Is how long we've had a baby in our lives. It feels ridiculous and impossible when I add it up like that. It's almost a year and a half.
Yet, of course, it feels like only yesterday that I first held his tiny body against me and looked into the bluest of blue eyes. It even feels like yesterday that I watched in comedy slow motion as the word 'Pregnant' magically appeared on the stick I had just carefully dipped in a cup of pee (somewhat less like the movies but I mean really, who can actually guarantee that a steady stream of urine did in fact hit the stick for exactly five seconds? I can't handle that kind of pressure).
I had meant to start writing about my new life as a mother as soon as it started. But it turns out new motherhood doesn't come with designated writing time factored into the schedule. Who knew? It also turns out new motherhood is almost never like you imagined, and certainly never exactly like it was for anyone else. You might guess right at parts of it, but only a magician - or maybe a Buddhist who was very connected to her past lives - could make a claim on knowing all of what was to come.
The part where you don't sleep for three months (or eight, but who's counting) and don't do anything except change nappies and feed and look after your baby was exactly like I imagined.
The part I didn't expect? That when your baby finally went to sleep you wouldn't settle down with a cup of tea and your laptop ready to write, or at the very least sink into a hot bath and let the aches soak away. No, the part I didn't expect was that instead you would pull out your phone and while away the precious minutes you have to yourself looking at pictures of the baby you just got to sleep.
I was addicted.
Completely, totally and crazily addicted to this tiny ball of perfect human that we, two normal and averagely muddled people, had somehow created. I wanted nothing else but be with him, hold him, look after him; and if I couldn't do any of those things because the little guy was AT LAST asleep then dammit I wanted to look at pictures of him until he woke up.
"Go to bed!" my partner would instruct. But I could only look back at him with the sheepishist of sheepish grins and say, "just another minute".
So here I am, eight months on top of nine months in to the glorious, exhausting, joy and tear-filled adventure that is motherhood.
And at last, I'm writing again. Welcome to the journey.