Firstly, an apology… It has been way too long since I last wrote. I’d envisioned spending more of my time tapping away on my keyboard in these very late stages of pregnancy, but alas, life seems to have got in the way. Yes, I think I’m one of the only people on the planet who has managed to be busier on maternity leave than I was at work.
Given the time that has passed, perhaps it makes sense to write an overview on the three ladies and three babies:
- Betsy turns seven weeks old today, and continues to be the most gorgeous, good-natured and placid baby anyone could wish for. She’s a dream come true…and she’s setting the rest of us up for a big fall!
- Stel has taken to motherhood in an enviably easy way. She looks great, she’s relaxed, she’s happy, and she’s got the whole mum thing down to a fine art already. She has certainly set the bar high for Fats and I, and I’m incredibly proud of her.
- Both Fats and I have finished work for maternity leave. One of us is enjoying it more than the other (no prizes for guessing which of us that is…whilst I’m pining to be back in the office and back in London, Fats is enjoying spending almost all of her time “naked, catching up on Love Island”).
- I went into early labour on the evening I finished my final day at work. I went into hospital with two days’ worth of regular Braxton Hicks, and was promptly told I was 1-2cm dilated, experiencing actual contractions, and would have my baby within 48 hours, a week at most. This was on June 5 (I was 36 weeks + 3 days) and I was kept in hospital for two days to monitor the progression of my ‘labour’ (After being told I was being admitted to hospital, Dan was sent home to pack my hospital bag. The result of this task, alone, will be getting a blog all to itself). Needless to say, progression swiftly turned to regression, Little Tiny Treacle realised life was a lot easier and cosier on the inside, and I was sent home to rest up and wait.
- One week later, I reluctantly left the dance floor at a friend’s wedding and called Goose (my mum) to collect Dan and I as I was experiencing unimaginable pain in my back and stomach. Back to hospital, this time fully expecting to be told that the labour was finally progressing, but instead given the news that I had a kidney infection. Another three days were spent on a ward in the JR, recovering from the infection and monitoring LTT several times a day, as his/her heart rate was doing things that the doctors weren’t happy with. It was a stressful few days, resulting in a consultant appointment, a scan which showed LTT to be doing a lot better than his heart traces had suggested, and being sent home once again, without a baby.
- Fats had a positioning scan last week to check how LBB was laying and her and Coates (and the rest of us) were shocked to learn that Little Baby Bean – having skipped the chapter on gravity and optimal positioning – was breech, sat fully upright, head under Fats’ boob, and bum partially engaged in her pelvis. Oh bean, how did you get that so wrong? After an unsuccessful (and horribly traumatic) attempt to manually rotate that naughty bean, Fats was reluctantly booked in for a C-Section on Wednesday July 1. Ironically, whilst Stel would have given her right arm for a C-Section, and I would be over the moon with a guaranteed delivery date, it is Fats’ worst case scenario. She desperately wanted a natural birth and craved the spontaneity and excitement of not knowing when or how it would happen. On the day of the news, Fats understandably took it pretty hard, feeling robbed of her right to a natural birth. But whilst still not overjoyed, she has since come to terms with it and I’m really proud of how she has handled it.
- Dan has decided to demonstrate the art of male nesting. I say ‘art’, which suggests the “expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”.
Daniel’s demonstration of nesting could more accurately be described as f**king the garden up a week before my due date.
And if you’re imagining that perhaps he mowed the grass a little too short, or planted some flowers which would require too much upkeep with a newborn, then you need to think much, much bigger. Last Saturday morning, Dan told me he was going to “sort the garden out”. I interpreted this as meaning clearing up Mabel’s poo and mowing the overgrown lawn. Instead, he took an axe to our patio. The carnage and ‘project’ that Dan has taken on can only really be done justice with pictorial evidence, so check out the photos.
So there you have it, a quick run-down of the major happenings of the last six weeks. Some of the above deserves a blog all to itself, which is what I’ll be working on over the next few days as I play the waiting game, hoping that Little Tiny decides it’s time to make his or her appearance (my due date is in two days, the day before LBB’s arrival). I’m fairly sure he took one look at the state of our garden and decided to batten down the hatches for a while longer. Who can blame him?
Fats and I are spending tomorrow together, one last Fatty day before we become mums. Of course, they’ll be a lifetime of Fatty days still to come, both with and without our babies. But still, this is the end of an era, and it’s making me totally emotional.
In my mind, Fats is still that curly-haired, loud-mouthed, totally lovable girl sat across from me in Mrs Blackmore’s art class. She’s the one I wrote letters to, on a daily basis – sometimes even whilst sat next to each other – pouring out my heart, my worries, my dreams. She’s the one who biked to my house every day of every weekend and every day of every school holiday so that we could hang out together, entertaining ourselves by writing ‘fashion projects’, filming dance routines, and playing ‘candle in the wind’ (a game we dreamt up to imagine dates with the boys at school we fancied). She’s the one who helped me piece my heart back together when my first boyfriend moved to Devon.
She’s the one that I chose to come on our family holiday to the South of France, and the one I’d choose to come to dinner, or on family day trips, or to sleep over – every single time. She’s the one who I’d have happily gone to jail for after someone broke her heart. She’s the first person I’d call, and the one that just ‘got me’. And she still is, and she still does. She’s the one that walked down the aisle as my chief bridesmaid at my wedding. And now, she’s the one having a baby, my ‘soul sister’ is about to become a mum.
I cannot wait to meet LBB and become Aunt Fats. I just know I’m going to love that Little Baby Bean just as fiercely as I love Fats. And that’s a love that even Shakespeare couldn’t have dreamt up. Three sleeps and counting…