get to name my miracle boy after the man who shaped my life the most.
I imagine what you’d look like. I think you already look like your Daddy! Everybody thinks I’m crazy, because, really, how much can you tell from a scan picture?! But you do look like your Daddy! Especially from the side! You have his nose and his gorgeous lips! Much better than your Mummy’s nose and lips! I hope you have your Daddy’s eyelashes too, because they’re absolutely stunning! One thing is for certain, Freddy, I know you’re going to be the most gorgeous baby ever!
I imagine my Dad, who would be your Grandad, holding you, the proudest he’s ever been. He can’t wait, Freddy, he really can’t! He’s retired now. He’s going to look after you when Mummy is back at work. He’s so excited to be your Grandad and wants to buy you a special hat so you can build models in his shed with him! He was there, with your Nanny, when we found out you were a boy! Everybody is so excited to meet you and everybody loves you so so much.
I imagine bathing you and dressing you and snuggling you silly, even when you wake me up at all hours in the night and I think I can’t take much more of your incessant wailing for food (because, let’s face it baby mad, you’re a product of me and your Dad, and our favourite thing is to eat!) Everyday I come closer and closer to this reality and I cannot believe how lucky I am. I don’t care about how exhausted I’m going to be, because you’re going to be here finally!
I imagine all of the adventures we’ll have, and that special Mummy time nobody else will get because I’ll be on maternity leave and it’ll just be me and you. I have so many plans already! And you’re going to be around others babies too! Some of Mummy’s friends are having babies and we can go on days out with them! You’ll be in your gorgeous pram rocking your cool outfits that Daddy has chosen for you and Mummy will look rough but she won’t mind! Up until you’re nearly one years old, we will be together and have so many adventures! I can’t wait!
Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you.
I already know that I love you.
Just like I always knew that I’d love your Daddy when I eventually met him.
If it’s even at all possible, I love you even more than your Daddy, because I know you would be a perfect blend of both of us. I still feel this way, Freddy, and now I know every single thing your Daddy and I went through; all of the pain, the heartache, the suffering, the sacrifices to get to this point, it was all for a reason. That reason is you my little boy, and I will never ever take you for granted.
So many times you have saved my life, when you aren’t a life yourself. I see it clearer now than ever before, I had to save myself for you to exist. I had to change my life. I had to get rid of every ounce of negativity and all of the awful things that were holding me back for you to exist.
Why can’t I grow you and keep you safe until you’re ready to come into our little world? I’m doing it, my gorgeous boy! I am growing you. Against all odds, with my pathetic body that’s always failed me, I’m growing you. I’m petrified of doing something wrong and I’m petrified of losing you still. But with every kick, punch, elbow, wriggle and those hilariously cute hiccups you get when I drink cold water too fast or eat a bit too much sugar, I know you’re one step closer to being big enough to be born and here in my arms. You’re a true miracle, and I know you’ll get bored with me telling you that every single day of your life, but I’m never going to stop. Just like I’m never going to stop telling you how much I love you.
Why can’t you be asleep in your cot in your bedroom, instead of it being a room full of pointless junk your mummy bought to try to make herself feel better? You should have seen it, little man! Maybe one day you will! I took lots of ‘before’ pictures of the state of your room! It doesn’t look like that anymore. It’s ready to be decorated in the colour scheme we’ve picked out for you (grey and blue with cloud accessories!) It’s clear of all of my junk. I sold most of my junk! I parted with 8 huge bin bags of clothes. I sold most of the things I’d wasted money on and I’ve used the money to buy the things you need. I’m proud of myself. You will never have to suffer or go without, because I will always ALWAYS make sure you have absolutely everything you need. Of course your room will be ready for when you arrive, but you’ll be in with Mummy and Daddy for a while first. I can’t wait!
Why can’t you distract me from writing this now because you’re giggling or whinging or snoring or crying because you need food or your nappy changing? One day, one day very soon, you will be, and Mama won’t be blogging anymore because she won’t have the time!
I’m so glad I stuck things out and got myself back on track rather than just giving up.
This time last year I felt as though I’d lost all hope and there was no coming back.
But I stayed strong, I got help and I fixed myself.
Without anti-depressants (not that I’m criticising anybody who takes them, it was just a personal goal of mine to not go back on them after coming off them in September 2016).
Without anyone else ‘fixing’ things for me.
Without the people who dragged me down.
I got rid of the negativity and I let positivity into my life.
I feel like a warrior now!