I still look her up on Instagram

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He comes back tomorrow for good. Au revoir, Paris!

I am so tired it’s hard to be excited. Nearly 8 weeks in, the tiredness has really set in now, like November drizzle. That hot-eyed, almost-headache, close to teary rage feeling. I had thought it was a little too easy! Now there is nothing worse than when he says he is tired.

I think I saw her the other day, going through the barrier at the station. She saw me, she was looking round at me. I don’t know why it bothers me but it does. I still look her up on Instagram. She looks like such a nice person. She was volunteering in Africa. I used disposable nappies in hospital and when the baby had a rash. She gets glowing posts about her. I bitch about people who do nice wholesome things like love each other.

Sometimes I look at old messages between me and him where he lied. Maybe I enjoy the drama of it.

I think I can’t quite get over that he never actually told her by choice. She was never dumped. He couldn’t choose between us but maybe at the end he did and he chose her.

The only reason that he eventually told her was because he was caught on the phone to me.

I said he would never be on his own with the baby. I said he had to go to therapy. I said he was an awful person.

But we ended up together, I met his family, he was amazing at the birth, and he’s back in Brighton for good tomorrow. And it is all going to be ok.

It’s just that she’s blonde and pretty and, worst of all, nice, and he never left her. She left him. That makes all the difference.

Dear Freddy Roux

Letters to Baby, Uncategorized

You smell fresh like a meadow you stretch when you wake you smile so big like you can’t get enough joy out just experiencing life as pure joyous sensation all the magic in everything wind skin on skin the sound of velcro the trees

I’m sorry I wasn’t excited to meet you. I wish I could go back to that first meeting and just bask in it. No rush of love came. It came weeks later, with tears, and I wanted to go back, back to each moment, to the feel of you inside me, to the scans, to the flood of pink in the pregnancy test, and just do it all again, with elation instead.

But there are so many more moments and rainy mornings are the best, when there’s nothing else to do but look at you.

Difficulties I’ve discovered looking after a tiny baby…

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Pooing! (Not even his bowel movements, but mine.) For 2 reasons:

  1. The sudden desperate urge to poo always comes when he is either feeding or sleeping on me. And
  2. Piles! For the second time in the 6 weeks since he was born, my arsehole is ruined and it had nothing to do with anything sexual (well actually technically yes it did).

The above kind of summarizes the main difficulties of looking after a tiny baby: it’s difficult to do anything! Such as eat, shower, poo, leave the house (especially when it is this swelteringly hot).

I hope we make it through this heatwave.

I hope my bum eventually recovers.

Bump

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Sometimes I miss having a bump.

08.03.19 – 27 weeks – feeling anaemic

It was a lovely bump.

19.04.2019 – 34 weeks – La Rochelle

No stretchmarks. Small and perfectly shaped.

11.05.19 – 36 weeks – Walks in the West Country

And it never woke me up in the night.

9 days before due date

Now it’s as if I was never pregnant.

Except for the baby hanging off my tit obvs.

First few weeks into motherhood…

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5 weeks and 4 days into motherhood and it’s super chilled. From what I can work out so far, it seems to be

lots of sitting with a baby guzzling your tit as if starved even if was fed 30 minutes ago,

lots of jiggling around, rocking, swaying,

talking in a stupid voice, mainly to bestow poo congratulations (what a humongous Korma-like poo that just squirted into my hand, well done!),

and quickly dashing about when he is either asleep or with a family member

to scrub poo out of nappies, hang up the washing, and other important jobs

such as eating, showering and going to the loo.

Monday mornings are to watch Sunday night’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Friday mornings are to watch Thursday’s episode of Ambulance or to go to the Healthy Child Clinic at the Children’s Centre to get him weighed and then as soon as possible to watch Thursday’s episode of Ambulance and probably to cry because it’s such an emotional programme that restores any lost faith in humanity and is amazing and I love it.

Those are the big events of the week. I think that that sums up the first few weeks of motherhood. One day it took 4 hours to go to the park.

Pregnancy has prepared you for the slow pace of life. When pregnant I could sit staring into space doing nothing for hours and couldn’t focus on anything if I did try to be productive (isn’t growing a baby enough productivity!). Once I’d finished working my biggest jobs were household chores, and it’s exactly the same now except everything takes a bit longer because you have to keep stopping to pop the baby on your boob and to rock him to sleep or to stare at him for ages when he’s being awake and sweet and not needing anything.

I’m still struggling with the concept of playing God, bequeathing life.

But I will probably forever live life on the high of giving birth. Even though from the outside life appears absolutely deathly boring, I feel excited every day.

Birth

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My waters broke at 11pm on Thursday 6th June.

I woke up to a tummy ache. I thought the movement in my tummy was the baby and I put Tim’s hand to it. Then I felt water leak out. It kept coming. I lay there for a second. Then I said, Tim.

I think my waters just broke.

My teeth started chattering.

It was only 2 days past the due date. I thought he would be 2 weeks late. I was measuring small. And I wanted a good night’s sleep. It was too late at night. I was too tired for this.

We called the hospital and they said to come in at 10am the next day. We lay towels on the bed.

The pains carried on all night, like the worst period pains.

My dad drove us to the hospital in the morning. I had thrown up my breakfast but I could still have a contraction in silence.

They checked my sodden maternity pad, my pulse and temperature and my notes, and sent us home.

The pains got worse. I ate icecream. I threw it back up. I felt hot, then I wanted a blanket.

We called the hospital at around 3. The contractions seemed to be 3 in 10 minutes. I hadn’t felt the baby move all day. Because there were not enough midwives, the hospital was on divert to a different hospital further away. We were sent there.

I screamed the half-hour car journey. But we reached the hospital and I was only 3cm.

They sent me for a bath.

The first photo of him

I was put on the antenatal ward for the night. No-one there was in proper labour. I was the only one moaning and screaming all night. I slept the few miniscule minutes between contractions, and woke in agony, delirious, hitting and scratching Tim. Sometimes he would feed me bits of banana.

Finally, at midnight on Friday 7th June, 25 hours after my waters broke, I was wheeled screaming to the delivery room. They strapped me up to the heart rate monitor and stuck an IV in me. My temperature had risen and they thought I had an infection.

At 2am we thought it would be very soon.

I needed a poo. They said it was the baby’s head. I was pretty sure it was a poo.

At 5am he still wasn’t born.

It was starting to get light outside.

They wheeled in a special machine for sick babies. The paediatricians and doctor were brought in. They were going to take the baby away for antibiotics as soon as he was born. The machine was there in case he was ill. They were worried he was a very small baby.

I felt annoyed at all their fussing. I thought they just needed to pull him out. I was too tired to push him out. The contractions had slowed down and weren’t strong enough. I was falling asleep. Everyone was falling asleep. They gave me juice for energy but it wasn’t enough.

Finally, they put me on an oxytocin drip and, after pooing before a roomful of people, I pushed him out at 6.24am on Saturday 8th June 2019, 31.5 hours after my waters had broken and the pains had first started. He was plopped on my chest covered in blood and meconium and I thought, Oh, not on my top! He looked exactly like a baby.

Then they took him to be stabbed all over with needles, looking for a vein for the IV. It was a violent beginning.

Day 2

Letters to baby 5

Letters to Baby

Sorry I don’t know what I’m doing.

How can you bring a whole other person into the world when you are not so sure about the world yourself?

It’s probably a little late to be having these thoughts.

You are 30 weeks old inside me. About 10 more weeks until you are here. That’s not scary at all!

You are so lucky, baby, that you will be born here. You will not be hungry, you will not be in fear for your life. You will grow pampered and spoiled and sad. Pregnancy has made me especially sad with the world. We have so much potential! We could make utopia! We have so much knowledge but maybe not enough wisdom.

I’m sorry, baby, you will wonder at this world you were brought into.

Maybe you can help change it. Maybe it will get better. Maybe we will stop killing everything.

I would like for us to build a little house in a warm country away from the city and to live off the land. But I can’t do that on my own because I am an idiot. I don’t know anything. Without the internet I am nothing. This is the humanity we have made. As a whole we have so much knowledge, but individually we can’t survive on our own land.

Everything is made convenient for us, we can watch any video on Youtube in the blink of an eye, but there is no soul to our lives, there is no meaning, and we are all sad.

Give me hope, baby, with your strange bubbling movements, with the cramped feeling that is you under my ribs. You are a miracle to exist and isn’t that what we all need, one miracle, just one, and we know the miraculous, the divine, and we have hope then, that anything can happen.

I have to stop now, I can’t look at a screen for long anymore. In the first trimester, when you were just a little bean, I was plagued with eye-strain-like headaches and couldn’t glance at my phone without feeling sick. I hope this doesn’t start up again, because I need to search for a life for us and the only place I know where to look is the internet!