I’ve finally turned a corner. I’m 32 weeks pregnant, and I’m almost, but very nearly, feeling it.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve found pregnancy easy thus far. To the contrary, I’ve really struggled at times. I’ve felt sick, I’ve felt scared, I’ve felt emotional, but mainly I’ve felt like I don’t recognise my life, or even myself sometimes. As if I woke up in October in someone else’s body and someone else’s world.
And it’s really hard to admit that. I like to think I’m fairly strong and level-headed, and that I’m good at riding any wave that I’m confronted with, but I’ve really struggled. It’s nothing to do with being ready, or not being ready. I’d have felt like this at 22 or 35. This was a big old crashing wave that was going to briefly go over my head whenever it came along.
Certain things have really helped. Fats and Stel, first and foremost. Going through this together has truly been a blessing beyond any that could have been manufactured.
Equally, hanging out with friends who aren’t pregnant, and don’t want to talk about pregnancy and babies, has been more than cathartic, it’s been a God send.
Learning from friends who have had babies, and who do the whole parent thing in the way I want to. When we honeymooned to the Maldives in December 2010, we expected to return with amazing tans, but we didn’t predict that we’d come home having made some amazing friends. We met Chris and Isobel in a chance encounter (thanks to his Loughborough hockey stash) on a white-sand beach in the middle of the Indian Ocean. We shared stories, several long island iced teas, and the rest, as they say, is history. They’re now friends for life. They had Edith almost two years ago, and we’ve watched them evolve from a really fun couple to a really fun family. They’re incredible parents to Edie, but they’ve not lost sight of who they are as people, or as a couple. The four of us have spent just as many nights out on the town consuming sauvignon blanc and long island ice-teas post-Edith as we did pre-Edith, and that gives me hope. They give me hope.
We’ve recently put the finishing touches to Little Tiny’s nursery, and we’re over the moon with the results. I had a vision – a very, very specific vision (as always) – and slowly but surely it has come to fruition. Sitting in the nursery, in my French Victorian rocker, and taking in the golds, the creams, the antique furniture, and the giant peter rabbit, makes me feel excited about what’s to come. I look through the wardrobe – at all the tiny baby-grows hanging patiently – and I can’t wait to meet my Little Tiny, and spend time with him or her in the tranquillity of the nursery. We’re ready for you, Treacle.
The kicks. The many, many kicks. Yes, it’s pretty alien, and it’s more than a little strange to feel – and sometimes watch – your little one dancing around in your stomach, but it’s also reassuring, and even kind of magical. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I lay awake as Little Tiny performs a yoga class in my stomach, and it feels like it’s just the two of us against the world. Or I’ll be in a business meeting, and I’ll get an almighty kick, and it just puts everything into perspective – suddenly I’m let in on a secret, that revenue performance is completely irrelevant, because I’m growing life.
And now, 32 weeks down the line, I have a small but definite bump, and I’m standing on that surf board (admittedly, with wobbly knees) to ride this wave. And not only am I standing, but I’m excited, really excited, to meet my Little Tiny, and to begin this new life that I don’t recognise, but that I’ll no doubt fall in love with.
As I post this blog, Stel has gone into labour, and very soon will be able to announce the arrival of BSP. I’m so excited I could burst. Watch this space!