Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Well, little Charlie is going to be three weeks old on Friday 22nd, which means three weeks since I had a good night's sleep. This is ok really. I mean, sleep is a relative thing in a way. If you take 4 two-hour naps in a day that's 8 hours sleep, yes? The 4 two-hour bits of activity in between each nap is a mere trifle, don't you agree? A trifle containing a lengthy breast-feed and at least one nappy-change - often two and on one particularly marathon occasion, three. This was my fault clearly for changing the nappy in the middle of a poo rather than politely waiting for it to be all over... anyway, I digress.

It's also three weeks since I had my own boobs. I mean, ok, this is a bit of an exaggeration considering that for the last nine months they have been gearing up for just this moment however up until the actual birth they had the common decency to pretend that they were just a normal, if grossly enlarged, pair of breasts. However, a few moments following the birth, the midwife put Charlie onto one boob and it swifly became apparent that my ladies had a higher purpose in life and that all along they haven't in fact been mine, they've been merely hanging around (ahem) waiting to fulfil their duties as the givers of the milk of human kindness... or at least, Charlie's own personal dairy bar and life-support system.

Three weeks will have also passed since I lost my 'bump'. One of the more bizarre of the questions I've been asked since Charlie appeared on the scene is 'don't you miss your bump?'. Hello? Apparently some women do miss having their bump... 'to rest your hands on' was one reason given, as though for the first forty years of my life I was flapping about wondering what the hell to do with those hands of mine and pregnancy provided a magical solution... so THAT's why women keep having babies... clearly they should take up smoking and they'd never lack for something to do with their hands again... I mean really... anyway, I digress.

There are few reasons I would miss my bump unless I consider seriously the amount of sleep I was getting prior to little C's birth however amoung these few, the most compelling is that one is no longer in the pregnancy club and people are no longer as nice as they were whilst one was the size of a small tractor. One does rather get used to the special treatment, it's true... it's just not so much fun walking around and knowing that nobody is paying any attention at all... and if they are they're thinking 'she could lose a few pounds' and not 'aw, look at that pregnant lady, maybe I can help her out.'. The real answer to the question is, of course, 'No I bloody don't miss my bump'. What's there to miss? Swollen ankles, only one sleeping position, trouble walking, trouble standing, trouble sitting, trouble lying down, trouble sleeping, a tiny bladder, wind, acid reflux and general indigestion, a ban on eating brie and blue cheese, terrible clothes, only one pair of shoes that fit, being too hot all the time and the feeling that something is lurking both inside one and metaphorically speaking, beneath one... the mystery of the impending birth, the fear of parenthood... this is not a condition to be missed in the slightest. I can categorically state that parenthood is a breeze compared to the fear of it when it is an unknown.

It's been three weeks since the house became a nursery, three weeks since people stopped asking how I am and started asking about Charlie instead, 3 weeks since D and I started on the long journey to get C a passport and 3 weeks since life as I knew it came to an abrupt end, along with what passed for my stomach muscles and the entirety of my pelvic floor.

Three weeks is not a long time in the great scheme of things but it's long enough to get used to the idea that there's a third person living in the house, that one's body is still not one's own and that every three hours one turns into dinner... and as three hours have passed since the last feed, I must now end this blog and hustle to deck myself out on the nursery sofa in spit-up rags and comfy pillows, the baby equivalent of table mats, napkins and a good set of cutlery.


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