My Daughter is 9

9 years ago at 10.07am my first born was pulled out of me in theatre during my first c-section. Since then life has been so full. I have tried hard in the last nine years to make a difference, to be a good mum, to put her first. Today she is 9 years old. I am wishing her a very happy birthday. I am hoping today is a day she will remember, enjoy and celebrate.

Having an early September birthday she’s never really had a party but each year we’ve tried to make it special. This year our plans are shopping and lunch, then a day out at Paultons Park. This is all just before the madness of getting back to school starts.

We’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years but since her 2nd birthday all those years ago now we’ve had more ups than anything else. This is the first birthday she’s celebrating as a big sister, of which she is just the best.

This year has been tough for Evie. She’s had a lot of really big changes going on. Last year her dad introduced Evie to his new girlfriend who also had a daughter a couple of years younger than Evie. I was also around 8 months pregnant and Evie was about to start Junior school. Suddently, after almost 8 years of being an only child, of having a routine that was pretty standard and samey, everything changed. She still see’s her dad the same amount of time but now has a further journey to Liverpool which adds on a lot of travel time. She feels like she’s competing for her dad’s attention too, and is a little jealous when he does things with his girlfriends daughter.

This then lead to a bit of a struggle with Evie’s relationship with Adam, particularly after Felix was born. Now she loves Felix very much, and she has always had a great relationship with Adam but this year that relationship has felt frayed. She has tested our boundaries more than ever. We have seen some of the biggest mood swings and attitude shifts. She has given us a glimpse into what life with a teenager will be and it is going to be hard.

Seeing her relationship with Adam change has made me so incredibly sad. I love my daughter and I love my partner but there have been times in the last year that I feel our family is on a very thin thread. She has tested us like never before. I try to remind myself that it’s been a really big year for her but in the throws of yet another screaming fit and tantrum it’s so hard to remember that.

When Felix was born I was in hospital for quite a bit of time and Evie was staying with my mum. I had a cervical sweep on the Wednesday afternoon and Evie went to my mums that night. I was already planning to go into hospital the next morning to have my waters broken unless things progressed so we knew we’d be coming home with a baby, I just didn’t know when. I ended up coming home on the Sunday afternoon and Evie came home just after me, she was so thrilled to be back but again struggled with my lack of mobility after my c-section.

She came to visit me and meet her baby brother in hospital on the Saturday afternoon. She cried because she missed me so much. It was hard to see her like that and I think she found it very hard seeing me so pale and struggling to move around. When we were all back together as a family things didn’t get back to normal very quickly. I couldn’t do the school runs and I think she really missed having time just me and her.

This year I want to make more of an effort to have a few days just us. I know Adam wouldn’t mind and I think it will help rebuild that relationship that’s been tough in the last 12 months.

The other big thing was changing junior schools midway through the year. We put her name on the waiting list in November and thankfully she was given a place in January. It was the best decision and really improved a lot of her issues with school. She was struggling with the teacher who seemed to be creating a very toxic environment for her not to mention the school run used to take us around an hour – something that brought a lot of anxiety to me after my c-section.

8 will be remembered as a big year for Evie with a lot of huge changes and whilst it’s been very challenging there have been so many moments of pride too. Her school report was fantastic, she has a new lovely group of friends and ended the year with plenty of birthday invitations. She had her first residential school camp trip which she loved to help prepare her for a big trip next year. Her handwriting and story telling is so amazing now too.

2019 – 2020 will bring about a lot of very exciting times. From her 9th birthday to her 10th we already have lots of exciting things booked including a trip to Legoland, a week in Centreparcs and a daytrip to Longleat. All the absolute magic that comes with Christmas especially with Felix toddling around. We have a week booked at Butlins in March after her residential trip to Isle of Wight with school, I’m sure we will plan a break in the summer holidays too. And then we will be back here again, full circle and thinking about all the wonderful things the next year will have to bring.

For now though, happy 9th Birthday to my big girl. We’ve had some challenges but I love you very much.

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