Dear Me of This Time Last Year,
It is September, you are pregnant and you don’t even know. That holiday to Tunisia you just took with PB has brought you back to England with more than just a candle holder and a fridge magnet. That bloated, sicky feeling in your tummy is not just the food poisoning from the all inclusive buffet from the hotel you both stayed at and in a few weeks you will be peeing on a stick and realising that life is about to change in one of the most biggest and magical ways possible.
I know you have both made the decision to start a family, this baby you are carrying (who we now know as the cute, chubby bundle of fun that is Teddy Arthur Leighton) has always been wanted and planned for. You’ve been trying since June and are becoming impatient with waiting what feels like eternity but now, looking back, was only a heartbeat. A heartbeat created within a heartbeat… how amazing is that? Not long to go now until life changes. We know now that it is inevitable, but let me enlighten you as to what truly has changed. Reflection is imminent as we get on in life… sometimes moving forward quickly is so consuming that it leaves us looking back to recover what has been learnt. And this year is a prime example.
You can currently sleep for 9 hours a night. You can nestle into that marshmallow of a pillow and not wake until morning… or even afternoon if you choose. Make the most of that freedom of choice and of your sleep. Savour each ‘z’ you catch and wrap yourself in the duvet. Nowadays you grab it in sections, not too dissimilar to shift patterns. The sleep you do get isn’t the deep, restful blackness you are used to… it’s more of a shallow, dreamy state with one ear and eye open in case you are needed by the dependant little person in the cot 3 feet away. You’ll get cranky. Your eyes will feel as heavy as an elephant’s ass cheeks and you won’t coordinate properly. But don’t worry, sleep is over rated…. or at least, that’s what you will tell yourself to help you feel better.
Talking of elephants, make the most of what you currently perceive to be an ugly body that makes you feel the size of one. You are SO wrong! Your waist is smaller than you think it is and what it will be, and not decorated in tiger stripes from its exertions. Twiddle that belly button piercing in the mirror before you have to take it out and make it a memory. Embrace your skinny jeans and lace underwear…. even those knickers that cause a wedgie! You’ll miss them when the time comes to prioritise comfort over fashion. Make the most of not dreading to sneeze or having to support your breasts at night in order to prevent them from flooding your underarm area…. you’ll miss being perky.
Keep pampering yourself. Bath time for you currently consists of atleast a one hour long soak in the tub each night… surrounded by every lotion and potion that can exfoliate, moisturise and perfume you into oblivion whilst watching Youtube videos back to back uninterrupted. Now, the words ‘bath time’ are a routine event that happens between 6 and 6.30 every evening – not for you but for baby – and involves rubber ducks, a sing song and lots of splashing. Showers are more your port of call in recent times… mainly for their quickness and ease as time management really is of the essence. You might manage a few long soaks here and there when PB is home from work, but it’s hard to keep the heavy eyelids open for longer than half an hour. But that half hour is blissful….. almost like a spa treatment. The other day you managed a mud mask. You were so glad you became hyper and nearly cried.
Savour your time with PB. You will always have each other and this coming year will have you both sharing amazing experiences that will bring you closer than ever before. But, it will only be the two of you for a little longer. Enjoy those snuggles on the sofa all evening…. and even the comfy silences you have whilst doing your own thing. Silence is hard to come by nowadays! Make the most of sex and of being able to do it when you want, where you want and as loud as you want. Don’t panic…. you’ll both still manage it after parenthood but it takes a lot more precision – like a covert operation of stealth, stamina and efficiency!
Call your friends. Go to the movies with them more, shop til you all drop and get drunk! Have 3 hour long telephone conversations about nothing and make note of how much you can focus on your train of thought. That will turn to mush I’m afraid, leaving you starting sentences and not finishing them, flailing about in your brain for ‘that word’ you will undoubtedly lose and never retrieve. Listen intently to your friends, make the most of their voices. You will struggle to hear them over baby at some points and even forget what they’ve said after you part. But don’t fret, Facebook messenger will save the day…. you can’t forget conversations that are written down!
Enjoy being on your own, don’t be scared by it. You will soon have a second shadow that will make you see having a pee with the door closed as the equivalent of solitary confinement. In just a matter of months, there will be someone in your life that you truly can’t be without. So make the most of your current independence… it will soon be forgotten.
I am not trying to scare you. Don’t take this advice as a warning or in a sense of discouragement. Take it as preparation for a promise. A promise that the most wonderful, exhilarating, breathtaking and challenging time of your life is about to start. You are no longer going to be just ‘Me’. You’re going to be ‘Me, Being Mummy’. You will grow a beautiful little boy with blonde hair, blue eyes and chubby cheeks. He will be so eager to meet you for your first cuddle that he will come 5 weeks early and the world will turn upside down, like a puzzle that’s had missing pieces found and needs to be rebuilt in its proper image.
There will be so many moments that he will make you feel love so strong that it’ll spill out of your eyes and down your cheeks in a mixture of elation at feeling it yet sadness that it can’t last forever. You will be captivated by every movement, expression and sound. He will challenge you, demand your selflessness to rise to the surface and expose you to the fear of truly failing. You will know what it is like to feel true helplessness when he has pain, and realise the lengths that you will go to in order to at worst ease it, at best prevent it. He will frustrate you to the point of wondering why you thought you could ever ‘Be Mummy’, then confirm it is both why you are here and the best thing you have ever done.
Because believe me it is. It is going to be an amazing year…. I should know, I’ve lived it.
With love to you from Me, of This Time Now.xxx
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