I am so thankful I wrote what I did the night before my daughter was born.

Because I already feel different.

I put her to my chest and looked at her – this tiny new human, and one little cog in the world slipped a dial. I really like her. I didn’t expect that. I knew I’d love her, but this was like when you meet a best friend – the lifelong kind – for the first time. You just know it’s them. You’ve found one of your people, and you’ll never not know them again.

And the labour that bore her..?

I feel like one of those people who walk across scalding hot coals to come out unscathed.

I fell blessed.

I feel embarrassed to share it.

So what happened..? I’ll hug it to my heart forever.

Déjà vu. Groundhog Day. Purgatory. Call it what you will.

Kismet might come closest. The inevitability of your own fate; when you’re so deeply rooted in the train tracks of your life it’s impossible to stray.

I remember the pithy Carrie Bradshaw once asking “what if we made a mistake… and missed our fate?”

I’m talking about those moments where that’s not possible. The places where choice has dissolved. You’re strapped into a roller coaster and the ride has left the docking station. The point of no return.

Everything happened exactly like last time. I felt like an actor who’d accidentally been handed the script for last night’s performance – and no one else realised. “But wait – I’ve done this one before! I actually wanted…”

They didn’t think much of what I wanted.

All I can say is that my midwives saved me and the birth I had planned for.

To keep the doctors at bay we prepared me in case of a caesarian. The empty stomach, the catheter, the glamorous surgical gown. And before you ask, yes I do think it mattered to me that I looked okay. My midwife told me to take a shower, to do my hair. I wanted to weep with love for her. It had nothing to do with vanity, it was about dignity, and performing a simple daily ritual. Grounding me in the here and now. Four contractions later in the quickest shower of my life, my hair was pinned up and it was time to try to not be scared.

A long story short, that’s what it was.

After all was said and done, in less than an hour and a half of active labour, our beautiful Goldie popped free.

There was pain. I won’t forget it. I won’t forget what I wrote before.

And I might not line up for that ever again.

Bits were awful. Another mother described the induced pain as “vicious”. Got it in one, poor sweet woman.

It makes my two daughters – my little sprites – even more precious to me, to their father, to each other.

I started writing this post a day or two after her birth. She’s two weeks old now. She opens her eyes now (“what colour are her eyes???” being our commiserate refrain in the first days), and yes, she cries. But she’s still my babe, and already I put her before before myself in a heartbeat.

And I got my wish. I’ll own that it was my wish, not Livie’s. We brought her a little sister. I hear her whisper “Goldie is so sweet and tiny. I love you Goldie” and I feel at home. We made our family. I remember asking earlier “what part will you have, little baby..? Where will you fit?”.

I truly don’t have the answers. But I see we had just enough room for this little angel we get to watch, love, feed, cuddle, and get crapped all over by when her nappy leaks.

Blessed. Truly ******* blessed.