Yes dear readers, dear ladies and gentlemen of my online acquaintance, roll up roll up and view the freak. I’m the freak, by the way. I’m the overweight, fourty four year old who as of yesterday is 19 weeks pregnant. Almost half way through.
Until last night my hair was sporting three inch roots* but I am now thankfully blond again and looking a little less like a 60 year old badly groomed granny. So I take up pen (or keyboard) to record this point in my life while I feel marginally human again. Especially as those three inches of dark roots showed no grey, hah!
Let me start by saying Mr. BB and I are delighted, ecstatic, to be pregnant again. We assumed the Dragon Lordling would be our one and only for a list of reasons starting with our long battle to get pregnant the first time, our reluctance to waste a moment of his childhood pursuing a dream that might never manifest itself and ending with my age. I mean I was the ripe old age of 41 having the DL.
Then the fates, gods and some mischievous passing spirit took a hand in things. First week in June this year I discovered that I am in fact, pregnant. Knocked up. As Mr BB put it, a combined age of 85 and we got caught out like teenagers (followed quickly by “how are we going to tell your mother?”)
But there it was, after several embarrassing trips to a very nosy chemist, the legend “pregnant, 3+ weeks” on the home pregnancy test. And there we were – in shock. To maintain a pregnancy I need a lot of drugs. Good drugs, but drugs that mean I rattle in the morning and get stuck in the bum with a needle in the evening. Mr BB was only over the trauma of having to do the injecting last time around – now we had to face into it all over again.
Then I had to have “intralipids” a wonderful procedure where an emulsion -like substance is injected into my veins to calm down my antibodies, to prevent them attacking the baby. This is a weird experience and considering I have the veins of a ninety year old mummy, another pain in the bum for everyone involved.
But we are pregnant. All the times a little dagger went into my heart at the sight of a new baby, or when people asked “when are you giving him a little brother or sister?” – I can’t help but smile now. We’re not out of the woods; we still have a long five months to go and we are only too well aware of the problems we might encounter but – we are pregnant. A second chance. a sibling for the DL, a new life. That’s the plus and it’s a huge, huge plus.
But….I’m fat forty four and pregnant. This is not easy. It’s not easy when you have a toddler, and when that toddler is a lively little man used to swinging out of Mammy. The guilt every time I have to say “no, Mammy has an “ow” in her tummy ” may give me grey hairs yet. Starting him in preschool may have taken a few years off my expected lifespan. Mr BB hasn’t had an unbroken night’s sleep since the news, as he gets up to comfort DL when he wakes or has night terrors. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep because I need to wee every three hours or so. Our house looks like a bomb site. If burglars broke in they’d tidy for us, out of pity. Our once disciplined dinner rota has degenerated to “pop in and get chips on the way home, love, I can’t face cooking!” standards. And we know it can only get worse…we remember only too well the insane exhaustion and sheer terror of having a newborn.
I do look awful. On the DL people told me I “glowed” now complete strangers give me pitying glances in the street and offer to help me across the road. I veer between feeling great and feeling like a beached whale with asthma. Sometimes in the same thirty second period. I haven’t had a date night with my husband in a long time. I eye the hard liquor in the house with an increasingly bitter attitude. Yesterday I sat and thought about a huge bowl of icecream for ten minutes, just imagining it. As I am now on the GD diet to try to stave off glucose intolerance, this isn’t a very helpful daydream.
I do sit and daydream a lot about baby though. I wanted DL with a longing that was visceral, felt at a cellular level, it coursed through my veins and pulsed through my brain. I am surprised to find I want our new bubs just as much, just as desperately. It’s a strange, heart expanding, love bomb of a moment, to think we will have two children. It’s almost too big for my head – my thoughts skitter around it and try to avoid it. I want it so much it hurts.
What also hurts are my hips. What the hell? did arthritis suddenly become a pregnancy symptom? I groan and mutter getting out of a chair in a way that has my 81 year old mother tutting and rolling her eyes. Honestly, I shuffle half the time, and when I’m not shuffling I’m wheezing. Or sighing. Or trying to keep my eyes open, because every afternoon around 4 pm my entire body decides it’s time for a nap, thank you very much. It’s like an octogenarian has possessed my body, and not a hip, modern, sky diving, hill-walking octogenarian either.
A friend told me her sister-in-law had her first at 46 and complained of much the same things. I asked hopefully “but when she had the baby, everything went back to normal ?” There was a suspiciously long pause followed by “I’m sure it probably did. Maybe not all the way back…”
Feck it. I’ll be the oldest mother at the school gates, with the zimmerframe and the horn rimmed glasses. I don’t care. I don’t even care that they’ll write “geriatric mother” on the hospital chart. One look at the scan photo, one thought about baby baths and tiny clothes, one glance at the wonder that is my son, and I know I’ll survive grey hairs, black roots, wrinkles, incontinency knickers, and the pity of strangers. I’ll be that fat forty four year old happy mother. Except of course by the time I’ll give birth I’ll be forty five.
I wonder if they’ll ever make pregnancy-safe Vodka? I think it’d be a winner…..
*(I come from the generation who was told never to dye our hair in the first trimester. I only use chemical free organic hair dye and I know even the usual stuff is now deemed safe, but that’s not the point. I can’t possibly dye my hair til the second trimester because if I do bad things will happen)