Marathon V Childbirth

It struck me today, seven days before I’m due to run the London marathon, or more specifically, seven days before I’m due to run my first ever marathon, just how similar the emotions, feelings and physical traits are, to becoming a parent!

It may sound overly dramatic and just a little self indulgent but I’m serious when I say, the feelings I’ve had the last couple of days are exactly how I felt before B was born. Bar the whole, hand in the vagina for a sweep bit, even the preparation is the same.

I’ve made lists. God, I’ve made lists.

I’ve packed a bag to unpack it and pack it again.

I’ve felt a very real need to cleanse body, soul, home and mind.(You should see how clean my skirting boards are!)

I’m taking body selfies to see just how much my body as changed.

bump runner

I’ve phoned my doctor because I’m eating chalk.

I’ve tried to change my diet, take vitamins (because of the whole eating chalk malarkey) and listen to experts about the do’s and dont’s.

I’ve muttered the words ‘This time next week I’ll…’ three hundred times, much like I did for a whole month before B came along.

I’ve run (boom boom) every worst case scenario through my head and some, I’ve pictured finishing, I’ve pictured how I’ll feel after, what I’ll feel after, I wonder whether I’ll have enough energy to ever have sex again, whether I’ll be me after I finish? Whether I’ll want to do it again?

I’ve thought I can’t do it.

I’ve thought I’ll be epic at it.

I’ve over thought it to the point I feel like I know absolutely everything and nothing at all.

I’m excited and frightened and one minute very ready and the next not at all.

I think about why I’m doing this, what I wanted and want from it, how it will change nothing but everything and then I feel ridiculously proud.

Four years ago there was no B and definitely no run intended (see what I did there?) and now there’s both, a beautiful little girl, a reasonably good book, a run intended and thousands of miles, literally, thousands of miles, behind me, so whatever happens on April 24th 2016, whether I’ll be the same person I was pre marathon, whether I have sex straight away or three months later, whether or not I cleanse myself thoroughly before I get on the Megabus heading to Victoria, I am allowing myself to feel a little bit smug and a little bit relaxed.

Just like I did before I went into labour.

After all, the hard work has been done, sort of; I’ve grown into a marathon runner, like I grew B.

I know the actual race will be long, tiring, amazing and I’ll be bloody starving after.

I hope I don’t shit myself or hurt myself or fall short at the last hurdle and need pain relief to get over the line but I also can’t wait to show myself, the world, B, just exactly what I’m capable of.

And yes, I will bring that medal home and look after it and treasure it and show it off exactly how I brought B home and treasured her and took her to town so people could muse over her beauty!

I will be that woman and do you know what?

I can’t wait!!!!!

 

 

 

T’was the night before she was one

On the eve of my daughters very first birthday I’m feeling an extreme amount of emotions; they vary on the spectrum of feelings from elated, happy and excited that we’ve got through our first three hundred and sixty five days pretty unscathed to devastated, a little bit sad not to mention quite teary that my tiny, chubby, milk monster baby is no more.

No, now I’m the proud owner of a still chubby but beautiful, happy, inquisitive, crazy, pepperoni lover toddler; a notion that is both amazing and terrifying. Firstly, where did that year go? It seems like a nanosecond ago that I was staring down at a midwife called Anne who was waving in my vagina to get said toddlers labour moving? Surely it was just last week that I could leave her in one place to wee without risking breaking my neck to get back down the stairs? A few days ago that you had reached that all important nought to three month milestone? Seriously, where has it bloody gone and why can’t I stop bloody crying?

I suppose birthdays of any kind are reflective so it’s no wonder that I keep looking at the perfect little being that we created through nothing but love…and a lot of pumping, whilst she potters around our living room in a (very grown up) little nightie and shows me the Thomas the Tank Engine she absolutely loves that I keep bursting into sporadic tears that I match with a weird smile as not to frighten her.

It’s no wonder that I’m watching her wondering how we created something so perfect and beautiful and it’s no wonder there’s snot flying from my nostrils when I think that one day she’ll not need me at all. In fact, with every day that passes she becomes a little bit more independent, a little bit more of her own person, a little more perfect…I’m pretty much hysterical at this point so in an attempt to gather my thoughts, (because I’ve got some birthday bunting to make and my tears will surely ruin the tissue paper) sort myself out and man up in general I made a list of things that my baby girl has learnt in the past year.

Snort garlic bread

Listen to Let It Go thirty two times without getting even a tiny bit bored

Bite unsuspecting people

Walk a little bit

Give kisses with her mouth wide open

Clap hands

Like the song suggests: Hop like a bunny hop hop hop

Eat dominos pizza like a boss

Sleep all night long should she choose

Poo up her back

Poo on the floor

Wee at the crucial nappy change moments

Crawl far

Crawl fast

Poo out of spite

Interrupt car crash TV at precisely the very wrong moment

Smell weakness

Climb up the radiator

Wake three hundred times through the night; should she choose

Fart loudly

Pull off an epic E.T impression

Prove that dreams really do come true.

BB

Happy Birthday B!

Ten things you WILL do from sleep deprivation after having a baby

  1. Put hairspray under your arms instead of deodorant.
  2. Pour hot water from the kettle over your cereal.
  3. Convince yourself something has fallen from the sky.
  4. Walk into walls quite frequently.
  5. Pour expressed breast milk into a visitor’s coffee. (Sorry workman.)
  6. Sit on the toilet and realise that you are actually weeing through your underwear and pyjamas.
  7. You will cry a lot.
  8. Loose things. (Baby not included.)
  9. Misplace (very different from loose) the baby.
  10. Hate yourself for hating those people who told you to go to bed when you were pregnant.

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fright club

Here are eleven normal-ish things that will terrify you when you become a mother for the first time.

1. Stairs
You’ve been walking up and down them all your life. You’ve gone down them on your bum, made them into a slide and even used them as a storage unit. And then you had a baby and suddenly they are not only the worst obstacle in the world they are also terrifying! They threaten to trip you up, loosen your grip, trick you into lobbing your baby down or up them.
They become a menacing kaleidoscope of colours and patterns convincing you there’s definitely an extra step, an awkward floorboard, a missing step despite the fact there were twenty six of the buggers when you bought the house, twenty six when you went to the toilet earlier on and twenty six when you called the postman in to double check your counting skills and to hold the baby whilst you made a hysterical phone call to the doctors proclaiming your madness/hallucinations.

2. Petrol stations
The bane of all mothers lives.
Do you; leave the baby in the car whilst you pay, locking the door and legging it so fast over the forecourt you break your neck and die?
Do you; get the peacefully sleeping baby out of the car seat, waking her up in the process, ensuring she screams, draws a lot of attention to yourself as you get hot and bothered, sweaty and sweary because naturally you’ve left your purse back in the car?
Do you; refuse to put petrol in at all and run out in the most inconvenient black hole possible; no phone signal, no nappies left, not a soul around you for miles?
Do you; take husband with you who complains profusely about paying?
Or do you; take husband with you who complains profusely about the baby crying whilst you go and pay running across the forecourt so fast you break your neck and die?

3. Children (other peoples)
Where to start with this one? Maybe the bit where everyone else has managed to produce something with the same genetic makeup as Lucifer himself? Or maybe the fact everyone seems to accept that their little beauties carry/spread their germs with same ease as the snot trickles down small-Satan’s face?
Heavy handed, germ infested, loud, jealous little mites that like to showcase their interest of the most precious thing you’ve ever owned via sticky hands, silly sounds and whatever dangerous weapon, I mean toy, they think the baby would like on their head.

4. The weather
The weather has always been something you’ve been mildly interested in, excuse the pun. But then you have a baby and a thermometer and suddenly every season becomes a challenge.
Too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet, too dusty, too anything that may interfere with your bundles temperature, outfit choice or sleep pattern.
I became particularly vigilant by purchasing a thermometer that displays it’s unhappiness of the temperature via a sad face and flashing light which is particularly handy on hot or respectively cold nights; you know the ones where your desperate for sleep but then have to strip/layer the baby…

5. Bank balance
Checking your bank balance post baby becomes not unlike what I imagine Russian roulette is like.
Maternity pay plus cute necessities such as hats with ears that cost more than month’s mortgage payment, equals a worrying financial situation.
And it’s ironic really that one should find themselves in such scary squalor after having pretty much at least nine months warning of such expense.
‘Babies cost!’ The masses continued to warn and you continued to ignore.
Babies cost which means bank balances take a bashing!

6. Night time
The sole reason the night time becomes so terrifying is because it’s when sleep should happen! And we all know that when a new baby comes over the threshold sleep becomes a treat not a given.
Sleep is so precious. Well, it’s precious, in demand, worryingly elusive and because it should normally happens at night time, when it’s dark and quiet the night time becomes the most anxiety fuelled period of having a baby.
Like most brand, spanking new mothers I spent a lot of time in the beginning, during the night, just watching my baby breathe.
Around the five month mark I had managed to almost rid myself of this habit, albeit the odd check, when my beloved step-dog passed away in her sleep. She just stopped breathing during the night; cue the obsessive checking once again!

7. The post man
Post (excuse another pun) arrival of a new baby the post man fuels morning anxiety on a major basis. He becomes a new mother’s nemesis within the first week.
Not only does he pick the precisely worst moment possible to slam letters through your box, knock as loudly as he’s able or chose you as allocated parcel minder for the entire street.
But You can guarantee he will turn up the minute the baby latches on, the exact second the baby decides to nap, on you, making it nigh on impossible to move, or at the only moment out of the entire day that you’ve been able to use the toilet. Failing all this, he also obviously has to witness the complete breakdown over the stairs!
It almost makes me think that there’s a whole module at posty school dedicated on how to ruin maternity leave.
Six months in my posty kindly told me I was looking far better than I did; ‘You know,’ he gestured ‘better than when he was first born.’ I refuse to tell him that he is a she again.

8. Outside in general
Outside with a new born literally becomes a minefield of danger! I mean, eagles could literally swoop your baby away, comets could come crashing into the pram, everyone looks like a potential serial killer and that’s without getting started on the atmosphere in general! The germs, the poisons, the everything’s that could contaminate the baby and then there’s the old people that insist on touching/kissing/ramming their dirty fingers far too near the precious skin of your baby!
My advice; stay inside until said baby hits puberty.

9. The grandparents
They mean well, they really do but the whole ‘in my day’ theory really is quite terrifying! So terrifying I cannot bear to think about it!

10. Health visitor
Your allocated health visitor has social services on speed dial! This is a notion I found difficult to shift upon meeting mine for the first time and then when she suggested I take out my scented plug in because it could harm tiny airwaves I was pretty sure the baby was already on some sort of at risk list.
Relations were not improved when I told her I was unable to eat a biscuit in case someone died.
‘That’s OCD.’ She said with a look of such concern I practically shit myself.
‘That’s dieting.’ I wanted to reply but given she was already making me an appointment to see the GP, singing me up for a ‘stress club’ and checking the baby for signs of neglect I thought it best to keep quiet.

11. Dying
I’ve never been afraid of dying. Everyone does; it’s as much a part of life as being born. (I’ve always had the mad notion that I’ll Meet my fate by being run over but that goes hand in hand with the not being able to eat biscuit side of things.)
But then I had a baby and the thought of not being on this planet to hold her hand, watch her grow, be part of her life absolutely terrifies me!
Not that I wanted to die before she came along but now…I really do not want to snuff it!

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