Florence Turns 11 Months Old


Florence is almost 1 at 11 months old (!) and the immense joy she has brought us is hard to summise in a blog post. It would be hard to condense into an entire book to be honest!

She’s a contagioiusly joyful little girl who is as strong-willed and she is energetic (she literally only stops moving when she sleeps and even then she likes to kick her legs) and she’s turned our lives completely upside down in the best possible way.

Florence is no wallflower and as my Mum says, that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me!!

We are all besotted with this little honey-scented human with a huge personality. Our rainbow baby after a period of great pain after a missed miscarriage, a blessing we’re grateful for every day,

Florence’s zest for life, affectionate nature (she loves kissing my cheeks, bless her); her close bond with her attentive big brothers Oliver and Alexander; her endless appetite for peek-a-book, playing with my make up brushes (I keep a clean set just for her now) and Cocomelon (!) plus that adorable toothy grin which never fails to melt the hearts of strangers and loved ones, alike, makes life utterly magical!

Below she wears a Mothercare nightie my Mum has kept for 41 years!!!

baby Florence

Florence, like my sons, continues to be my greatest teacher.

To relish the wonder of the world (she bleats and shrieks at the sheep and birds in the fields behind my folks’ garden), she forces us to live in the present (there’s often no choice with a baby when you have to stop everything when they need you) and she’s shown me I’m stronger than I know.

This year has been a huge learning curve for me: mothering a baby again with older children (who were 9-just- and almost 12 when she was born), returning to 24/7 around the clock parenting after an anxious pregnancy, and meeting my old enemy, sleep deprivation, has had its challenges.

My mental health fluctuated postnatally as well as during my pregnancy but my baby turning 10 months old was a turning point for me (as it was with her eldest brother, Oliver whom some of this journey shares similarities despite me having him in my late 20s and Florence in my early 40s).

10 months was when the sun came out but stayed out for me.  Prior to that my postnatal experience followed a pattern of a few good weeks followed by a few bad weeks over and over. Much like with miscarriage I couldn’t trust my body or mind to support me consistently. There were frightening times, there were wondrous times and that discrepency can often silence us from sharing our mental health journey. Some days can be fine, others feel hopeless.

I know mental and physical health post-baby can take time so if you’re in the trenches currently, please know that life will improve as the chemical, hormonal and physical changes settle and there is perinatal and postnatal mental health help available (albeit stretched) so please ask your GP if you’re worried and please share your concerns with those you trust.

Motherhood isn’t easy whatever the age of your child  (big kids, big problems) but caring for a baby is relentlessly demanding so go easy on yourself.

Thank you Florence, and here’s to reaching 12 months, a huge milestone of a celebration for us both!

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