As 2015 draws to a close, I have to say that I’m sorry to see it end. This day last year was my last day in work before I left for maternity leave, and what a year I went on to have. I wanted to record it here to look back on and remember, it’s been a whirlwind and a rollercoaster.
I remember January being a month of winter, ice and snow, long walks with a very patient Bill most days, waddling along with my giant bump at a snails pace, listening to ‘Serial’ or ‘The Archers’ on podcast. I regularly met up with my NCT friends for walks and decaf coffees. We had our picture taken with all our bumps in the local National Trust garden. At the end of the month the first baby of the group was born, lovely little Maisie, then things started to get real!
Time went on, and on. And I got bigger, and bigger. Frey’s due date was Sunday 8th February. On that day Rob and I had a day out to Glastonbury. I remember being asked in a shop when baby was due and happily being able to say ‘Today!’. Every day I wondered if today would be the day. I dreamt that I was in labour, but nothing happened. The above picture was taken at 41 weeks pregnant. I was booked for induction on 20th February, but Rob came down with a really nasty illness, and the day before the induction came home from work poorly. I called the hospital who said that he could’t be on the labour ward if he was so ill. It was a very stressful time! Luckily he recovered pretty quickly, and my induction started on the morning of Saturday 21st February. On Sunday 22nd February, at 8.20pm, our baby boy finally arrived.
We spent Rob’s paternity leave well, and somehow managed to get out and about most days. We went back to Glastonbury for my birthday, and we went on a tour of National Trust properties with our tiny bundle of joy. Frey’s Mamgu and Grandad came to visit for the first time, and at the end of the month we went up to Lancashire to visit Rob’s family. Frey was 5 weeks old, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day he slept all day and stayed up all night. I spent from 3am to 5.30am sitting on the floor attempting to nurse him back to sleep, then the next day was a complete blur of meeting family for the first time!
We made the most of the warmer weather, with more days out. We would go out most evenings for a walk with Bill, with Frey snoozing away in his pram. We’d often sit in the early evening sun soaking it up, making the most of the peace whilst Frey slept. We clocked up a few more National Trust properties, including Avebury and Tintinhull Gardens, where we carefully took Frey on the secret swing in the woodlands!
The bluebells came in May. More long walks, wrestling Frey’s pram through the bluebell woods, which was my favourite place to take Bill for his walks. Rob’s Nan sadly passed away in May, so we had a trip to Lancashire for the funeral. Frey was so good, he met lots more of his family this month. The weather started to get warmer and Frey and I spent more of our days in the garden, with him bouncing away in his bouncer or snoozing on a rug. Rob and I started working on our garden (ok, it was mostly Rob to be fair) and Frey happily sat in his bouncer for ages watching him. We planted lupins at the front of our house, the biggest I’ve ever seen. May was also the month I decided to start writing The Sparkle Nest, and the month I decided to go vegan.
At the beginning of June we went on our first family holiday, to a yurt in the Black Mountains. It was a beautiful spot. We had a barbecue almost every night in the evening sun, and Rob and Bill ran up and down some mountains while Frey and I waited for them at the bottom, me reading my book and Frey snoozing. The yurt was amazing, there was a separate kitchen yurt and a ‘tin shack’ which was our bathroom, which had a compost loo – pretty stinky! We also had a wood fired hot tub which was great fun, if only our baby boy had slept long enough for us to enjoy it! This holiday was when we began co-sleeping, as it was far too cold at night for Frey to be in his cot, so we all snuggled down together under the 9 tog duvet and bamboo sheets.
The rest of June included picnics in the park with Frey’s little friends, more work in the garden, a visit to Horningsham Village Fete where we saw Lord Bath enjoying some champagne, friends came over for a barbecue in our newly beautiful garden, we baked a chocolate cake for Rob’s first Father’s Day, and we had a trip to Bournemouth where we took Frey to the pier and the aquarium.
The end of June and beginning of July were so hot. We were lucky enough to be invited to a playdate with a friend who has an outdoor pool, what a lovely day that was. Frey started playing with my friend’s scarf.. and the result is this glamorous shot! This month we also visited Mamgu and Grandad in Cardiff, and went on an amazing day out to Somerset Lavender Farm.
August was the month we began weaning – this is Frey’s very first sold food – mashed avocado! We celebrated Frey turning six months old with champagne (Rob and I, not Frey, although perhaps it might have helped with the sleep?!) We had a day out to Dorchester to visit ‘Viking Day’ at the museum, and I started making my own bread.
September was the month of our long drive to Scotland, where we had a long weekend with Frey’s grandparents. We had an amazing time, and didn’t want to come home at the end of it. Frey was so spoilt I think he felt the same way! The weather was beautiful and we spend some time relaxing in the garden as well as celebrating Frey’s Grandad’s 60th birthday with a family photoshoot and a party.
Later in September I went to my first blogger event, Funfest in Milton Keynes, which was fantastic. This month also saw us have another trip to Cardiff, sing song playdates with Frey’s little pals, a trip to stay overnight in Bristol with my best friend Anna, and Frey getting his first tooth.
The 1st October saw us setting off for France along with our friends and their baby girl. It was a two day drive to the Pyrennees, with an overnight stop in Orleans, and Frey was not a big fan of the journey! Once we arrived however, he loved it. He slept well, he ate well, he loved having his little pal to play with, and we had a wonderful time visiting the markets in all the nearby market towns, eating delicious lunches outside restaurants in squares surrounded by pretty buildings with their brightly painted shutters, and the odd walk in the beautiful mountains that surrounded us.
October was the month that we were thrown a curve ball. Our holiday was cut short and Frey and I flew home early. It was Frey’s first flight, and we actually took two flights as we came home via Brussels. We arrived in Cardiff on the 13th October, and that’s where we stayed for the next month. I tried to make this into an adventure for him, and took him on days out to Cosmeston Lakes, in a bright pink pram that I had borrowed for him, for lunch dates just me and him, and we even borrowed a dog one day and took him for a walk in Heath Park.
Our ‘adventure’ in Cardiff continued throughout the first part of November. It was a very hard time and my baby boy looked after me as much as I looked after him. On the plus side, he got to spend so much time with his Mamgu and Grandad that he wouldn’t have if things had been different. They saw Frey crawl for the first time, Mamgu and I squealing with excitement as I ran to grab the camera. We had a day out to Cowbridge, started our Christmas shopping, and had a lovely walk along Penarth Pier. I visited places in my month in Cardiff that I haven’t been to since I was little, and it was lovely to be able to take Frey there too.
Later in November, Frey and I finally got back to our home. Not for long though as I was shortly off for a night in London where I spent a day at Mumsnet’s Blogfest ’15. At the end of November we went with Rob to our first of many Christmas markets, the Frost Fayre in Glasonbury, where we stayed late to watch the Christmas Tree lights be switched on.
December saw us continue with the Christmas Markets, with a visit to Frome Independent Market at the beginning of the month. A week after that Frey and are were jet setting again, when we flew up to Scotland to visit his grandparents. It was such a warm December down South, this was the first time we really felt winter! Rob joined us in Scotland and we had a big family day out to Edinburgh where we visited the Winter Wonderland. The next day Rob took us to Berwick upon Tweed where we took Bill for a wintery walk on the sea front.
Soon it was Christmas time, and Frey and I travelled back to Cardiff to spend it with Mamgu and Grandad. Frey was so adorable in his elf costume and the four of us had a lovely quiet Christmas.
So now, it’s 31st December 2015, a year to the day since I left work to become a Mummy. This year has been full of joy, of happy experiences, along with plenty of worry, tears and many sleepless nights. I have felt happier than I ever thought it was possible to be, and I have also at times felt more pain than I’ve ever felt before, both physical and emotional! Yin and yang maybe? Whatever the reason for it, 2015 is a year that I’m never going to forget.
Wishing you a very happy 2016.
Last Friday Frey’s Nana and Grandad from Lancashire came to visit him for…