in the days following alba’s birth the world was a different place. in many ways we had been reborn and all was new again. we lived in a warm haze that had settled softly over our family. we felt there was nothing in the universe but us and all was as it should be. when alba was hungry in the middle of the night we’d both wake (bright-eyed like we’d never been asleep) and watch her. we’d watch her for hours on end, quiet smiles playing on our lips, taking all of her in. sometimes i’d burst out crying because she was so tiny, fragile and helpless and i couldn’t bear it. for the first time in my life i felt completely selfless.
my breasts filled with milk and the heaviness added a few faint stretchmarks to my collection. these are my mama lines, and the oils i bought long ago to make them vanish have been left alone. they are a reminder of who i am, and i am proud. m traces these lines often and tells me how thankful he is that i grew and nurtured our little light.
in the early weeks our girl began smiling sweetly, and soon those smiles had become giggles. at 2 months she would give the most delicious deep belly laughs to her papa, who may well be the silliest man she’ll ever know. people in the streets would remark on what a happy baby she was. we began to learn her cues, and soon we could help her before she had any need to cry.
we kept waiting for the sleepless nights we’d be promised but thankfully they didn’t come. instead we all oversleep late into the day, feeling too comforted to leave our cosy bed. this is the beauty of sleeping together.
even from the beginning it was like alba had always been a part of our lives. in a way she has, the little blue-eyed girl i had always dreamt about. when i was younger i’d press a doll to my heart and pretend it was my baby, now i press alba to me. how many times i had imagined doing the things i do now. kissing her nose, bathing her, waking up to her smiling face.
i feel impatient at times for her to grow into a little girl whose hair i can plait, who i can have whimsical conversations with and bake with. but i know that time will come and for now i treasure her complete dependence.
in the past my want for a baby had led me to read hundreds of articles and books on babies/parenting. but now that i am a mama, i realise all i needed to do was trust my natural instincts. we discovered we were what most would call attachment parents and regardless of the label, can’t imagine not breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping.
slowly we have watched her eyes focus, her dancer hands steady and her weight double. she is still only three months old but has already made so many friends, been photographed by a fashion photographer for a jewellery campaign, travelled on a roadtrip interstate, had a lullaby written & recorded for her by elle graham, watched her papa shoot a music video & mama shoot a myer campaign and had gifts sent to her by strangers all over the world. she is a very lucky girl, and we are even luckier to call her our own.
life (for the first time in years) is idling by. the airport no longer feels like home. we miss it but we know our next overseas adventure will come before we know it. in the meantime it’s nice just watching alba grow, reading on the balcony, cooking with veges and herbs from our garden, writing and making up our own rules to scrabble.
the things that alba likes best: the glowing moon, falling asleep milk-drunk against my chest, family showers, laying with her ear over her papa’s heart, being worn, laughing when we are laughing, stroking her own head when she is sleepy, any and all lights, papa playing guitar, mama making up songs about her, playing piano on the ipad, holding my hand while breastfeeding, squealing like a crazy animal and being naked in front of the fire.