Today is my friend’s Birthday. Although she is no longer with us, I know that a lot of broken hearted people are raising a glass to her this weekend all the same.
Amy was known to her friends at Fan. She was not only beautiful to look at, she was a beautiful person too. I met her in 1997 and straight away we became close friends. We had a shared love of red wine, indie music and Marlboro Lights. We spent many of our University days together in Manchester and made so many ace memories. Gigs, silly days out, festivals, pub days and also, just sitting trying to figure out how we would survive the weekend living on just a 32p packet of Bourbon biscuits and two litres of cider! Those years, some of best of my life- simply because of the memories we created all together.
Fan was the person who taught me to be open and loving to friends. Before Fan I rarely hugged anyone- but she hugged and kissed me so much, it became the norm in our friendship. In all our group.
When I think of Fan, I will remember our ‘video club’ days watching Bridget Jones over and over, our joint Cold Feet box set ownership, our matching parka coats and bright coloured beads, our Malia holiday and our games of FROTH/ ‘ I Have Never’. Years went by and we still played these games at Christmas. Gatherings just won’t be the same without her. We made toasts to various idiots when we were drunk, she loved a toast to Rik Waller! Parties, weddings, Hen Do’s and Birthdays- she was always on form and always the last awake, drinking with me! We put the world to rights and laughed, a lot. I hope she knows that nothing in our group will be the same without her.
I chose Fan as one of my four bridesmaids and therefore she was 1/4 responsible for my flamingo outfit and ridiculousness that ensued! I always joked that I’d get her back at her own hen party- I’m so sad that I’ll never get the chance. She meticulously planned games, decorations, a memory book and outfits for me that weekend (along with my other ‘maids’ of course). Always excited about the latest celebration, Fan put her heart and soul into making sure her friends felt loved; and I absolutely did.
Despite being super cool (the coolest, actually) and a lot of fun she also remained gentle and quiet. She looked after those closest to her and focused on kindness and mindfulness. I will always try to do the same and really think she spread that focus far and wide. Fan was a wonderful and kind friend and I will miss her always. We all will.
Happy Birthday Amy x
‘To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched along with body – making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.’
Anne Christian Buchanan
Now I’ve unveiled what has for several months been a private, inner secret my pregnancy now feels real and undeniable. Although I feel fairly hormonal at times, at the moment (despite the back pains) I am feeling physically blissful. Pregnancy has a very strange way of making you feel powerful in life, perhaps it’s the creating between you, a miracle. A contentedness that you are about to serve a huge purpose in an all new, tiny person’s life.
At our baby’s first scan I felt nervous, of exactly what, I am unsure but as soon as the sonographer turned on the viewing screen I immediately felt at ease seeing our baby’s heartbeat, it’s tiny but formed hands and feet, finger and toes; so clear and delicate! Jake and I are both excited about becoming parents again but also a little scared. Timing wise, I don’t know if you can ever plan the right time to have a baby. I have pondered this a lot over the last few months. What if the right time never comes? And even if it does, nothing can ever prepare you for having a baby except actually having one, even if it’s not your first child! Whether you meticulously plan a baby or it happens by surprise, life will never be the same again, will it?
Life isn’t simple. Life is complicated for everyone but I try to be pragmatic and focus on doing the best that I can. After a somewhat difficult divorce and previously having children within, what I thought was a sort of ‘safety net’ of marriage, this pregnancy in some ways will be very different for me. For both of us, actually. But one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that you can’t plan life so scrupulously, you take what is handed to you and you make your choices- the best ones for you. We chose to start again, adding to our families, blending them together and on a more personal level, I chose to become a Mother again.
At age 35 I have a good career, I have good health, I’ve fulfilled lots of personal goals, I have a good life filled with a supportive family and wonderful friends and I feel like I have found the right partner in Jake. He is a good person; loyal, caring, honest and he is also a really great Dad. We are well suited and we have the same parenting ethos. I also feel really lucky and thankful that I am able to have another baby, a chance that sadly is not offered to all women. I know that being pregnant and becoming a Mother is precious and compelling and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world, so I am constantly grateful to have had these chances.
As a Mum already, I have strong maternal instinct, I know what I am doing practically and I am confident in my parenting abilities and responsibilities. But I still have concerns. It’s five years since I was pregnant and last time, I suffered arduous pelvic problems. The pain was unbearable and I dread the thought of that reoccurring. But thankfully, although this is a stress, I am not stressing out about it. General worries and anxieties about being pregnant don’t reduce just because you have been pregnant and mothered children previously. Each baby is just as precious and the cargo that I am carrying is a miracle that I am desperate to meet, love and care for, so I know it’s natural to feel like this.
There’s so much to think about, lots of people to consider and of course, the best part- things to buy! But I am excited. I’m excited to choose clothing, practical items and again, immerse myself in a world of baby stuff. So much has changed, I’m really looking forward to the experience. I know it will be likely harder this time round, more tiring, maybe harder physically to recover, but we have plenty of little helpers and Jake and I have each other.
In my last pregnancy I admit I was guilty of wishing time away; I’m impatient and want things…yesterday! It used to baffle me when I heard women say that they enjoyed pregnancy, that they wanted to savour each minute of it. Yes, I cherished those nine months but I was fairly relieved when it was all over to be honest. But this time, I feel differently, perhaps it’s because I know it’s very likely my last baby and after all, there is a true wonderment growing inside me and that’s something to behold.
So the last few months have been a little busy, I haven’t been blogging much or indeed doing much else but this is because I have not been feeling very well, at all!! Sickness, headaches and extreme tiredness seem to have taken over my life. However the good news, for me anyway is that I am feeling much better and now I’m around 16 weeks, Jake and I are ready to share our special news…
WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!!
We are all super pleased, the kids are very excited and full of questions too! Jake and I are a little concerned about the prospect of all those sleepless nights after over a four year break for both of us, but it’s a new exciting chapter that we can’t wait to begin.
Baby is expected to be with us early October, so here’s to an ecstatic jubilant adventure!
I will be writing more about our journey over the next few weeks; including how I feel about having baby number three, moving house and relocating, being 35 and pregnant, blending families and coping with all life throws at us in the meantime! But for now, here my friends.. is our baby’s first photograph!
A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank balance smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.