This week two of my friends announced they’re pregnant with their first baby. One of them in particular has had a difficult, emotional and frustrating path to take up to this point. I’m so happy for them both.
It takes me back to how I felt at the same point. At 12 weeks there’s still an element of disbelief and sense of unrealness about it. You say ‘I’m pregnant’ and it feels like the words are coming out of somebody else’s mouth, especially as your body has nothing to show for it (save for a level of exhaustion you can’t believe and a strange combination of nausea and extreme hunger!)
You wonder at what your body will go through. You Google everything and anything about baby development and pregnancy (the baby is the size of a lime at 12 weeks by the way) and you’re impatient. How can you possibly wait another six months to meet the baby??!
I really miss being pregnant. With a first it’s super special (read my account here.) And I also remember that when you’re pregnant you can’t think beyod the tiny baby phase- the phase that, in reality, pases in the blink of an eye and you’ll find you never really remember properly, relying on photos for your memories.
Harriet turned 18 months old this week, cue looking back at photos from this time last year when she was six months old, and then flicking back even earlier, watching the rough and ready phone videos of jerky baby movements, gurgles and early smiles- moments alien to me now. Was she really ever a tiny, helpless baby? When you’re in it you can’t think beyond it… Little did I imagine that I’d soon be dealing with a toddler- a toddler…
Who breaks with convention and doesn’t actually toddle yet- giving mummy arm muscle burn and a bad back.
Who can name herself and all her family in photos… but somehow Harriet in her mind and level of speech has translated it into ‘Alf'(!)
Who has a strange love affair with boiled eggs. Her eyes light up more with them than with chocolate.
Whose favourite animal at the zoo was ‘baa baa’ (??)
Who manages to get her shoes and socks off before I’ve even reversed out of the drive.
Who is dead to the world in her car seat, but wakes up as soon as I place her in her cot, taking over an hour of thrashing and rolling around to get back to sleep again.
Frustrating, exhausting, surreal, hilarious and heart exploding are just some of the phrases to describe the experience of your little one getting older.
The interaction takes things to a whole new level and you realise that this is what it’s all about- getting those hugs back, being told in no uncertain terms that they no longer like whatever their favourite food was, watching them laugh at Mr Tumble (I suppose somebody has to!) and getting the first real sense that you are their world and they might even love you back.
So good luck my pregnant friends. Enjoy the experience and look forward to meeting that tiny little one, but be assured it gets even better down the line…