Happy Pregnancy Anniversary to my Uterus

My boy 27.06.15

My boy 27.06.15

It is 8pm on a sunny Saturday. I’ve been up since 4.54am when a wide eyed smiley baby sqwaked in my ear and poked me in the eye. I’m now propped up in bed [finally, my bed, my bed!] beside a sleeping Fred, looking forward to joining him once I’ve fulfilled my blogging duties. I wanted to blog today because I realised it is exactly one year since I found out I was pregnant … a whole year since I spent a day sat at my desk with a strange metallic taste in my mouth, a strange desire to drive to the Co-op after work for a pregnancy test because a banana tasted funny at lunchtime, and upon googling – discovered the word pregnancy featured heavily. The story goes that when I got back to my house share [it was a hot day too] we had someone coming to view a room. I raced upstairs, peed on the pregnancy test, which turned positive immediately – and within minutes there was our potential roomie knocking on the door. Awkward. Needless to say he didn’t take the room. I think I took about 6 pregnancy tests over the coming days …. all confirming that there was a teeny Freddie-seed in my tummy. Despite accusations to the contrary, this was a huge shock … but from the very first glance at the “pregnant” symbol on the test, I knew that I wanted this baby more than anything – that somehow, I would make it work.

There has been a lot of “growing up” in the past year. At the grand age of 32, it really was time to settle down. I’d lived a fairly hedonistic lifestyle, and from the moment I held that positive pregnancy test in my hands I knew things had to change. I never imagined being a single mum; but I stand by the fact that it’s better to be on your own than in a wrong relationship with the wrong person, for the wrong reasons. I do miss being in a relationship – I think I will always feel a bit guilty that Freddie doesn’t have a mummy and daddy living together – but he is unconditionally loved and always will be. I’ve learnt a huge amount in the 12 months between last year and this … I’ve grown stronger; I think this is the key quality a single mum needs; the ability to get on with it without the emotional support of a partner; without someone who is unconditionally there for you; someone who has your back. I am much more resilient now than I was, and besides – I have become tiger mother – fiercely protective of her little boy …

I’m sitting here looking down at my sleeping bundle; his little hands clasped together – so pure, so innocent. It’s incredible to think that I didn’t know him this time last year, when now I can’t imagine life without him. Never has the miracle of life been so apparent. And neither has the beauty of sleep. I have moved Fred’s cot into my room, but he’s still in bed with me – these are precious months which will soon pass into years … and I intend to savour every moment with my growing, happy baby boy. He is undoubtedly my greatest achievement in life, and I never imagined just how much I would love him. My little boy.

Sunshine and Sore Throats

Momma's little pirate

Momma’s little pirate

I’ve been meaning to blog for the past week, yet every evening when baby Freddie has gone to sleep and I settle beside him – I’m too exhausted to turn on the laptop never mind write anything verging on coherant! 9pm has become a late night, and 5am a perfectly respectable time to have my first coffee. Indeed, four hours sleep seems totally functionable! In fact, I had four hours sleep one night last week and was wide awake at 2am whilst Freddie was asleep, drinking milk and munching biscuits. My body clock is screwed. Must. Remember. To. Buy. Blackout. Blinds. For. Bedroom.

Baby boy had his second injections last week. The surgery we go to have a rather barbaric approach; I sit with Freddie on my lap [his back against my tummy] – whilst a nurse kneels either side and on the count of three both whack a needle in each thigh! I admit that whilst being anxious for Fred, I’m also terrified they’ll miss him and stab me!! Luckily his thighs are quite chubby now, so he didn’t cry as much as when he had his first set. However, just like after his first vaccinations – in the following days he picked up a throaty cough, gunky eyes and snuffles … which he shared with momma of course! We’ve had a lazy cuddly day today, and he seems much better this evening. My throat on the other hand, is agony … and I’m gutted that Strepsils don’t go with breastfeeding. There can be few things more painful – says the women who pushed a baby out of her foo with no pain relief!

Freddie is growing so quickly – he’s 14 weeks today, and he seems to get chunkier, longer, and more aware of things. He holds his rattle all by himself, sometimes managing to clonk himself on the head with it! Until the snuffles hit us, we’d had a lovely week with sunny meet ups and a very piratey Baby Sensory session. We love Baby Sensory – it is so relaxing and engaging …

I don’t feel that Freddie and I miss out because I’m a single parent; but I admit that sometimes it would be nice to have someone bring me a drink in bed [hot chocolate please!], or dare I say, tell me I’m doing a good job. I love being a mummy more than I’ve ever loved anything, and I’m quite good at being “alone” [only child syndrome] – but just occasionally a loving word or affirmation would be most welcome …

Never has the now been so important

11128608_1751885085037922_2075103722266527772_nIn the quieter moments, stroking his soft chubby cheek whilst he’s sleeping, or planting a kiss on on his forehead; I wonder what this life will hold for my little boy. I think of the twists and turns in my own which have led me to this beautiful place; and I imagine the journey he will have. In the noisy moments when he’s grizzly or playing with his jingly lion; I catch myself hoping he’ll be okay … that when he’s an old man, he looks back on a happy life; that I’ll have equipped him with the necessary skills and sense of humour for survival. Most importantly; wrapped him in a love which will never die.. The profundity of the cyclical nature hits me; sometimes I look at my own parents, irrationally surprised that they are getting older – not stuck as a perpetual 50 something. Nothing stays the same … and as I try to treasure every moment with my ever growing baby boy, I am filled with a sense of urgency, an appreciation of Tempus Fugit. Never has the now been so important. This is what I was born to do, or so it feels …

When Freddie and I arrived on the post natal ward thirteen weeks ago, he began to stir a little, and as I was being prodded by a midwife, I couldn’t get to him. I turned to my cousin and said “I don’t want him to cry“. She laughed and reminded me that he was a baby, and that by nature he would cry. I still don’t let my baby boy cry. I pick him up, I cradle him, and if I can’t get to him immediately I explain to him why mummy wasn’t there. It is amazing what you can do one handed. Many people have used the line “rod for own back” – yet for me, there really is such a thing as the fourth trimester. After 9months snuggled in the recesses of my womb, the world must seem so bright and noisy, so huge and alarming; so cold. Babies need the warmth and security of their mothers embrace, the sound of their heartbeat, the knowledge that momma will be there when you cry. This is essentially why I co sleep with Freddie; because I think it’s the natural way. I remember when I worked in Kolkata and would walk past families on the pavement and in the slums, sleeping curled up together. I realise this was out of necessity – yet their family bonds were far greater than most are here. It feels right to me, sharing my bed with my baby; it is certainly easier to feed him at 2am … and he has never had to cry for his milk.

Never did I realise the depths of love and worry that a mother carries around with her.