I was a young mum. I had my eldest daughter when I was just 19. I remember the emergency caesarian section as if it was just yesterday. I remember that feeling of being both utterly mesmerised and scared to death when she was placed in my arms for the very first time.
I hadn't a clue what I was doing.
Then there was the newborn fog and the baby blues. The sleepless nights, colic & teething. I remember losing count of baby formula scoops and having to start all over. I remember being naive, and making mistakes.
But I remember trying my best.
Then, I became a mum of two; a whole different ball game. I remember the challenges that looking after a newborn and a toddler brought - the struggles and the hurdles. But I remember too, the snuggles, the cuddles, the pure, unbridled jo. I remember first steps, first words, first days of crèche and school.
I remember being a mum of three, and I remember post natal depression.
Here I am now, a relatively young- mother of four. I know what I'm doing. I have the arnica out before my baby even realises he's banged his head. Over the past 12 years, I've changed over 16000 nappies and lost around 13200 hours of sleep.
I've wiped countless tears...and butts. I've cooked more dinners than I could possibly count.
I marvel at my baby's firsts, and at the same time, they fill me with sadness. For his firsts are my lasts.
I have breastfed my baby for the last time.
Already, he is grabbing for the spoon as I feed him.
Soon he will take his first steps, say his first words.
He will start to explore the world and wander, ever so slowly, away into it, and a little further away from me.
I know I will miss being the centre of their universe.
But I will look back on all of my babies' first years with fondness and a little hint of nostalgia.
I am excited too, for all they will do, and all they will become.
Above all, I am so grateful to have these 4 amazing little (and already not so little) human beings who call me Mummy, in my life.