Yesterday, I had one of those moments where you feel that you wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Alice was sitting on a picnic rug in the garden watching me plant some beans and she was chewing on the first of our home-grown salad leaves. It felt like everything I dreamed my life could be had all come true. It sounds very saccharine, but I can't believe how lucky I have been.
Feeling so happy can also be scary. Since Alice was born, awful thoughts have popped into my head. All the 'what ifs'. In the early days I had thoughts that were so powerful, it was almost as if I was actually seeing situations happening in front of me in sickening detail. When I would pick her up, I'd imagine falling with her. If I let myself, I would begin to get paranoid about letting anyone else hold her. Sometimes as I cuddled her, a fierce fear would well up inside me and I'd wonder how I would manage if anything were to happen to her. Newspaper articles, documentaries and even fictional stories dealing with sickness and loss had me in pieces. In those moments, I have had to remind myself that worrying about the future won't change it. All I can do is enjoy the present.
Now, I think I am managing the feelings much better. I am learning to enjoy the moment. Whether my life remains this blissful for years, or if it all changes tomorrow, I am grateful to have experienced the happiness being a mum has brought me.