Love Is All You Need

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This is an excerpt from Amy’s written musings on the first year of parenthood. Hazel Louise is now 3 years old and will very soon be joined by a brother or sister.

Exactly one year ago, I took this photo.* I was huge. And I’m not kidding, I was H-U-G-E. Plus, I don’t know if you remember what Melbourne was like this time last year, but I do; it was freakin’ hot. Huge and hot are two things I never want to be simultaneously ever again.

I was almost a week overdue so John and I set out that afternoon and drove around the bumpy back streets of Fitzroy in the hope that our little unborn bub, running ever-so-fashionably late, would wake up and get a wriggle on. This piece of graffiti near the corner of Gertrude and George Streets has since become a bit of a local icon but I noticed it that day for the first time. I told John to stop the car and feeling like a fat dork in front of a crowd of coffee-swilling, beard-sporting Northside hipsters, I waddled out, took this photo and got right back into the car.

Hours later, at the dinner table, my waters broke.

Looking back through your iPhone photos is like watching a retrospective of your life. This photo marks, for me, the end of one life and the start of another. The photos before this one are varied anecdotal snapshots of daily life – work, play, friends, family, travel, pets, hats, shoes… The photo that follows it is this:

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You hear many things about childbirth, new motherhood and parenting. You are told, ad nauseum, all the things you need. You need an SUV-sized pram that looks as though it’s capable of space travel. You need to eat a diet of unpalatable organic muck while breastfeeding. You need to worry about {insert a scaremongering topic here} but somehow, simultaneously, you need to stop worrying about everything. Becoming a parent sometimes feels like the collective population of planet earth is telling you what you need to do and how you need to feel. But it’s these immortal words of John Lennon that bring it all back home for me:

All you need is love. Love is all you need.

Happy first birthday, Hazel Louise.

* Editors note: to say I took this photo exactly one year ago is actually untrue. I took it one year ago on Tuesday. And let me say that after almost two days in labour, John and the entire maternity ward of the Royal Women’s Hospital were pretty bloody sick of the Beatles.

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