Someone who is very dear to me is going through a torturous time. Her precious little girl, her first baby, was born at 30 weeks gestation.
The perfect, adorable girl is doing well but it is a frightening and heart wrenching time.
I can’t offer my friend much but her family are constantly in my thoughts and I check in as often as I can without being a nuisance.
To one of my letters my old friend replied ‘Is this how parenting is, feeling out of your depth and out of control?’
I didn’t know what to say.
I have never stood where she is standing.
I decided to let her words sit with me for a while.
I spent this time reflecting on when my first baby was born and I realised that I have always been the young one. All of my closest friends had walked the parenting road before me. I have never talked to a friend about what it will be like when their first baby comes along. My friends simply told me that I would be fine. In hindsight this is actually really valuable advice, because despite how hard it is you will be fine.
I thought about the second and third week of Elise’e life. The time in which she cried inconsolably and relentlessly.
During those days I didn’t want to hear about the overwhelming love Mother’s feel. I didn’t want to be told that becoming a parent was the best thing that would ever happen to me.
I wanted someone to understand that I felt completely out of my depth. That I felt terrified. That I felt full of doubt, uncertainty, fear and loneliness.
I felt helpless. I felt inadequate.
But most of all I just felt scared.
The weeks passed in a sleep deprived, tear filled blur. But somehow, at some point, Lu stopped crying. My Mum came to help us out. Everything got better. And better. And better.
I soon realised that there would be hard times, harder than anything I had known prior to my girl’s existence. But I would get through them.
I soon realised that there is no right and wrong. There is only my family and what works for us.
I soon realised that all things pass.
As the weeks went on my heart felt like it would explode. I was experiencing a level of love and a level of joy that I had never known. I wondered how I ever got by without her.
But that’s just my story and every one creates their own.
What I would say to my friend is that yes, being a parent does leave you feeling out of your depth and at times out of control. But you, my love, have been thrown where few of us have ever been. Where you are, I hope is the scariest place you will ever visit in your parenting journey. Your deep end is deep, your control is limited.
As the weeks move on your feet will start to touch the ground. You will have more and more influence in your baby’s days and finally you will take her home.
The worry won’t go but I hope it will ease.
This parenting game is full of uncertainties and a sense that you are muddling your way through. It can be lonely and it can test every aspect of who you are. But it can also fill you up like nothing else ever has. It can bring the brightest sunshine, the warmest touch. It can open your eyes to the little things.
To the precious, little, everyday things.
I am sorry that you have to be so strong right now. I am sorry that you cannot sleep at night with your baby by your side. I am sorry for the fear and for your little one’s struggles.
I hope that with each day that passes your precious girl is stronger and that with every breath she is closer to you taking her home.
I am sending you love because it is all I have and I know all of yours will be spent on her.
note – this recipe requires high powered blending.
Coconut Mud Cake
- 4 cups desiccated coconut
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup honey*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 6 eggs
- 2/3 cup coconut flour
- Preheat your oven to 175°C or 350°F. Grease and line a 20cm square or round cake tin.
- Place the desiccated coconut into your processor and blend at high speed until the coconut is turning to butter or a smooth thick paste. You will need a high power processor for this. If after a few minutes it doesn’t seem to be happening you can add a tablespoon or two of the coconut milk and see if that helps.
- Once the coconut is smooth add the remaining ingredients and blend to combine. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin, it will be very thick. Use your hands to level the top.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out cleanly. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely prior to cutting.
- Slice. Serve. Eat and enjoy.
*you can sub the honey with rice malt syrup if you prefer