Monday, June 27, 2016

disbelief

Three things.

1) Cry my beloved [adopted] country;
2) I have one whopper of a story I'm going to be giving the London Evening Standard about the housing market/what's happened to us with buying this house. It's the most unethical heathen of corrupt awfulness you could ever imagine;
3) I'm 37 weeks pregnant. I've never been 37 weeks pregnant before. 

Like so many people in the country at the moment, I am in mourning. So many of us (including those who actually voted 'Leave' and admitted that they didn't know what they were doing), did not expect this outcome.

The country is in turmoil - no plan, the lies that were told to bolster their campaign, Article 50 not being triggered before Cameron resigned, Scotland saying they'll cock block the decision (Yay for the Scots!), people realising fast that the only thing that is will change from being out of the EU is the decline of our economy and isolation of ourselves.
Immigration, so-called £350m 'funds' being given to the NHS (I mean, what kind of bullshit...), none of this is going to be capped or stopped - as they've all since admitted.

It's a mess. Which is why 3.7 million people (and counting) have signed a petition for Parliament to trigger another referendum altogether. Given the difference between Leave and Remain was 1 million votes, this is pretty telling.

On point 2. You will not believe what has gone down when it comes to us desperately trying to move into our house this coming Friday. If we manage to move by Friday. We have lost our minds in this process. Lost our minds and are on the brink of nervous breakdown.

On point 3. My mother reckons my belly is still not as large as when I had twins. (But we can safely say the rest of my body definitely is.)
I am waddling around like John Wayne and struggling to walk anywhere without huffing puffing and feeling the burn in the pubic area as she has dropped down now. I never experienced the 'drop down' last time either, as I had to be induced at 36 weeks.

I'm rather uncomfortable to say the least. Two weeks to go. It's total crunch time now.

At least, at this stage in the race, I don't have a massive pile (yet), or infections, like last time. The heartburn sets my throat on fire multiple times a day, and I'm chugging on the Gaviscon, but generally it is easier carrying one than multiples at this stage.

Kind of dreading the move though. Good God.

Monday, June 20, 2016

the eu referendum and maternity leave


Maternity leave, at least until your baby actually arrives, is a weird sort of limbo where you don't do anything, but feel as if you should be doing something.

Make no mistake, last week was sensational. I was clocking two naps a day, snacking almost continuously from the fridge, and meeting up with mummy mates who don't work, for coffee and shopping breaks.

Meeting mum friends for coffees, without the distraction of my 2 year old, is a first for me. While Sebby was at nursery, me and a mate cruised the aisles of Peter Jones in Sloane Square for Father's Day gifts and dribble bibs. I could actually go to a shop and browse. Look at shit. Walk. Stop for cake.
It's a wonderful sort of purgatory, that you know will only be a matter of weeks, but it's more relaxing than any holiday I've taken in two years.

I have also booked in the day I will have her. C section is booked in for 12 July. That's in three weeks. Yup, when I sit and really think about this, I freak out. In three weeks, it's going to be chaos. All this muffin-eating, shop-hopping, nap-having freedom - doing stuff for me - will abruptly be over. For years to come.

This week, things have ramped up a little. My mother has come over, and we are starting to get into packing mode. We should hopefully be able to move on 29 June. We will know today or tomorrow for sure. I mean, we are inching so close to the finish line, I can smell the sweat. Just a few more signatures and we can go. I can almost touch and taste it. COME ON.

I just hope I can discipline myself enough to step back from the packing and boxing process, and let them get on with it. The Control Freak Me wants to watch everything, make sure nothing gets broken, bumped or stolen, and it's all packed into the right boxes. The Pregnancy 36-38 Week Mama Me knows that the best thing to do in this situation is back the fuck off and leave for the day.
Having mum here is meant to help, but it's not helping like I'd hope: she stresses more than I do.

In the big, wide world outside of our moving and baby bubble, the country is poised, on its knees, while the Leave and Remain campaigns rage on.
The EU Referendum campaigning has really really annoyed me. You cannot trust a thing any politician has to say, as they are blatantly feathering their own nests, and, from both sides, throwing out inaccurate and misleading figures and facts. Both preying on fears; economy versus immigration.

And let's not even go into the vicious murder of MP Jo Cox.

While I've always been a 'mostly Remain' kind of girl, I have ventured across the line to Leave a few times. Then back again. Then on the fence. Then unsure. Now sure. I've entertained most scenarios. I believe most people have, and are. My Brit is still largely undecided, but leaning into Remain.

I withdrew from listening to the debates with any seriousness a few weeks ago, and have only looked at third party or 'expert' opinions, and myth debunkers. I'm only listening to people who don't have an agenda, and who actually know what they're talking about. 

The conclusion I have come to is that both campaigns are inherently evil.

While one we would cast a vote in complete darkness, not knowing the future; the other is casting a vote for something we know won't really change. (If Cameron hasn't managed to change it in his negotiations now, why would he if we continue to Remain?)

So I've chosen to vote for the one I think is slightly less evil than the other; the one that has slightly more credibility and stability than the other, and the one that would suit mine and my family's needs for the future - because that's what this is about. The businessmen that support Remain do so because it is in their interests; Richard Branson, for example. So while Remain gets my vote on Thursday, it only just gets my vote.

I'm in.

I believe that the UK will remain in. The population tends to go for status quo; and the poster children for Brexit aren't exactly credible. Besides, I do dream of one day retiring in the sun in France or Spain if my final days allow me.

And that's not because they branded my child with a sticker on the streets over the weekend.
(And no coincidence that he is sporting an ice cream moustache - of the authentic Italian gelato variety.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

almost transition time


It's my second-to-last day at work. Crikey, I can't believe we're finally here. It feels like I've been scaling a vertical wall for the last few weeks; and when I walk it feels like I am moving my way through mud. I'm slow, shuffling and waddling, I break into a sweat, and getting anywhere is just not easy anymore.

But here we are. A year stretches before me, sans office.

I've decided to look at this as a job rotation this time round. While I may be swapping my 9-5 with caring for a baby, I'm transitioning into an entirely new job. Maternity leave is not a holiday.

I am merely doing a rotation; until summer next year. I'm scared. It is harder to be a full-time mum to a newborn than it is doing a job you know well, has a manual, you have years of experience in, and you can leave at the end of each day. Full-time motherhood is 24 hours, unpredictable, incessant, sleep-deprived firing-on-all-cylinders, madness, if I'm honest. It is hard, hard work.

I'm girding my loins.

Needless to say, I don't feel terrified to do this like I did the first time. I have done this before and survived; and I at least have some experience under my belt. I cried when I left work last time; knowing that my life was going to change forever. This time, my life is already changed. It's just going to get more intense. And there will be more than one child in the mix.

Yeah, I'm scared. Can't lie. The juggle scares me. How will I tend to Sebastian while also tending to a baby, I have absolutely no idea.
My mother is coming over from South Africa for a while, and I will be relying on my husband a lot.

Seb might need to learn how to make himself a sandwich over the next few weeks.

But not only that - how am I meant to teach him how to crap in his potty while trying to get my newborn to latch on? I just don't know how this will work, I can only trust that billions of mothers before me have managed, so will I.

Then there's the other big thing happening, pretty much as I have my new baby. We are moving to our house. We are desperately hoping we have a week's grace period in between actual moving and me exiting 1 x human out of my abdomen. But the way things are going, I am imagining torrid scenes of my waters breaking while boxes are being hauled into our new abode, and/or fervent rummaging through my hospital bag, trying to find my TENS machine because I start getting contractions, brought on by stress.

I would like a c-section, and earlier than my 40 weeks, because this way I feel like I have one element of control over this process. And the sooner I can hold her, alive and well, the sooner I will be able to stop worrying. Or this worrying will be taken over by new worries that aren't stillborn-related.

We'll forget for a minute that we are moving into a three storey house with lots of stairs that I won't be able to climb for a few weeks because of the c-section.

Tomorrow, my team and I are going for a lovely little high tea at the Sanderson Hotel as I bid adieu to overflowing inboxes, having to wear clothes that aren't made of tracksuiting, and things like high teas in the middle of the city. Phrases like:

"This story is getting massive pick-up;" and
"That will only aggravate the news cycle;" and
"That's not part of our Q3 strategy, we can't prioritise that;" and,
"He calls himself a journalist? This is nothing but clickbait piffle, I'm calling his editor."

I'm swapping PR for BR. Babies Room.

"What colour is her pooh meant to be at this stage, green or yellow?"
"Have you steralised the teat?"
"Ouch, my f$^cking nipple."
"She smiled, didn't she? That was a smile. C'mon on my liddle widdle coodie woodie, smile for Mummy."


I'm so excited to meet her.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

don't read the news if you're a mother

Sometimes you read something that really affects you, to the point where you cannot stop thinking about it, having flashbacks about it, feeling all the feels about it.

Usually it's something shit, that you read in a shit, horrible paper. Like the Daily Mail.

Well. For three days now, I feel like I actually have post-traumatic stress disorder. It's like I saw the story, and while not even managing to finish it for fear of having a mental breakdown, the bear facts scorched themselves deep into the recesses of my cranium.

I shan't wish to spread this link anywhere, even though awareness and outrage is what this incident thoroughly deserves. In short, a story about a little boy in Scotland, 2 years old, called Liam. Who was so badly child abused, that the authorities say it's the worst case they've seen in years.

I have a two year old boy. I am pregnant. So you can imagine that this would've gone down like a lead balloon with me to start with. I can't stop comparing Liam's little face with my own son's; I can't stop thinking about how small Liam's little jumpers were, what words he was saying, how he eats, how he cried, how he might've felt. Because my son is exactly Liam's age.

He was the son to a woman, who had a lesbian lover. Together, they beat him so badly that they killed him. I shan't describe any more detail, because it makes me start shaking with rage, and when I did only have to glance over the unspeakable things done to him - detailed  - gratuitously mind you - in the fucking Daily Mail and Sun  - I had to walk out of the office and go home.

Which is exactly what I did. I couldn't cope. I went home and sobbed for two hours. And as much as I want to stop thinking about this little boy, and the awful things they did to him, and the frustration, outrage, incomprehensible idea that while the nursery and childminder reported their suspicions to a social worker, it slipped through the cracks. And Liam never made it. And in some way, he was put out of his sheer, awful misery of suffering through every day with these appallingly inhumane and disgusting women.

I have been to some dark places in the last three days. Unimaginable places where I freeze, and find it difficult to even breathe and then have a panic attack. Then physically shake myself out from thinking about this little boy and his cruel plight. How do I share an island with these beasts? How do I share a universe, a world?
I'm stunned and just want to scream and beat my fists on the floor; how and why?!

I can't read the news anymore. My job involves the news, we make the fucking news, but when it comes to subject matter involving mothers, child abuse, children, (like the refugee children drowning and being washed up on beaches in Turkey, like Aylan, the little boy everyone mourned for), I just can't do it. I actually feel like I need counselling.

I trust you are at peace now little Liam. And that wherever your soul lies, you are finally free and finally protected. And may your 'carers' burn in the hottest, most evil fires of Hell.

PS: And then there's the gorilla versus child versus parents story. And EVERYONE has to weigh in on that too, don't they.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

weekend by numbers

 In a rare moment of tranquility, Sebastian contemplates the life of ducks.

Seven - the number of commutes I have left into work.

33 - the number of weeks I am. Heightened awareness in comparing my last pregnancy - Molly had stopped growing now.

1 - scan tomorrow. And possibly booking in the day this little baby will make her appearance.

1 - 'VBAC' appointment. In case I do go into labour before then, or suddenly decide I want to do this all via birth canal. (Vaginal Birth After C-Section. They tell me what to expect basically. And I will tell them in turn, that I expect an epidural and a shorter labour this time around, thanks.)

12 - estimated number of tantrums Sebastian had this weekend, with the absence of his father. (The Brit went on a lad's winetasting weekend to Burgundy. Not resentful about this at all.) Sebby has now realised that there is, in fact, something growing in my massive belly, and has started waking up in the middle of the night to have a massive tantrum (these are especially fun at 3:00 in the morning), or otherwise throughout the day with screaming and hitting and kicking. Let's just say it wasn't the relaxing son-mother bonding bank holiday weekend I was hoping for, not through lack of trying.

4 - the approximate time in weeks that we are told we may actually move into our new house. Give or take a few massive hurdles to jump before getting there; and crossing fingers these all come right.

5 - the approximate time in weeks that I may have this baby.

1 - entire chocolate swiss roll. I devoured. Myself. This weekend, unilaterally, out of boredom and stress. 

800 - the amount of times I thought about socialising/calling people/making an effort, and then realised that I couldn't be bothered. Too tired to bother.
And that, in the near future, with a new baby and no time or sleep, the inclination to want to socialise would be even less, so actually I should just batten down the hatch and for the next five years, live comfortably as a hermit trying to survive through the exhaustion and feeds without feeling like I need to call anyone back.

1 - that said, did see a lovely friend yesterday. An old friend from school, who bought along her children to play with Seb (who, with this distraction, was extremely well-behaved - obviously.) So sometimes it does help to make a teensy bit of effort. Sometimes.

1 - whole year. That's how long I'm (likely) to be on maternity leave. It may be slightly less, but it may turn out to be a year. We will see how it goes. It's quite a long time off work....

3254759  - Houzz and Pintrest boards I've created while fantasising about our new house.

98753876 - tables I am fantasising about dining around.

567 -  annoying thoughts about people who always seem to somehow land their bums in the butter. Without having to work too hard for it. Somehow they managed to get the big house in the expensive area, the 2.0 kids with no birthing complications, who can be privately educated from when they're 4, the part-time working week, just like that. Because they're born rich. Or work in finance. While I don't believe we aren't privileged and lucky. I also feel like I work my ass off. Just to keep afloat. Just to pay the bills. Just to ensure the security of my children's future. To afford the mortgage on a house that we won't pay off until we are 75.
Most of these folks have nannies, and/or extra help. It's not like a resent them - well actually, after this weekend I kind of do - it's just that I feel that with all the working in the world, I still wouldn't be able to afford that.

And for some reason (read: pregnancy) this is really. Really. Ticking. Me off.

Never thought I'd be one to say it, but: fuck the rich.
Or the rich that just get whatever they want with minimal effort.

34 - feelings of guilt after sending Sebastian to the naughty corner at least five times this weekend.

7 - the amount of times I've thought about sleeping in the last hour.

7 -  the amount of times I thought about the moment we meet our little girl for the first time, since I woke up this morning.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

counting down


I am officially counting down.

As my temper rages, and my pregnancy hormones hijack my rational thoughts, I am counting down to maternity leave. I have 12 more commutable journeys in, and 12 more out. I have just over 3 weeks left at work.

Three weeks feels like a fucking lifetime, thus I've broken it down into actual commutes and taken out the weekends.

I'm not even going to try and explain why commuting on a tube packed full of aggressive Londoners that bash my bump is the tenth level of Hell, just believe me when I say it is.

Everyday there is something else with our house. A new obstacle to overcome, or a new piece of paperwork we have to get someone to sign, or the mortgage broker wants to see something else, or something. My husband has taken on the brunt of all the to'ing and fro'ing in the hope to save me from having a complete meltdown, but things are slowly progressing.

In our six house chain.

And I have taken to Pintrest with a vengeance, feverishly pinning everything from modular kitchens to Farrow & Balled Welsh dressers to children's bedrooms.

I simply can't help myself at this point. I'm desperate to nest, so I'm doing it virtually. I'm also filling up my eBay watch list with reclaimed dining room tables and vintage French mirrors.

I'm obsessed.

Then, on the other side of my brain, I'm thinking about far less shallow things. I'm 31 weeks this week. I thought I'd be more anxious this far into my pregnancy, but I'm actually surprisingly chilled. It helps that my hospital has me on a Code Red list, where I am booked in for a check-up or scan or test every two or so weeks at the moment.

But I am also so very aware of her movements. I wait for certain times of the day when she kicks and take huge gratitude when she does. I just want to feel lots and lots of kicking. The Brit is also anxious and constantly asks me, "Have you felt her kicking today? When last did she kick?"

Molly stopped growing at around 32-33 weeks, and this sticks in my mind. I want to know the measurements, I want to know that she is growing, and I want to know that everything is on course. I will be vigilant and watching.

We have mostly settled on her names (her first and middle ones - for a long time we didn't know which to put first, and I am 99% certain...), and I am so so excited to meet her. Terrified for the c-section (if that does happen) and sad that Sebby's little world is going to crumble for a while, but I am looking forward to feeling more complete than I have for a while, knowing that my daughter is safe in my arms.

I keep saying her name out loud; and her second name. Over and over again. It's so different from my first pregnancy when I didn't even know the sexes of my twins. This time I've made so much more meaningful, knowing she is a girl and therefore knowing her name. Whether this is a good idea or not, I can't help myself.

I hope my brain remembers how to do everything newborn. I have not quite mentally prepared myself, as I haven't thought too deeply about the reality of it. The reality is: it's shit. The first few months are incredibly hard. The sleep deprivation, the routine, the endless and constant throng of feeds, latching on, nappies, rocking to sleep.

I'm knackered as fuck now, so I can't imagine what it's going to be like when she actually arrives. I'm just going to try and roll with it. Whatever it brings.

I feel so unprepared. I'm really solely relying on subconscious memory to kick in for this one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

i'm alive


Everyone bangs on about how painful it is to get your wisdom teeth extracted, or how horrendous bronchitis and pneumonia are, or how undergoing active labour without anesthetic is, like, the worst pain ever. 

Sure. I shan't dispute that.

When someone says "think of one of the most physically painful things that's happened to you," what do you think of?
Maybe a leg being torn off?
Maybe less shocking and vitriolic; haemorrhoids. Ja. Those are pretty painful. A stye in your eyeball? Sciatica?

All painful, but not diabolic.

What I'm getting at here, is that there is an affliction that runs amok humanity, that is simply not documented enough.

It's called SINUSITIS. I've italicised and capitalised because if you're sensible, you'll fucking memorise that. In your head. When you think it's going to explode like a fucking watermelon.

'Oh, sinusitis?' you say. 'When you have a little bit of snot stuck in your face?' you say. 'When you have a little bit of snot and a little bit of post-nasal sniffles?'

No. That is a cold. Sinusitis is the single most painful thing to happen to my face since I had my wisdom teeth taken out and they hadn't deployed the morphine yet.

Oh, there is snot alright. But it's stuck. In your face. And it accumulates such that it exerts a force of pressure so acute, onto your molars, teeth, temples, eyeball sockets, brain, that you honestly believe - and wish - in your darkest hour - that you would just explode in a shower of mucus.

The short story goes like this. I got a cold last week. I largely ignored it, because mother and because had stuff I had to get done at work, so I just trucked on.
Over the weekend, we went out to enjoy the sunshine, and my head started to throb. The throb turned into a full-on, 'Oh my fuck, I think I have an abscess growing under my molar."
And for the first time in this pregnancy, I took paracetamol.

It just about took the edge off, for like an hour. But to say I didn't sleep at all for the last two nights is to speak the truth. I haven't. Not even with a cold, refrigerated gel pack pressed up onto my face.

Apparently this face-fucking, molar-melting, mucus-manufacturing thing is more prevalent in women in their third trimester,  [be warned, it's coming for you], so just want to put it out there.

Everything you have learnt about pain is not largely a lie. But like how dinosaurs are omitted from the book of Genesis in the Bible, so is sinusitis omitted from the book of Common Everyday Painful Afflications.

I'm on the antibiotics and the paracetamol. If I wasn't preggo, I'd be on the morphine. I'm not throwing shade on your own versions of pain; but don't judge until one side of your face is so swollen that you have to cut your food up into teensy little pieces because your mouth is too swollen to open properly.

That's all.


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

five things i've found to be true


1) If you were big your first pregnancy; you'll be a whopper your second.
"Surely you should've been bigger the first time as you were having twins?"

No. I am bigger the second time because I carried twins.
Everyone is bigger second time round, I'm just a little bit bigger than they are.

I was the size of a rhino by the end of my twin pregnancy. I am already the size of a rhino and I've only just hit the third trimester.

My maternity jeans don't fit me. I've had to undo the buttons so I can sit down. I'm wearing maxi dresses the size of yurts. I appear to be bearing a baby out of my ass.

I am a big, fat, heaving mama. And while I'm only carrying one baby this time, it feels like I'm carrying 5.

Why is this so?
Because, biologically speaking, your body has done it before. It's stretched itself to ginormous proportions, your stomach muscles might've slightly split the first time (like mine), and relaxin, the hormone that loosens your muscles sets in a lot sooner and quicker, so everything just kind of gets bigger and goes south.

For those people who have had four kids and never had any type of reconstructive surgery? I don't believe you.

2) In the same sentiment as 1), you get tired quicker and your back hurts like f£%ck
Relaxin again. I am battling to sit in one position for anything more than half an hour at the moment, and I'm only 28-29 weeks.
My back has really taken strain this time around. Similarly, I am as tired as I was with the twins because I am running after a toddler when I'm not running after the press, at work.

3) You will get sick when you feel 1) and 2), and your husband is away in Texas
I'm clawing my way through this week by the string of a congested, gravely cough, hugely rotund, shell of myself, and there isn't enough Vitamin C in this world to take the edge off, even just a little bit.

4) While I should be focusing on my bump and baby, I'm instead stressing about whether we will have a house by then.
The fun and games, chain of endless nightmares, continues.


5) There's always a plus side
I'm due to finish work in less than 6 weeks.
I waddle around very slowly to conserve energy.
I am excited.
The sun is shining, and when you're pregnant your body temperature goes sky high, so I'm walking around in dresses made for the Costas.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

three years

Some respite from our day-to-day lives yesterday: celebrating our third wedding anniversary.

For a pregnant mama, it really was one of the best days spent. My husband pulled it out of the bag, and because the sun shone and it snowed  yesterday (WTAF. It's practically May and it's it's farking snowing...), well, it was a very special day indeed.
 Us three years ago. Look at our rested, skinny, happy little faces. No sleep-deprivation. No grief. Being 'fun' adults.
How far we have come...and survived. Thus far.

We driopped Sebastian off at nursery and had the entire day off all to ourselves. Just us two. It's a rare thing. I can't remember the last time we shared a breakfast together in a restaurant without having to ensure our child doesn't lob food onto the floor or squeal, "I don' wan' it."

Or walk around hand-in-hand through sunny central London stopping for a coffee, perusing shop windows, generally browsing, just taking the day in our stride.

We started off at the Breakfast Club, a local place down the road from us for a stack of mile high pancakes and coffees. What good anniversary day doesn't start with a mahoosive breakfast?

Then, we headed on down to Carnaby Street, while taking in the shops along Regents Street - I simply never go to shops in town anymore, but here we were - where the Brit then turned to me and said he had a surprise; a top-to-toe 1.5 hours of pampering at the Cowshed.

It was sublime. My back is taking serious strain at the moment, so having some one scrub, buff, oil and massage me up is literally the best present he could've given me. (In turn, because it's our third anniversary, and third is 'leather,' - I got the Brit a buttery soft leather weekend bag. He needs one. And this one is flash, yet subtle.)

I walked out on a cloud. We then headed over to Soho and had some pulled pork sliders, while watching the world go by in front of us.

In the evening, the Brit had booked a sitter, and we went to a local restaurant he's always wanted to try for ages but we never have got round to it, one of those gourmet foodie types of places, which are difficult to get into, but this one not as pretentious as the menu suggests (The Manor, in Clapham).

We did the taster menu, (not usually my bag; the Brit is definitely more of a refined foodie than I am. He loves this kind of stuff. Where they have to point out that the minuscule blob on my plate is in fact lemon puree, to pair with the teaspoon of monkfish sitting next to it,) albeit, I ate my words and the meal - it was delicious.

 This is one of the starters of the 9 course taster menu; venison and pork and sage 'salumi' (apparently not a spelling error...), complete with chicken butter smeared on a rock.

We Want Plates would have a field day.

Everything is served on a rock, piece of slate or Spanish floor tile. I find this all a bit over the top myself, but the meal was delicious.

A happy anniversary, and everything the doctor ordered.

Monday, April 25, 2016

pregnancy blues


I'm feeling a bit redundant and sad at the moment.


Redundant because I am tired, can't perform at 100% at work, feeling like the world is going on without me, and in general, I find it hard to "check out" even if everything in my body is telling me to.
I just can't not be involved in everything, and I just feel like I'm kind of the fat, pregnant lady sitting in the corner, not able to contribute on everything anymore, because I also leave work at 5pm on the dot to rush and see my son.

Being the best at two things, mother and career, while pregnant, is an impossible feat. But it still makes me lie awake at night and wonder if it's all going to be OK.

Last night, I tossed and turned - like how an elephant would. With effort. I have to wake up to turn my belly nowadays, there's nothing natural about the way in which I have to move while sleeping.

All the thoughts were jumbling around, the usual thoughts that keep me awake at night, like, will we get this house, will we sell our flat, will we get our mortgage, will my baby be healthy and fine, can I ask for more scans starting now. Then, is any stab at making a contribution to society now gone forever? Being a working mum to one is difficult enough, but two? Is my career all but completely lost?
I used to be that girl who got a book deal at 26, and got head-hunted for a job at one of the most successful companies in the world.
These feats are nothing in comparison to being a mother, I love being a mother, in fact, perhaps too much so. Being a good mother now takes precedent over everything I do; nothing is more important to me.

But I still feel sad and redundant. When everyone else goes for drinks together after work, but I can't because I'm pregnant and I need to get back to see my baby off to bed.
When there's a late, but important, meeting I can't join because I need to pick up my baby from nursery.
I can't fly to America for a big conference next month, alongside the rest of the team, as I'm too big/pregnant.
I don't feel like I have my finger on the pulse; everyone knows more stuff than I do these days, because everyone else has more time to know these things.

These are my choices, and I wouldn't have it any other way, don't get me wrong. My biggest priority are my children, hands down. But there's no doubt I miss out on all the things I used to love about my career - the team bonding, the gossip, the fun.

And for someone who likes to over-achieve, and who likes to pull out all the stops, it's quite hard to embrace the back seat.

Then there's something else happening. I'm currently poring through old videos of Sebastian when he was a little baby, and going through all of his baby clothes as I try to nest and somehow figure out a way of carving out some space for our new baby girl, if we are still to be in our flat when she arrives.

Folding and refolding his old baby clothes, smelling them. Hating to part with some of them, but know I have to because she won't wear something with tractors all over it. (Well she would, wouldn't she. It's just me wanting to put her in dresses and pink cashmere...)


I'm mourning him as a baby. I want Sebastian to always be my baby, but he's not going to be my baby anymore. And he isn't.
He now says, "Bye mummy, see you later!" when I drop him off at nursery; the clingy stage was far from ideal, and it was heartbreaking leaving him there crying, but I also feel like he is suddenly independent and doesn't need me around so much anymore.

I also know, that if I have a healthy, bonny baby in July, this will be the last time. Which means I'll never have a little boy baby again. This all sounds so silly, but because I love little boys so much, I am sad that I'll never have the chance to have another baby boy again. I only want two children. In some ironic way, I have now managed to have 3 children, but you know what I mean.

I miss my baby boy, and I am feeling completely emotional that I'll never get these years with him back.

All I can do is try to plod forward - but try, I mean try and not bang my head against a wall out of frustration because I can't organise or plan anything right now - and focus on my growing baby girl.

I can't wait to meet her. If only my heart didn't feel so sad for Sebastian.

Is this all normal? Probably not.