Saturday, 20 July 2013

Learning to be a mom

Listening to: the scrape of shovel on soil (my husband digging out the back patio)
Reading: Beloved by Toni Morrison
Outside: Overcast but cooler (I don't start sweating just sitting still, yay!)

Well, life is a journey after all. You walk a lot, and you take a rest every now and then, and sometimes you have to run to catch up. Milestones take forever to get here and then they're gone in a flash.

Likewise, I'm approaching my pregnancy as a major mini journey, chronicled and remembered, and so here are the things I've done so far:

- I've gone through that first month where you're not even aware. You almost pass out at a relative's big birthday bash, but you blame it on your severe cold that's spinning your balance out of control.

- I've lived the 12 weeks (yes, that is three months) of pure, relentless pregnancy sickness hell. Learning how to vomit quickly and efficiently - in public restrooms or private - I know how to do that now. Goodbye, morning sickness and all its woes! I am particularly glad that milestone has come and gone!

- I've felt my baby's first was-it-really-her kicks, and I will never forget that moment. My lunch break in the sun on a park bench, half-eaten sandwich in hand, and it's like the world stopped turning for a moment. Oh, my.

- I've seen my baby grow in the first and now second ultrasounds (I can't wait to hold those tiny feet in my hands).

Blurry blobby Jellybean didn't want to stay still yesterday!
- I've grown out of 90% of my jeans/shorts/skirts. I'm now down to Walmart-shopper cotton shorts. I know. But, at times like these, elastic waistbands make life a million times easier. Comfort rules!

- I've moved everything from bottom drawers to top drawers. Socks, bras (upgraded size, twice), undies and clothes now reside higher. As bump grows, the floor seems a longer way down. Merely just the first of lots of rearranging my life around my little girl.

- I've worried. About everything. About anything. I wonder if she's happy in there (yes, yesterday we found out we are expecting a girl!). I wonder if I toss and turn too much at night and she's sloshing around in there. Was that little can of Red Bull ok. Did I do irreversible damage by running for the train that one time. Will she like me. I worry about the future, job security, my (seemingly never ending!) path to publication, and so many big and little and important and stupid things.

- I've stopped worrying. True, you never truly stop, but I've found you can wear yourself down for absolutely no reason if you keep on worrying too much. So, as Baby Suggs tells Sethe in Beloved, it's time to just lay it down, sword and shield all. Just let it go.

- I've taken a completely new interest in baby stuff. Moses baskets, prams, teddy bears, oh my! Having never been "into" babies when I was younger, this is a total and completely reckless transformation. Even my husband wonders what happened to the old no-nonsense Vee. Where is she? I don't know. Perhaps she is yet another milestone that has come and gone, waving goodbye on a sunset road.

- I have dreamed.  Of Christmases made magical again, seen through a child's eyes. Being there and being a friend. Of being a good mom and doing my best.

And this journey continues. I'm walking down this road, the next milestone's still waiting for me to come up to it. Sometimes I think, my baby's first steps to me will be the last milestone, glittering and hopeful in the distance. But that's, of course, only the beginning.

Happy Saturday, all.


  1. Remember when we dressed up Buddy in baby clothes and pushed him around in the toy-version of a stroller? See, you enjoyed that even at that young age, with me so I suppose it is in our nature as girls grow up, they learn about babies and dressing them up and making goofs of themselves in the process. I wonder if Mom has any of these photos? Ooh and cutting out a hole in the diaper for his tail? Hahahaha! What were we thinking?!

    Lots of <3 from across the pond. If I were there, I'd give you a big hug. Vee, you will be a wonderful mother. Worrying is human nature, but please do not worry about the little things. You are the strongest woman I know and you have done great and wonderful things, having your baby girl is just one more thing to add to your list.

    Now when I have kids, I'll come to you for advice, and your daughter is going to be super SPOILED by everyone. Muahahhaa! Just warning you now. ;)

    Also, congrats to you & Dave. You both will make wonderful parents.

    Love always,


    1. Aww, thank you Nicki!

      Oh, wow.

      Big, big smiles as I read your kind words. Haha I do remember dressing up Buddy! Lol that little dog was unnaturally patient. Maybe he knew he would shape our futures as someday-parents...

      Auntie Nicki, even from across the pond you're already making a difference. This little mom is thankful for you. :)

      I'm looking forward to passing on the torch of motherhood advice when you're ready!

      Jellybean kicks her hellos, and Dave and I both send our hugs. Over the treetops, Atlantic and over highway and field. Squeezies!

      Love you loads,
      Vee x

  2. What a lovely piece to read Vee. You are going to be fine. Being with you today as you bought your lovely pram for little Miss Jellybean was such a pleasure and privilege. The excitement and awe on your faces was great to see and even more so as you both started to believe that this is REAL. You are going to have a beautiful baby girl and I will be so proud to be her Grandma as I am to be your mum and Mumsie. You will both be brilliant parents, and the worrying and being scared of the future for your child never goes away no matter how old they are and that is a good thing as all it is is LOVE xxxxx

    1. Mumsie the oracle!

      You have a curious knack of predicting the future - four years ago you said, "And there's plenty of room here in the foyer for a pram," and it turns out, there is! - and so when you say things like "brilliant" and "parents" I have no choice but to believe you. x

      Going to Liverpool with you to pick up our new pram was spectacular. I'll always remember it. Thank you -- for a great day out, and for predicting the future in your special, gentle way. Xxxx