Reflections on Ramona, six weeks in

Six weeks. Feels like no time at all and absolutely forever. I suspect anyone with a child will tell you the same, that they so fill up your life from the first second that they appear that it seems as though they’ve always been there. You can’t remember what life was like before them, but at the same time every little milestone seems a long time coming.

It’s been an unexpectedly trying time; we knew the parenthood was going to be hard work, but we weren’t expecting all the other strains laid on us. As Ashley became a victim of the education budget cuts and lost his job a day before I gave birth, the last six weeks has been for us a blur of jobhunting, career considerations (more on this soon – his, not mine), moving in with family to save money for a while and, of course, dealing with sleepless nights, the beginnings of colic (truly indescribably horrendous, and Ramona’s is, by all account, fairly mild) and visits to Miranda Clayton, a lovely cranial osteopath, who has been helping with the latter. And in all of this, we have somehow kept a relatively even keel, something I put down to being treated to daily gurgles and smiles, inquisitive eyes and the cheekiest face I’ve ever seen.

Ramona’s smile is beyond description, a cheek-cracking, gum-showing, eye-squinting wonder. It soothes all the frayed nerves from long minutes of screeching and crying and softens the tension of having had to watch her react with betrayed disbelief at her first injection. The way she pouts, chews her lips, rolls her eyes and bats her eyelids as she’s dropping off into what appears to be a wonderfully vivid dream helps calm my constant worry that there’s something wrong – is she sleeping too long with her head tilted that way? Has she had enough tummy time? When was the last time she fed? How long since her last change?

We know that for her to be quietened, we need to be serene. It’s not always easy, but we’re working on it. If you get the child you deserve, then I’d love to know what wonderful thing I did to deserve this amazing child. I’m in love, and it is changing me. Always for the better.