Sequel to 16 and Pregnant
Your so grown now, i remember the day i found out i was having you! i was terrified. I was with your dad when i took the test and i couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw that second line. It was so faint one could question whether it was really there….I knew you were there…
Its funny but at 16 it was still my natural instinct to protect and nurture you. Reality set in pretty quick that i would have to tell Nanny that you were coming and as much as i considered running away i thought sticking it out and taking the upset and disappointment was the better option for your future.
The day you were born was a huge shock to my system! For 9 months, all i could do was imagine you and the life i would give you, and then you were this baby in my arms, crying piercingly loud like a little sheep! The first words i said as you were placed on my chest was “My baby?” I’ll be honest that wasn’t a happy emotional question, that was a question of complete shock and fear. All of a sudden you were there on my chest! And i was expected to care for you.
”You were real, not a Baby Annabel, A real human being, who made real noise, needed soothing and cuddling. YOU WERE REAL!”
To tell you the truth i never went to a single parenting class or read a single book about how to care for a baby, in-fact i barely fed you within the few hours you were born, no one showed me how too and you were sleeping so i just let you sleep, all the way until the following morning. I soon found out this was a bad idea when the midwife popped in to ask me how the feeding was going and i said I’ve not fed you since the first feed. She made me feel like a complete twit that day, grabbed my boob and made me hand express into a syringe. I was so embarrassed, here’s me trying to act grown and responsible and here’s me proving i’m nothing more then an ignorant teenage mum. I wanted to get you fed but at the same time i wanted to cover up, i was just a kid after all, i didn’t want any stranger fondling with my boobs. But one thing i do remember was i got 0.2mls of expressed milk which was nothing really but it felt like a great achievement to me!
The first year of having you was sooo hard we were living in that mother and baby unit from when you were 5 months and as much as i loved the independence i was soo lonely. I had to be very firm with you back then because i’d just started university and it was very demanding i barely had time to eat let alone go to uni, my work placement and care for you. Do you remember that house manager, she gave us a tough time! She complained about my room all the time and how much i struggled to keep it clean, meanwhile i’m up to my eyeballs in uni work, you teething, crying, pooping and working. It was complete madness!
We got through it though! You even delayed terrible twos for a year and hit me with terrible threes! That wasn’t fun but at least you waited until after graduation! Do you remember the cot in that room that you never slept in. You know.. As we cuddled up i held your tiny feet every night savouring the moment wishing you wouldn’t grow too quick.
I don’t know how much you remember from all those years back but i have to apologise for being so strict with you, i was very young with little patience and understanding of what kind of affection a child needed and i guess at 17-18 it was my goal to provide for you and ensure you would want for nothing. I guess in the midst of that i didn’t fully grasp the importance of affection. I don’t do the overly affectionate mother thing now but back then it was worse, quick hugs and kisses then off to do assignments and make money. I was a breadwinner, i took on a very distanced role because it made it easier to achieve the goals i needed so i could provide you with a better future. Of course i realise now that, that wasn’t the way to go but i truly do and always did love you.
You probably wont remember this but we use to go to mum and baby cinema together every Thursday at Clapham Picture House through the holidays. You were so well behaved i could take you anywhere and you would just sit quietly minding you own business. Do you know something? You know i never owned a single muslin square for you, i never even had a flask to keep your milk warm, id wrap it up in a spare baby vest and hope for the best, and even if it was cold which it was you would drink it anyway and never waste a drop!
Do you remember that nasty irritable cough you had? It was soo bad you would struggle to breathe and vomit up phlem. It still happens now but we control it better. The doctors thought it was asthma and put you on the inhalers daily along with throat sprays. It was always a shock to people when we were on the bus and they would always start of worried and end with some judgemental comment about what i should or shouldn’t be doing. But to be fair we were out the house by 7am and it was early, i guess the last thing they wanted to see on their morning commute was a baby struggling to breathe and vomiting up phlem. Whilst i casually rubbed your back and wiped up your sick. They weren’t to know i had been up dealing with this all night and that i was soo use to it, id worked out how many coughs would lead to breathing difficulties and that it was something we just had to ride through until you gained control and it settled. Sometimes we’d have to get off the bus in the dark just to avoid the stares and questions because people assumed i was your big sister and had no idea i knew how to handle it….
I remember putting you through a series of different modelling agencies when you turned 2! Its all a blur now but from what i can remember you weren’t much of a fan of getting your photo taken and following instructions in-fact you cried a few times until i realised we went through all of that to then be charged ”hundreds” just for you to join their agency. Honestly it was a waste of time.
Truly Shamaya you and i are the true definition of #MumAndDaughterGoals. We both grew together and every achievement, experience, trial and tribulation was done with you right by my side. But what more can you expect when when babies are having babies?…..
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