I had been married for seven years when I found out I was having my first baby. I was also 32 years old. We had enjoyed holidays, concerts, meals out and the spontaneous life of ‘let’s jump in the car and drive to London,’ that we were to realize is not possible with a small baby in tow.
My pregnancy progressed real smoothly. I had very little morning sickness (I remember ginger biscuits helped!) but after that it flew by without a hitch. We did not wish to know what sex the baby was, we were just so happy to be having ‘a baby.’ Looking back, I started to have those broody feelings after turning 30. When our best friends had their baby that was also the deciding factor.
Throughout my pregnancy, I continued working full time and took my maternity leave 6 weeks before the baby came. I was a manager of a retail store, and loved my job and the people that worked there. How would I cope without work? The excitement was overpowering however, and everyone around me was so thrilled for me. I remember feeling such contentment and anticipation whilst pregnant – reading the pregnancy books, looking through baby catalogs, and the general ‘fuss’ that people made of me.
I was pregnant throughout the summer, and Liam was born in late October. He was just a few days early, so I had a full five and a half weeks to prepare for his arrival. I loved this time! I went out for lunch knowing that I didn’t have to watch my figure, and I went shopping for baby clothes which seemed to get cuter and cuter each season.
Liam was a big baby, at over 9 lbs in weight. I remember another other mum in our maternity ward who gave birth on the same day as Liam. Her baby was just 5 lbs in weight. How we giggled as we tried the ill-fitting clothes on to our babies and ended up swapping baby clothes with each other!
Life with a new baby is truly life changing. When Liam a just a week or two old, I was still in my dressing gown in the mornings. I remember looking out of the window at our house and watching mums and prams walk past. How did they manage to get dressed? I still smile as I think of those first few weeks.
This was a golden time in my life. When Liam was born it became even more ecstatic. Lots of people came to visit, and to ‘coo’ over the new baby, but I still felt we were in our own little family bubble. We were absolutely over the moon with his arrival, and I couldn’t begin to replicate those feelings until I had my daughter Jessica.
People who become parents, who go through the rigmaroles of child birth and all it entails, are truly blessed. There are so many clichés about having children – some are naff, some are poignant, but all of them are true.