The best part of 2015 for us was the birth of our daughter. Our third child, and first daughter was born on the 10th September 2015. She was born in water, at home, and it was pretty darn special.
As always, when a new person comes in to a family there is a period of adjustment for everyone. It can be particularly difficult for older siblings as they adapt to sharing another person with Mum and Dad, and navigating the new dynamics.
Having been through this change before, I was somewhat prepared, and much more relaxed. And I am happy to say that so far we have all done pretty well.
Joni’s older brothers adore her, and for the most part have adapted quite well. They entertain her, talk to her, sing to her, and generally lavish her with attention. That’s not to say we haven’t had some difficult times – jealousy, rivalry, sadness, anger – but we have tried to approach these times with patience, love and open hearts. And when we couldn’t quite muster the patience, we have offered heartfelt apologies, hugs, and a promise to do better tomorrow.
My husband and I have so far muddled through, as we slowly work out the logistics of becoming a family of 5.
And Joni, well she has been a beautiful blessing. She has just fit right in, and generally handles the chaos without batting an eyelid. She adores her brothers and accepts their constant hugs and kisses and squeezes with the patience of a saint (she must get that from her father).
She has brought a lot of healing to my life, even whilst still growing inside me. And she brought me closer than ever to my beautiful baby sister who is no longer with us.
I wrote this reflection when she was just a few days old…
My darling daughter, Joni Simone, I feel like I have been waiting so long to finally meet you.
We didn’t find out the sex of any of our children, but I have always deeply longed for a daughter. Recently I was able to really understand the truth of this longing.
When I was three years old my precious baby sister, Brenda Simone, passed away. She was only with us a few short months, but I loved her, I doted on her, I mothered her. I had two older sisters, but Brenda was my first younger sibling. My first experience being a ‘mum’.
I have carried the pain of her loss with me for many years, never really knowing how deep that hurt was.
During this pregnancy the longing and desire I had for a daughter was so strong, I felt I had to explore the reasons why.
I delved deep inside myself and worked through the feelings of grief that have been buried for so many years, the feelings I didn’t even know were there. I became fully aware of why I wanted a daughter so much. I became aware of what I felt and what I lost as a little 3 year old girl; and I was able to process those feelings. I accepted that I may not have a daughter, and that was ok.
But the moment I met Joni, I felt like I had always known she was going to come to me. And now she is here, its like she has always been here.
There is only one thing I have ever been sure of in my life, something I have known for as long as I can remember, and that is to be a Mum.
I feel truly blessed for the beautiful children who have chosen me as their mum. And I am absolutely besotted with our precious daughter Joni Simone.
And to my beautiful little sister Brenda, I know you are always with me, looking on. Tomorrow (14th September 2015) would have been your 31st birthday, on the same day our Leo turns 3, and we will celebrate and remember you xxx