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December 11, 2011

I am so lucky …

friends are so so so important in life – that may sound like a statement of the ‘bleedin’ obvious’, but I think some people just don’t realise or truly value friendship. I”ve been so so lucky … through social media, I ‘ve been offered support and friendship from people I’ve never even ‘met’ in the real world, I have been able to share experiences with other people at a similar phase in their pregnancy or just have people tweet kind or funny things that have helped get me through difficult days. People I’ve got to know through work have been supportive, kind and so generous with their guidance, their interest and their stories – again this has cheered and warmed me and helped limit anxieties and so on. Friends, long standing friends have just been remarkable and so humbling in their unswerving love, their calm, their humour and their patience … and their generosity.

All these friendships have been so unquestioningly offered to me this last, very busy (and it will be the last busy week for a while) week that I feel humble and so so grateful.

Someone on twitter is knitting a scarf, for me or the Spaniard I’m not quite sure, someone else just sends a tweet or two every day to see how I am and to tell me to take things easy.

A few people I’ve only met fleetingly over the past couple of years through work have quite literally held me up this week and inspired me … interestingly all me, one himself a recent father walked me to a taxi and filled me with warmth as he spoke about his own new baby and reading things to her, another – just having found out he is soon to be a father proudly showed me his 12 week scan photo and then carried my bag between meetings and just made sure I was alright, and another took me for dinner, soothed me, and gave me a most wonderful baby memories book.

Today, I met a few friends, very old and fairly new in Cambridge for brunch at Bills. Several people had asked me about baby showers … while the idea of being showered with gifts is always appealing on one level, to me it is actually quite an uncomfortable thought that people would come and see you and give you gifts before the baby is even born. I also feel that at this point in the pregnancy seeing a whole flock of people at once would be too much to deal with, so I made a compromise and just shared a happy morning with 2 little girls who were as good as gold pondering baby names and drawing pictures, a baby girl who just lolled around and smiled, and 6 very special people… One I’ve known since before I was born as her father knew my father and our grandmothers lived next door to each other, another I’ve come to love over the past year. Two girls I got to know through work, both blonde, confident, beautiful and very glamorous (and still wonderful, thoughtful and funny!!), a dear dear friend who is close to mother and I and is unswerving in her sweetness, and then Susannah who I’ve mentioned before who is as near to a sister as I could ever wish for. All very different people and all at different stages in their relationships, child rearing, lives and so on but all of whom could be bothered to get out of bed early on a Sunday and join me for brunch.

It was fun seeing people who had heard about each other meeting for the first time and hearing shared stories of husbands, men, children, dogs, joys, angst and then inevitably leaky breasts, painful recoveries from dramatic births, sleepless nights, pride in first teeth and so on. It felt a very intimate morning and is one I shall cherish. There were several people not there who should have been who live in far flung corners of the world and others from different circles of my life who I hope to see as well before The Spaniard puts in an appearance – but for me this morning was wonderful and I was moved beyond measure by just spending time and taking love and strength from these special girls / women / ladies … friends.

Some of them even bought me and The Spaniard gifts (despite strict instructions against doing so), a beautiful furry lined outdoor suit thing which will be perfect on the cold January and February days, a book called Ellie’s Growl, a beautiful blanket knitted for me by one of their mothers which moved me to tears, and a special carrying thing so I can lug The Spaniard around, a wonderful stuffed toy cuddly duck with lanky legs and a funny beak … all so thoughtful. So – as I said, I’m lucky. Extremely lucky.

I spent time today thinking about two friends with babies due tomorrow (exactly one month ahead of The Spaniard) one with it seems a normal pregnancy and the expectation of a happy and safe natural delivery, and the other knowing she gives birth to a small person 3 weeks early with Down’s Syndrome and damaged kidneys who will have to go straight for surgery to mend its tiny body as soon as it’s born. I also thought today about another friend who I found out last night has just miscarried her baby.

This whole journey is not straightforward, it is painful, full of risks and an emotional roller coaster … I sit here in crampy and aching and totally exhausted at the end of a very busy – too busy – week, feeling a little anxious that all I’ve been doing hasn’t been great for my small growing Spaniard and very much looking forward to my scan and consultation on Wednesday. This week will be a Cambridge based quiet one, I will sleep, I will work, I will walk and I will do more ‘nesting’ and my focus will return to where it should be … our Spaniard and it’s welfare and its first few days and weeks.

I’m starting that right now and going to lie down in the hope that the pain under and around my huge middle will ease a little and that The Spaniard will begin to feel more settled again – it must be getting pretty cramped in its watery cavern now… I do so hope the little soul is doing ok.

The two things I do know are how fiercely I love The Spaniard, and how very fortunate I am to have such incredible people in my life. I do also a strongly held and fundamental belief in the good of human nature, well on the whole! Thank you everyone who’s been there for me, offered phone calls, carried bags, made things, hugged me and so on. I can’t tell you how very much it means.

Right – enough of the schmaltzy stuff I’m off for a snooze before I spend the later part of the evening writing Christmas cards and watching Sunday evening television with mother.

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