Saturday, 4 February 2017

"Do you know what you're having?"

"When are you due?"

"How are you feeling?"

It's like these questions are hard wired into the brain ready to pop out whenever you're faced with a pregnant woman. I'm just as guilty - I find out a lady is expecting and these questions come unbidden to my tongue, and are suddenly out of my mouth without any involvement of my brain.

So now the shoe is on the other foot, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect. Do I mind when people ask? Hand on heart. Honestly. No, not one bit. It just means a lot that people care. The question itself really isn't what is important - it's just acting as to telegraph the fact that they are interested, and want to offer even the smallest amount of support.

What is funny though, is when people get an answer to one of these questions that doesn't quite conform to the 'usual' answer - something that they weren't quite expecting... an example:

Kind hearted soul: "So, do you know what you're having?"

Us: "Yes, we do. We're having a.... baby."

Hubby and I made the decision relatively early that we wanted to know our little one's gender. Not so we could colour scheme or really plan names, but it just helps us to be that little bit closer to, and to bond with that little life busily growing in my belly. 

We also came to the decision quite easily, that if we did find out, we didn't want a big gender reveal (and certainly nothing like they do in the US and have a full blown party) - in fact, we agreed that if we could, we wanted to keep this little tiny piece of our son or daughter to ourselves.  Because gender to us, really doesn't matter.



My mum was shocked by this, and originally was positive we'd let slip - but we've known for nearly 3 weeks now and we're happily swapping around pronouns, continuing to use our pre-gender nickname ("Pickett" - after a little Bowtrunkle with attachment issues in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (said once as a joke but it just sorta stuck)), and it's had the added bonus of preventing our parents going mad and buying cupboards full of pink/blue clothes. Now I'm all for a spot of pink/blue, but I'm also looking forward to dressing my little one in red, black, grey, yellow and green. 

Life is better with a splash of variety after all.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

A bit of an update: Two become three

So, here's the thing.

I've not been entirely truthful.  It's not so much a lie, but an omission.  I've been using this blog as a diary on and off for the past few years, and those of you who have followed my journey may recall the reason I was "Learning Early."

You see, back in 2012 I discovered I was pregnant.  I made the decision, practically on day one, to blog my journey, and all the lessons I would learn as a first time mum... the disposable/reusable nappy debate, selecting a push chair, whether we'd agree to skip the gender reveal and stay Team Yellow... How naive I was.  I had some other, much harder lessons to learn first.

I miscarried my first pregnancy at 7 weeks.

There was the physical and emotional pain that followed, the snubbing out of a future that had been so clear in our minds.  It evaporated like mist.

It would take us four years and surgery for endometriosis to get pregnant again, but sadly this second little life decided not to stay with us, and I was confirmed to have had a missed miscarriage at my 12 week scan in March 2016 - just days before my 30th birthday.  Part of me thought I was more prepared, I knew what to expect, I'd been there before... I was wrong.  Just as each life I carried was different, so was the process I went through to grieve them.

"It wasn't meant to be."

"Your time will come."

"There must have been something wrong"

Kind words, but they felt like razor blades - these were my children.  They would never be named, never get a nursery, but each one would stay with me.



So when hubby and I discovered last September that we were expecting again, we dared not get excited.  We held hands as we looked at the little plastic stick on the side of the wash basin and took a deep breath, already starting to build up those protective walls should the worst happen again.

Well, here we are, a few months on, and the worst hasn't happened.   I little wriggly thing that I've seen on a sonographer's screen and that has been given top marks by all the doctors so far.  We're 22 weeks along - over half way - and this morning hubby got to join in by feeling our child tap on my tummy.

So it felt that the time was right to come clean - We've braved the Mothercare Sales,  I'm wearing maternity clothes.  There's a box in our spare room that contains a buggy.

We're expecting a baby.


 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A Hug Costs Nothing

You know the feeling where you're head down in your own problems, turning things over in your mind, sometimes it takes something special to snap you out of that trance... today was one of those for me.

I'd decided to take a walk into the village to do some errands (pet shop, post office, dry cleaners...) when I saw a small group of ladies huddled around an A-frame. Thinking that these ladies were collecting for charity, or wanted me to sign another parish petition, I'm afraid to say I moved to cross the road (I'm an busy person with my own problems after all).

Turned out that these ladies would absolutely make my day.

Turns out the 21St January is national Hug Day, and these three ladies of later years were standing in the bitterly cold to not collect anything from us passers by, but to give: the biggest most genuine hug I think I have ever received from a stranger.

When they asked if I'd like a hug I nearly shook my head, and scuttled away. But a millisecond later, I realised that it did. A hug was exactly what I wanted - they were more than happy to oblige. Like a strange greeting line they each gave me a really big cuddle, we had a little chat and I went on my way with the biggest smile on my face.

Their only request: that I go and share the happiness.

These three ladies, in the space of a couple of minutes managed to pop me out of my head out of my own troubles and made me look at my little village with new eyes. We might all be strangers, but that doesn't mean that we each can't give a little bit of happiness to someone else.

A smile cost nothing, a few minutes chatter could mean more than you realize.

So, Henrietta, Jean and Trudy - excellent work - Hats off to you.