If someone asked me what the most important thing in my life was, I’d have to say my youngest sister, Lacey Mae.
Before I delve into how much she changed my life and made me see the world from a different perspective and how much I love her, I’d like to tell you a short story about this little girl.
She wasn’t planned. In fact, she was one of the biggest shocks in my family’s life because my parents were not expecting anymore children seeing as my mum was on a permanent contraception. Obviously it wasn’t that permanent because Lacey is now four, almost five. When my mum first told me, my brother and my other sister, I was positive that I did not want another sibling, that I would not like the new comer and that I didn’t want anything to change because there was a baby in my house. I was thirteen and in my eyes, having a new sister or brother just wasn’t something I wanted to think about. No friends round because it disturbed the baby, no peace because the baby was always screaming, my mum constantly yelling at us because she’s stressed due to the baby, none of this appealed to me what so ever. I hated the idea with a passion. Not only this but i’m a daddy’s girl, I always have been and my fear of losing his attention to a crying, pooping, eating machine was not something I was keen on. This wasn’t going to be a cute little sibling, this was going to be a competition.
No matter how much I raged and stropped, It was clear that this baby was coming and I was just going to have to accept it. During this period, me and my mum were on rocky ground and I felt like having a young child around would only have a bad impact on this. More on that later.
9 months down the road, on the 25th of October, 2009, Lacey Mae was born weighing 5.6 pounds at around five in the morning. Asleep. My dad panicked and my mum rolled her eyes, having experienced child birth three times already, she knew that little Lacey was okay. The night she was born, I’d been staying at my Nan’s and I woke up to find out that I now had two younger sisters. As if one wasn’t annoying me enough.
Around a week after Lacey was born, my mum started to suffer really badly with post natal depression. All I remember was coming home from school every day and she was upstairs in bed, She wouldn’t eat, talk much or anything. This was scary and I didn’t want the stress of having to look after a baby to make her worse. For the next few months I looked after Lacey Mae as much as possible and I developed a very strong bond with this tiny little person that couldn’t feed herself or change herself, she relied entirely upon me to do everything for her when mum wasn’t around and I planned to make a good job of it. There was something comforting about helping someone that couldn’t help themselves, to feel needed. Every night I would take her upstairs to mum for bath time and as she got older, we played this game that my hands were sharks and they were coming after her feet and she’d giggle and splash her legs around. I felt guilty for the thoughts that I had had before she was here, how could I not have wanted this little angel in my life?
Eventually, I got a little carried away. It was almost as if in my head, a new mindset had developed, Lacey was my responsibility, I had to look after her and protect her from everything bad in the world. I got into arguments with my Nan about how to change, feed and hold her when she came round to babysit. I got nervous every time someone else held her, I even vaguely remember my mum having a go at me because she wanted Lacey upstairs with her and I wanted to look after her downstairs so she told me that I couldn’t take her baby away from her. So I took her upstairs.
In a thirteen year old’s mind, you don’t exactly understand what post natal depression is and you’re not really sure how it can affect someone, so in my eyes, my mum was being irresponsible and selfish for not getting out of bed and eating etc. when her four children needed her around, don’t get me wrong, our dad is great but he’s not mum. Anyway, I thought that the fact that she all of a sudden wanted Lacey upstairs wasn’t fair. This is perhaps where mine and my mum’s relationship spiraled out of control. She got through the post natal depression and we argued, a lot. I planned to run away and had a bag constantly packed shoved to the back of my wardrobe, I wasn’t happy that suddenly my little bundle of joy had been taken back. I wanted to continue looking after her as much as I could but it was pressurizing, having my mum breathing down my neck about how I held the bottle when I fed her and we were constantly on the brink of an fight, we were like a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. She didn’t seem to want me around and I didn’t want to be around her.
It got to the point where I wanted to run, that or cause serious harm to myself. Lacey was around two years old and this stage and she could talk. She could talk very well for a two year old but that was down to having three older siblings. She used to waddle into my room, dummy in her mouth and climb on my bed. Something about having her around made me want to be happy, to show her that sadness isn’t a thing, I didn’t want to see her upset because she didn’t understand why I was crying, she was two, I didn’t want her knowing that bad things happened, I wanted to paint this wonderful false picture of the world for her. So I started trying. Me and mum had a few talks and we started to get along, albeit there were still a few arguments but none that made an impact for more than a few hours. In my eyes, Lacey is the reason that happened, she was the reason I decided to bother getting along with my mum and now we have a great relationship. She’s the reason I didn’t run away or seriously harm myself. I know that she isn’t my child but she is the most important thing in the world to me and we’re a lot closer than I am with my other sister. She’ll sit with me and watch me write posts and ask me to do her make up and she’ll do mine. We’ll take pictures together and i’ll take her out for lunch or to jungle gyms. I don’t think it’s possible to love anything more than I love Lacey Mae.