With one week to go before the due date of our first child, my husband and I have been walking round in a haze of fear and exhilaration. We regularly turn and gaze at each other with slightly frightened, portentous expressions, before one of us breaks the spell by saying: "Thank God we went to Thailand."
I do try to rationalise this shame. I wonder if it has been sent to me to help me understand what my mother went through and why she made her choices. She would have had to go through this 30 years ago and as a strict Catholic had other pressures on her too.
Resentful that the hordes of visitors are infinitely more interested in the baby than you, even though YOU'RE THE ONE THAT DID THE AGONY? That's OK. You're still a good mother.
We need to be having the type of conversation that we are happy to have on our blogs and in forums and Facebook groups in the big wide world face to face with people. More than that though do we need to talk to people who are not already on our wave length, we need to stop preaching to the converted and start preaching to the masses.
There have been some major changes occuring this week... The Uggs have been replaced with loafers (more so because I can no longer get them on), I am back to walking the 100 yards to Scarlett's nursery instead of shamelessly driving it, and last years daffodils have made a fresh appearance in my garden pots!
I have come to accept that feeling guilty is just a part of parenting that will never go away. It's one of those, "you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't" type of things that you just have to accept and live in harmony with and trust yourself that you are always doing your best for your children. YOU are enough.
The parent of a disabled child, you are suddenly forced to look with a hard and discerning eye at the society your children live in. Will it nurture them, in spite of their condition, or will it neglect them?
How sad. An eclipse is a special thing; it's a moment to celebrate the great celestial coincidence that the sun is exactly 400 times the size of the moon and it's 400 times further away, creating the necessary conditions for the great blazing light to be eclipsed by a candle.
People espousing being child free as a choice and not by circumstance are somewhat missing the grand point. Which is this: the childless person making that decision is completely different to the person they' d become if they were to have one.
There is nothing like a label to make me grumpy. Call me anything that pins me down to more than that moment in time and I will kick against the label pinned to me until it well and truly falls off.
You are forever stopping prying little eyes trying to look behind you as you have a wee as they try to fathom how you can possibly do that when you have no willy! You stop waxing your bikini line in an attempt to cover your bits from the above investigation!
Following divorce proceedings, they gain residency of the 'object' that both parents probably care most about. She has one up on the father who is forced to resign his fatherly duties to alternate weekends. But what strain does this then put on the mother?
I am not pinning my hopes on this baby arriving on time! I am however, slowly but surely getting the house together and sorting things out in preparation for the little ones arrival. So starting with the hospital bag, I wanted to share with you what I would be packing.
I remember lying on a hospital bed as a monster of a midwife pushed his head against my boob as he fought back against her screaming at the top of his lungs.
Friends come over for dinner, I'm ecstatic to see someone who isn't a baby and doesn't want to discuss their episiotomy stitches, but then....I realise I have nothing to tell them. Yeah, the baby is good thanks. No, I'm not getting much sleep.
It's incredible how those animals formed an integral part of my childhood theatre, and that they were not only very much a part of the action, but they were also key protagonists.