For nine months I grew a baby,
I grew a bump,
I grew a little person inside my tummy
all the way until it was time to meet.
And nine months ago that baby came to join us,
my bump became my beautiful girl
and our lives, our family and our hearts
were changed forever.
The changes she made to our lives and to our family
were big and obvious.
We went from a three to a four,
she made our beautiful boy a big brother.
She made our home and our hands full.
She ended one era, and she started a new one.
But some of the biggest changes of all
have happened in the nine months that have passed since then.
And some of the biggest changes aren't so visible.
Just like the big changes that happened while she grew inside me,
big changes have continued to happen inside of me ever since.
While the early newborn days were a dreamy haze
as we found our way into our lives as a different family,
some of the weeks and months that followed weren't so easy.
I found her so different from her brother
and I fought to try and make her fit his example early on.
It actually hurts me to say it,
but I just didn't understand her.
She seemed to need me so much
and I didn't know how to deal with that
having raised such an independent little boy.
I felt differently about my two children
and that made me feel guilty,
because I worried that that somehow meant that I loved one more than the other.
I didn't . . . I don't.
But I felt like I should love them in the exact same way.
Nine months has taught me that while I love both my children the same amount,
I love them differently because the relationships I have with them are different.
my relationship with this girl . . .
I underestimated it so much,
the power of it
and how it would change me.
I simply cannot explain enough how much I adore her.
She has refused to conform to any of the expectations I had of raising a daughter
and I love her for that.
I had expected her to be a daddy's girl,
in fact I think I had wanted her to be a daddy's girl.
I liked the idea that my baby girl and my husband might be a little gang.
Partly because that was the way things had been in my own family growing up
and partly because it meant my little gang with my beautiful boy wouldn't have to change.
So imagine my surprise when she decided to be a mummy's girl.
And I had absolutely no idea how incredible it would make me feel,
just by letting her need me and enjoying it.
As she grows she is a fascinating contradiction
of independence and neediness.
She will sit contently and watch the world go by for the longest time,
and then just like that,
she craves cuddles and contact and attention and affection
in ways that her pretty touchy feely brother can't even get close to.
And the way her adoration is so focused on me
makes me feel like a superhero.
She lights up when I make eye contact with her
and she practically beams when I throw a smile her way.
She reaches out her arms towards me,
rolls in closer and grabs a hold of me
in a way that seems to say "Just stay right here with me Mummy."
She will play with my hands and lace her tiny fingers into mine.
She will nuzzle into the gap at my neck under my chin
which feels like it was made especially for her to fit into,
and she breathes deeply;
as if she is breathing in my smell as I breathe in hers.
She watches for me, she listens for me.
She claps at the sight of me and she bounces with excitement.
She will lay with her head in my lap
while I shower her with kisses
and she basks in it.
As I read back the updates I wrote about her brother at the same age
I realise how different they are,
and I wonder how I could ever have been so sure
that I could treat them the same way.
At nine months the beautiful boy seemed so big, so grown up.
But at nine months she still feels so new, so much like my little baby.
Nine months old feels like a big milestone.
The point at which her outside life becomes longer than her inside one.
The time she has spent in my arms outweighs the time that she spent in my tummy.
She is on the cusp of that fascinating stage where they begin to interact with the world.
And she is so completely fascinating.
She is so adorably cute.
She is so utterly enchanting.
And I feel more than a little bit addicted her.
She is my best friend in the making.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Katie Ellison Photography.
Yes, that Katie.
My very talented friend of Mummy Daddy Me fame
has set up her own photography business
and took these quite frankly stunning photos of my beautiful girl.
Check out her website
and her Facebook page for special offers,
and then book her,
because you won't regret it.