10th April, 11.26pm

Yep, that’s the magical moment when my little man finally made his way into the world.

Just one day behind schedule, he must have known he was late, because he came whooshing into the world at high speed: I arrived at the hospital around 10pm, and by half past eleven I was cradling my little pud in my arms.

Like all newborns, he was purple, skinny and wrinkled, but to me he was still the most beautiful thing in the world. Utterly besotted, I spent an age drinking in his deliciousness: the tiny, tiny toes, his miniature fingers with their incredibly long nails, his little rosebud mouth and his soft, downy hair.

My mum had made it just in time to hold my hand for the last, intense throes of labour; the Baby Daddy arrived shortly after, and we sat, marvelling at this little being and his tiny perfection.

But my reverie was short-lived. Just three days later, while friends were visiting, my little bundle suddenly became quiet and unresponsive; panic filled my heart and within thirty minutes we were back at the hospital. The little man wasn’t getting the nutrients he needed: he’d lost too much weight and had slumped into a hypoglycemic torpor.

From enjoying our first golden days together, Bub and I were abruptly plunged into a series of tests, checks and nourishing top-up feeds. Watching them put a feeding tube up his tiny little nose almost broke my heart. His little body went rigid as he screamed and turned red and purple with rage and indignation.

I’d chosen the tube over a bottle, as they told me that bottle fed babies may not return to breast milk, with all its health-giving properties and powerful antibodies. Since it’s so much easier to get milk from a bottle, they simply can’t be bothered to battle with the breast once they’d had a taste of the easy life.

But watching his little face racked with pain, I felt like the worst mother in the world. My little man had had three days of being treated like a prince, his every whim catered for, and suddenly he was being poked, prodded and tortured. He must have wondered what on earth he’d done to deserve it.

Big, fat tears rolled down my face and onto his little limbs as I held him still, complicit in his agony.

To give him his due, the Baby Daddy was absolutely brilliant, running errands to collect the bits and pieces we needed for our stay, taking his turn at waking for the nocturnal feeds and nappy changes (even when Bub exacted revenge for his harsh treatment by squittering liquid projectile poo in his direction) and being generally very supportive.

Two days later, we were finally allowed to take a fattened-up Bub home again.

If my little man had had everything he wanted before, he could now count on being thoroughly spoiled – feeding exactly when he wanted, for as long as he wanted, and being smothered with endless cuddles, kisses and snuggles.

Before his arrival, I imagined that a mother’s love for her child was incomparable. But I wasn’t prepared for the feeling that I would literally die to give this tiny human being everything he needs.

Even when he poops just moments after I’ve changed his nappy; even when he vomits all over his freshly washed sleepsuit; even when he wails inconsolably until I surrender my breast, in my eyes, my little cherub can do no wrong.

Precious beyond compare and utterly delectable, he may be just a tiny wee fella, but I think I’ve finally found my ideal man.


Where is Bub?

I know I shouldn’t be impatient. After all, he’s not even due til tomorrow. But I’d assumed Bub would be in a hurry, just like his mum, and would surely be with us waaaay before time.

The latest midwife visit seemed to confirm my assumptions, when she’d checked his position and smiled, “I’m not sure you’ll make it to 40 weeks!” So naturally, I thought I’d be happily cradling my little bundle by now. But no. I can only attribute his tardiness to the mañana mentality, which I imagine he’s inherited from his (Spanish) dad.

Anyway, I really am trying not to be I am impatient. But I just can’t help it. After nine months of carrying this little soul in my belly, I’m more than ready to meet him.

I want to know what he looks like, how tiny his toes are, how pink and wrinkly his little limbs are; whether he’s happy or cantankerous or just plain sleepy. I want to marvel over his crumpled little face and look for traces of my own reflected in his diminutive features.

In the last two weeks, he’s become truly heavy: turning over in bed has become a logistical challenge and I’ve finally had to resort to propping up the bump with a pillow. Even the XL coat that I bought to replace the original size S is straining at the seams. Spring is (finally) starting to spring and there’s no more ice on the ground in the morning … all of which says to me that my little pud is well and truly cooked and it’s time he put in an appearance.

And yet he remains securely snuggled in my belly, reluctant to leave his cosy little den.

Still, I can’t really complain. Some things are going very smoothly indeed: He Who Shall Remain Nameless has been cheerleading for Bub, and brightening my days with his attentions.

Although there are many factors that preclude this from being The Next Big Romance, it’s a real pleasure to know that someone is thinking of me and cares enough to send me the odd text, just to see how my day is going.

He Who Shall Remain Nameless has also reminded me how much I like hugs and kisses, too. They’d pretty much faded from my memory, being replaced with internal kicks and wriggles – which, it must be said, have their own special charm – but now the luxury of sharing body heat is back on the agenda and I feel like the cat that got the cream.

To be honest, I’m seriously impressed that someone is prepared to take on the task of hugging me. After all, at the moment, I’m not easily huggable. But HWSRN has risen to the task, and even seems to enjoy hugging both me and Bub at the same time.

But still, despite all this happiness, I’m impatient. I want to welcome my son to the world. Every day that I’m still at work, every day that he’s not here, is a torture. All I can do is appeal to his better nature, beg him to make his mind up quickly and start his journey into the world at his earliest convenience.

There are so many things I want to tell him and show him, so many places I want us to go – so many tastes and sights and sounds for him to enjoy. So come on, little fella. Put me out of my misery. Come and join this fabulous and exciting world.

Or in other words … stop hanging around and HURRY UP, BUB!!

Life’s too good

So, once again, I’ve been pretty quiet of late. Life’s just been so darned busy: work has been full on, social engagements have been coming thick and fast … and of course there’s been the preparation for Bub’s imminent arrival.

With just seven days left until his scheduled appearance, absolutely nothing seems to have slowed down. There have been parties galore – including a quick dash down south for grandma’s 90th – a hectic schedule of coffees with friends, and work is one frantic round of tasks to be finished before I depart. And who knows when that might be?

In fact, I may have more time than I think, since my contract runs til 3 days after my due date. If Bub’s Latino side comes out, it’s entirely reasonable to suppose that he may arrive fashionably late and we can collect the juicy bonus that depends on the contract’s completion. Anyway, until he decides to put in an appearance, life continues pretty much as normal.

One notable exception to my usual routine, however, is the absence of the gym. At 38 weeks pregnant, I finally had to hang up my towel. Bub was just getting too heavy for Body Combat, and although I was planning to pursue more gentle activities for another week or so, a fall from my bike (thanks to an exceptionally clumsy cyclist) exacerbated the ache in my already stretched ribs and called a halt to all exuberant activity. And then my membership ran out.

I had thought I might go swimming for the remainder of my pregnancy, but of course I was forgetting exactly how much my shape has changed: the neat bump of yore has blossomed into a veritable barrel and the gigantaboobs of pregnancy laugh in the face of even my most capacious bikini. So that’s that.

To be honest, though, it’s probably for the best: my little pud is so active that half the time, my belly undulates and bulges in a way that’s potentially alarming to fellow swimmers unacquainted with the little man’s charms.

So, apart from a lack of energetic exercise, things are ticking along as usual. Well, as usual, apart from the fact that I’ve seen the Baby Daddy not once but twice in the last month. Can you believe it?

Now that Bub is almost with us, it’s apparently the right time for us to communicate, so we’re dutifully meeting up to make polite conversation and – for my part at least – wondering how on earth this is all going to play out once the little fella makes his grand entrance. After all, we seem to have scant little in common except a past attraction to one another and a son that’s about to be born any day now.

Still, my days of worrying about the Baby Daddy’s involvement are well and truly over. I’m not really worried what the future holds, as long as Bub is healthy and happy.

And anyway, I’ve had other things on my mind: incredibly, there’s been a modicum of romantic activity to grace the endless grey days of Cupid’s absence.

Big surprise, huh?

Of course, I’m an extremely round pregnant lady, so what counts for me as ‘romantic activity’ may barely register on other folks’ amorous scale, but suffice to say I’ve been enjoying the distinguished attentions of a very charming and attractive gentleman and it’s been a pleasure and a joy.

Naturally, as with all good things, it’s not set to last: he’s due to leave town any day now, and my little sproglet is about to be born, so opportunities for coffee and sweet conversation are going to be rather limited. But that’s not the point.

The point is that He Who Shall Remain Nameless has lifted my spirits and given me faith that there are good guys out there somewhere. And some of them might even be interested in me.

Logically, I’m under no illusions: I’m going to have my hands full for the foreseeable future, with nappies, night feeds, and t-shirts decorated with drool. Amorous activities will surely be far, far from my mind.

But just the thought that someone liked me enough to devote their attention to me – even in my rotund state – has made me a very happy mummy-to-be. And what could be nicer than that?