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London Outdoor Cake Smash: Happy Birthday Ondine!

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Happy Birthday Ondine Beatrix! Ondine means “little wave” and Beatrix means “she would brings happiness”. She’s our little wave who brings happiness.

Today our little girl is one! Your first year has been one of the toughest of my life thanks to the pandemic but I’m so lucky you were there to brighten each day for me! I’m a notorious planner and having you during a pandemic was not the plan!

But you truly were a gift to help me get through the hardest year of my small business.

Thinking back to my pregnancy I had no idea what I was in for, just how hard motherhood truly is. My water broke on the 9th after a nap (my last real peaceful nap) and you were born the next night on the 10th.

After a slightly traumatic birth experience, I remember going up to the ward alone with you (thanks to the pandemic, my husband wasn’t allowed to come with us) and feeling so strange, slightly in shock. Beside me in a cot was this tiny human I didn’t really know yet. You were the loudest on the ward and screamed and screamed. I didn’t get a wink of sleep for the multiple days I was in the hospital. I could barely function but I just kept going. You didn’t look like much those first few days in the hospital-your hair was crusted with blood that I couldn’t get off and your face was so round you looked like a potato but we started to develop our bond.

Since then you’ve pushed me to truly grow up. I mean I was a full blown adult prior to you arriving but I didn’t know what selfless meant until you arrived. I wake up multiple times a night for you despite absolute exhaustion, I leave my dinner to go cold so I can tend to you, I cared for you when I felt so sick with tonsillitis because that’s just motherhood. It’s putting a little human before yourself because they are just that important. You have truly taught me that. I want to give you the world and always protect you my gorgeous girl.

My love for you grows every single day and I never knew just how much I’d adore you. Every day you show us a new facet of your personality and we truly fall deeper in love with you. This year has been such a journey- the most trying part of motherhood for me has been the lack of sleep, you still sleep as terribly as a newborn but your happy, bubbly personality in the daytime makes it all worth it.

I’ll be honest, I found motherhood tough at the beginning. I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep, the fact that my family was all the way in Canada (with no hope of seeing them during the pandemic), the financial pressures brought to my small business with multiple lockdowns during pregnancy and when you arrived or all of the above but I found it tough. Motherhood is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. All the cliches about motherhood are so true, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do but also the most rewarding.

Right now you’re starting to walk and I’ve never felt my heart swell with such pride. When we ask, “What does a fishy say?” You open and close your mouth like a fish. You also can roar like a tiger. You love to dance (your favourite song right now is “I’m so excited” from the Wowcher advert) and love singing yourself to sleep (quite the opera singer). You love tormenting the cats and they are truly so good with you.

A year ago it was just your dad, the cats and I (and a pigeon that came to our balcony every single day of lockdown) and then a little wave arrived. Oh boy, did you bring the happiness.