Today you are two. No longer a baby, or even a toddler, you’re a proper little girl and although I can’t quite believe where that time has gone, I can’t remember a life without you.
When I discovered that I was pregnant, completely by surprise when your big sister was just six months old, far from feeling panicked, I was over the moon. We always knew that we wanted another baby and although it was much sooner than planned, I was so excited to imagine the two of you growing up together, just fifteen months between you.
I was convinced that you would be a boy and yet at sixteen weeks we were told that you were a little girl and I was so excited that Eva would have a little sister, something which I had longed for my whole life. I allowed myself, just for a moment, to imagine the two of you in matching outfits, blonde pigtails and big blue eyes.
Everybody expected me to relax during my pregnancy with you, they told me, “You know now that it will all be okay!” and yet I was torn between believing that and worrying that we had tempted fate by having another baby. Every scan I would hold my breath waiting for bad news, every time your movements changed or your heart beat dipped during twice weekly monitoring, I was convinced that we would never be so lucky to have another healthy baby.
And at thirty five weeks pregnant, when your heart rate continued to dip, the decision was made to induce me early, just as had happened with your big sister. After sending your Daddy home and telling us, “It will take hours yet, there’s no way she will be born today!”, I had rang your Daddy in a mad panic and at 3.42am, just minutes after he arrived back at the hospital you had been born. You shot into the world, screaming and crying, arms and legs flailing and from day one you were our little drama queen.
You spent ten long days in neo natal refusing to eat, through pure stubbornness I’m sure, and I sat beside you day and night just watching your little chest rise and fall. You were so tiny, 5lb 7, but so perfect. You barely made a whimper that whole time and yet from the minute we took you home you screamed and cried for 24 hours a day.
At first we put it down to “just being a baby” but within a couple of weeks you were back in hospital, on ward eight, where we would spend the next twelve months on and off. You saw every doctor that the hospital had to offer and had every test that there was available. We were sent to Alder Hey where you were prodded and poked, scanned and x rayed and tried on so many different drugs. I spent night after night on a little camp bed beside you as you screamed and cried and I wished that I could make you better. We were told so many contradicting things, literally worried ourselves sick and the more time that passed the more we realised that nobody had a clue what to do with you. And then eventually, by the time your first birthday came around, we finally realised what had been wrong with you.
You, my darling child, are simply a psychopath. But the most loveable psychopath we have ever known.
You never “just cried”. You would scream, shake, thrash and sweat. You were never “just ill”. You would end up in A&E, surrounded by doctors scratching their heads and declaring you a medical mystery. You didn’t just have a little tantrum, you would headbutt the floor, slap yourself repeatedly, kick the walls, punch us in the face and there were times when I would question whether you even liked us at all? But then you would be so loving, so sorry, full of kisses and cuddles and as you got older you would tell us “It’s alright, Meggy make it better” and kiss the bruise that you had caused just two seconds earlier.
But amongst all of those tears you have the most beautiful of smiles and, in those hellish early days, those few seconds a day when you beamed at us were enough to keep us going. And I’ll be honest, those rare, fleeting moments of loveliness probably just about saved my sanity, because if truth be told, I have never known anything as hard as those first few months where you literally DID NOT STOP SCREAMING.
And I worried about you so much, more so when Harry came along and at 12 months old you were suddenly the big sister. I felt incredibly guilty that you were demoted from baby of the family so quickly and yet you adapted to your role so well. Our big, brutish Megatron who destroyed everything in her pathway, was suddenly the most gentle, loving and protective big sister and I was so proud of you. The day you came to the hospital to meet your baby brother was so special. Seeing you there with your chubby little hands reaching out for him, instinctively knowing to be gentle, it made my heart burst inside my chest.
And now you are two. And you are hilarious. I only have to look at you and I laugh! The expressions on your face, the crazy things that you do, knowing full well that you are being silly, have us in stitches. You love to sing, to dance, to perform and yet only ever in private, in public you scowl and you furrow your funny little face and woe betide anyone who looks in your direction!
You are an amazing sister to the others. You love your big brother Lewis so much. Every morning you wave him off to school at the front door and you are the first to hug him when he comes home. You call him “Dewis” and I dread the day that you can say your “L’s” and lose the funny little words that you say.
The bond you share with Eva is so precious, I hope that you never lose that closeness or forget that your sister is your best friend in all the world. When you’re not pulling her hair, slapping her in the face or screaming at her, the two of you couldn’t be closer.
And your Harry, who finds you the most hilarious of us all. You are so patient with him, so protective and will stroke his head with a gentleness that I never imagined you would possess. You have never resented him for taking your place as “the baby”, never once shown any jealousy or treated him with anything but love and kindness. I’m sure that will all change!
And everyone loves Meggy, how could they not? Even when you are being naughty, which is probably most of the time, it’s impossible to be mad at you. You look at us with your scowly little frown face and a cheeky smirk creeps in and I defy anyone to stay angry.
You have the ability to re-charge your batteries from just a two minute sleep, going from exhausted to super-hyper in seconds and God forbid we actually let you have a nap, you WILL be awake until midnight bouncing off the walls, jumping on the couch, performing an array of animal noise impressions and singing Frozen on repeat.
We often joke that you are like Jekyll and Hyde. Each morning when you wake up we brace ourselves for what kind of day it is going to be. There are days when you still scream from start to finish, when nothing we say or do can make you happy or distract you from thrashing around the floor in full on rage mode. And then there are days when you wake up singing, chatting to your teddies, greet us with hugs and kisses and spend the day laughing and smiling. You are such a character and as different as your personalities might be, we love them both unconditionally. Everyone always comments on how angelic you look and we laugh and tell them, “If only you knew…!”
We have made so many lovely memories together this last two years and I am so excited to see what this coming year has in store. I’m sure there will be hard times, and God help us if the terrible twos kick in, but there’s never a dull moment with you, that’s for sure. You make a bad day good again, just by pulling a funny face, performing one of your many routines or by climbing up onto my knee and cuddling me. You give the best hugs, complete with a back pat. And your hugs really do make everything better.
You’ve given us grey hairs, lines and sleepless nights. You’ve made me question every single one of my parenting skills and discover patience that I never knew existed. You’ve taught me that every child is different, that doctors don’t always know best and that trusting your gut instinct is the best advice any mum can take on board.
You are funny, exhausting, loving, stubborn, clever and so very beautiful. You make us smile, cry, bang our heads against the walls and laugh so much our sides hurt. And we wouldn’t change you for all the world.
Our crazy little NutMeg.
Our funny, brutish Megatron.
Our beautiful, lovable Meggy.
Happy 2nd birthday Megan Alicia.