To say I was shocked to find out I was almost four months pregnant was an understatement.
As one of three children (I was one of four but my sister died of cot death when she was three months old), I had always thought I would end up having three children. But then I had my second: the one, the only, Afro Baby!
Now, I am in no way saying she put me off having a third, but she is only just approaching the age of three, and is still so little for me to leave behind when I leave for work, commuting almost two hours each way every day. And I’m so fully immersed in taking MyFamilyClub to the next stage of our exciting journey, that it hadn’t so much as crossed my mind to try for another baby and expand our family from four to five pairs of wellington boots next to the back door.
So here I am at 18 weeks pregnant and it’s finally sinking in as I have felt the first flutterings of little kicks. I am on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at the moment, mainly due to the fact that I have to have another C-section, as I have already had two emergency ones – one awake and one under general anaesthetic. Not pleasant, I can tell you.
Last night, I had one of my over-excitable moments, as I lay in bed thinking about how much I can’t wait to kiss and squeeze those chubby thighs (see the image of Afro Baby’s thighs to fully appreciate the kiss- and bite-ability of a pair of chubby legs) and kiss the soles of its tiny little feet (something I have to profess I would only do to my own new-born baby as I have a loathing of feet – one of my many issues! Others include touching cheddar cheese and a fear of clowns… topics for future blogs, perhaps!)
I then started dreaming about that beautiful moment when they nuzzle on your chest and fall asleep after a feed, then I got jolted out of my haze remembering the burps, winding and other hilarious noises and liquids such a tiny little bundle can produce.
So, here I am dealing with the hormones, the cravings, the excitement of what baby will look like and sound like etc. I am also dealing with the amazing journey I have been on, from starting the business at five months pregnant with my first, raising investment through my second pregnancy and now managing a team of 15 employees and building the business through my third pregnancy.
I am sure it was always meant to be. This baby is making me slow down just a little bit; now I leave the house just five minutes earlier so I can walk up the hill to the station in a slightly more leisurely fashion, with my blueberry muffin and occasional soya milk cappuccino and still maintain a steady breathing pace. Baby has given me a reason to take better care of myself as I always put the kids first but now I am just that little bit firmer when they demand to get in the bath with me, as I want to stretch out and let the warm water soothe my already ‘relaxing from relaxing’ hips and pelvis, and cover myself in bubbles whilst thinking about the sleepless nights to come.
I am just getting to that stage where people on the tube journey home are eyeing my belly with curiosity and suspicion, not knowing whether to offer me a seat and offend me by mistaking my jelly belly for a baby or to stay put thinking that I have been indulging in too many muffins and white wine but then travel their distance feeling guilt, just on the off chance that I am, in fact, pregnant.
Last week I had a moment (one of many at the moment) where I panicked and felt overwhelmed because baby is due on my birthday. Selfish Gemma reared her ugly head for a split second whilst I weighed up whether I could get away with the occasional ‘go out and celebrate’ or would it be jelly and ice-cream and kids’ parties for me for years to come… Then I thought about all the years I had gone out and celebrated and how much I had wished I was at home with my kids. So that’s sorted then: jelly and ice-cream it is, with the odd cocktail sausage thrown in.
Wish me luck….