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 3

Is love convenience?

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I think that I don’t want to be on my own.

I don’t think that this has got anything to do with him. I don’t think he is personally what I want.

I think I want the idea of him. Of having someone to do things with.

Like run away to Europe and never come back.

Like save for a mortgage on a house.

Like raise our child.

I don’t know if that is what love is. Is love convenience?

Financially it’s easier. Decision-making is a shared load. Loneliness is kept at bay.

Isn’t that why people stay together? Because it’s easier.

Nowadays most people can’t afford to be single.

Messaging Madness

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As dangerous as bloody heroin.

But I thought that I was immune from these silly habits.

I’m not very good with technology or social media.

Then again, I hate speaking on the phone. And I’m lonely.

I thought I liked being alone. Until I lived on my own. Then I quickly realized that liking being alone meant liking hanging out in a busy family home where I was never alone.

Through messaging you feel connected. You are distracted from the cold truth that we are born and die alone and that our minds are our private prisons forever.

It’s a brilliant invention. You can plan group meetups, send pictures privately, screenshot humourous or serious conversations to discuss with other friends, even play scrabble.

But when it comes to love…

On weekends we message in the morning to say hello and chat about our evenings. On weekdays we’ll touch base throughout the day, if not too busy at work. In the evenings we’ll catch up. When I’m bored I’ll message him. I’m often bored. When I’m sad I’ll message him. I’m often sad. If he doesn’t message in a few hours I’ll send him inane updates or question him on his whereabouts or his ideas on life.

On Messenger you can see when someone is online or the last time they were active online. So you know when someone is ignoring you. You also know when your ex is fucking someone else all night long.

Or you think you do and you have to send him messages asking who the whore is and hoping he uses contraception, while really he’s innocently heating up fish soup and his phone has simply rudely died.

I check to see when he was last online.

I refrain from messaging for as long as I can.

I send an unrestrained string of wise, witty messages to make sure he remembers how amusing (and insanely needy) I am.

I am allowed to be like this, of course, because I am pregnant and lonely and he is selfishly in Paris, sucking on French tits and smoking weed out his French windows. Since being pregnant I have let myself be beautifully needy. It is a true accomplishment.

But now I have decided that we can only ever be friends, because I cannot trust that he will come back. This means I must end this addiction. I must be content without messages from him. I must never check my phone. I turn off my active status so I can also never see when he was last active. I must detach.

I must detach.

I think I might be a little bit insane.

But aren’t we all?

Are we?

I hope so.

Are you excited?

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He doesn’t want to be here. I have to be here.

He is not going to come back. Not even for six months.

I am not waiting now.

I needed that hope because I wasn’t excited about the baby. I conjured images in my mind of a happy unit of 3.

Are you excited? That’s what people ask you.

Over and over again. Are you excited?

Are you excited?

No.

It’s going to be here FOREVER. I want to meet it. But then I want to put it back inside me. I want to pop it out and look at him or her and stroke and cuddle and then I want to pop it back into its safe little universe.

But if we were together, it would be ok. We could look at him or her and be amazed. We could build a world together out of fantasies in our mind, the old magic of 3.

But he is not coming back.

It’s like going through a breakup over and over again.

But I am strong enough now because I am excited. Finally. And I don’t need him. And it’s going to be okay.

He is not going near my vagina again.

Questions re. your private complicated love life that you don’t want to explain to every Tom, Dick, Sally and Mary because you WILL CRY

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When you’re pregnant anyone will just ask you intimate questions about your romantic life as casual chat. Also strangers just assume you’re in a relationship with your baby’s dad even though you could have literally been raped or he could have died or you could be a lesbian.

Were you on the pill?

So where’s the dad?

What does your boyfriend think?

Are you going to move in together?

Are you married?

Are you sleeping together?

Where is the dad?

Do you love him?

Did you consider abortion?

Are you dating?

Where’s the dad?

Reasons to get pregnant

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I like being pregnant because I can send my ex (the one who I still sleep with and whose mum cooks us dinner when he’s in town) 25 messages at a time and not feel any shame or regret. This is actually an excellent, although possibly unhealthy, reason to consider abstaining from contraception. An example below.

I like being pregnant because you can watch Celebs Go Dating every evening and not have any social life and it’s absolutely fine. You don’t get told off for not drinking or for being boring or for going home at 7.30pm because it’s bedtime really soon.

A good reason to get pregnant is that you can blame being awful at your job on baby brain! I started my job 5 months pregnant so no one knows that I’m clueless even without the hormones and shrinking brain (apparently your brain shrinks).

A letter to him

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This is how I feel all the time.

I am sorry. I am sorry that I kept the baby and now your life will be changed forever. I am sorry that you might have to move back to the UK and give up your dream of France for a while.

I am not sorry. Use a condom.

I am not sorry that I didn’t have an abortion for you.

I am not sorry when my baby kicks inside me.

I love you. I will always love you. You’re the father of my child and my best friend. But these are all the contraries that I feel.

If I had not been pregnant I would never have seen you again. Although me and her would not have found out, for maybe a very long time, or maybe forever, the whole truth at least. So I would have kept seeing you, until I left Paris or your lies were somehow revealed or one of us bored of the other. I think this baby was a good thing for you. Now you can sort your head out.

I told you that once I had the abortion I never wanted to see you again. You cried but that evening you would be back with her and you would never have had to reveal the lie.

You weren’t there for me. You weren’t there for me when I needed you.

As the abortion date drew nearer and I told you how I felt about it, you said you felt you should be there… to make sure that I went through with it.

You said you could come the Thursday night and leave on the Saturday. The abortion was booked for the Friday morning. I said don’t bother.

You went to the cinema and had sex with her after I told you I was keeping it and you were going to have a child. You had dinner with her mum and you were going to have a child with somebody else.

How can I be with you when I think you would rather be with her? How can I be with you when I know you would lie to save my feelings, for fear I would take your child?

How can I be with you when you would rather be in France than be with me?

But how can I get over you when you come back to my bed? How can I move on when I am at home with a baby on my tit?

I am angry. I think if you want to be involved then be fully involved. Will you buy nappies with me? Will you buy a pram? Will you be there for the nights?

No? Then don’t bother coming back at all.

I’m sorry. I’m not angry.

I don’t need you. This was my choice. I made this decision alone and I knew the consequences of that. If you’re there to babysit sometimes, then great. If not, that’s fine.

I need you. I don’t want to do this on my own. I want to be a happy family. I want us to make decisions together.

What do you want? Just tell me what you want.

I could do better than you.

I would be better off alone.

I don’t want to be alone.

All that matters is this baby and I need to stop thinking about you.