We are having a baby.
I will try to fill you in with what’s happened so far…
Welcome to the First Trimester:
Esther: I don’t want a baby/I’m going to kill myself & the baby.
Me: So, if you could go back in time to the night of conception and not say ‘Oh, go on then,’ would you?
Esther: Hmm. Probably, but then I’d be sad.
Me: Well then.
Esther (giggling): We’re having a baby!
The hormones have arrived!
I have decided that the one thing I need in the world is a mint green, button-down Polo Ralph Lauren shirt.
Esther notices me frowning at the laptop screen.
“Are you looking for baby stuff?”
Silence is the best policy.
“You’re not are you? What are you looking at?”
I take a deep breath.
“Ralph Lauren shirts.”
“For god’s sake! Stop it and look for baby stuff!”
She wakes the next morning and turns over to find me already up, staring at the screen. For a while, she watches me scrolling down an endless list of Ralph Lauren shirts.
“What’s wrong with you? Have you gone insane?!”
“I’ve found an app that shows us what your baby will look like,” says Esther. “I’ve got a photo of me, now I just need-”
She angles the camera at my sleepy face.
“No, wait, I’m not-”
Click. I turn away too late.
“There, now let’s see.”
She frowns and giggles explosively.
“Um…” She faces the phone towards me.
There’s a beautiful baby smiling back.
Only trouble is, it’s black.
We send our first baby scan to my Grandad, signing it from Me (Me) & Me (Esther) & Little Me (Baby).
He rings me up and at the end of the phonecall, he says “Bye bye to Little Wee.” His eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be, but it’s created a nickname that we can’t help but use. Baby is now Little Wee.
Our fridge has been consumed by Esther’s 1st craving:
This week, Esther can’t stand Purdeys. She now ‘needs’ semi-skimmed UHT milk. She drinks it like water.
I still drink soya milk in my tea & on my cereal.
“I’m making a cup of tea,” I ask. “Do you want your milk?”
A look of horror passes over her face and she cups her breasts protectively.
“You leave them alone!”
I’m not sure I want tea anymore.
In other news, Esther can’t stop drooling. She’s having to sleep with cotton wool stuffed into her mouth to soak up the saliva.
Now, she snores even louder than the cat.
We go to my bank to see if we can save money by transferring our mortgage there. In the mortgage adviser’s office, there’s a poster of a dad being pestered for money by his 7-year-old mercenary of a daughter. My eyes well up and I have to turn away.
Our application is declined.
Latest craving: We’re in Waitrose and Esther suddenly lurches across the aisle towards the milkshakes. She grabs a bottle of banana milk and cradles it like Gollum:
“Baby needs it.”
On the dog walk, I pass a father walking his daughter home from school. The daughter is explaining in a loud voice what she learned today and what her homework is.
When I get home, I gush to Esther: “I can’t wait till she wants me to help her with her homework.”
Lisa is broody.
Exhibit A: She has become obsessed with looking at websites for rescue dogs.
Exhibit B: Her kitchen window ledge is suddenly swamped with plants.
“Whenever I get herbs,” she moans, “they turn into weak-looking flowers.”
“Well, at least you’re making them want to reproduce,” Esther soothes.
Reasons Esther hasn’t slept at night:
- Running through the alphabet thinking of baby names.
- Redesigning the bedroom in her head.
- Baby is jumping up & down on the bed. Through her belly.
- Baby is headbutting her bladder.
Still thinking of baby names.
I find an amazing source of names: the dodgy sex emails in my spam box.
I read them out to Esther.
“They’re good,” she says, “which baby site are you looking at?”
“You won’t have heard of it.”
I’ve become obsessed with doing surveys to earn vouchers. It’s a way of not panicking.
Some surveys ask very strange questions:
I spend 10 hours completing one after another after another, giddy with greed, until I finally cash in my rewards. I get an email:
“Your £5 amazon voucher will be processed in the next 7-10 days.”
A blast from the past, as Esther waddles around in the heat of summer, thighs chafing and feet aching:
“I don’t want a baby anymore.”
“I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
The midwife has told Esther that she shouldn’t be sitting on the sofa anymore. No, she needs to be tilted forward. She needs to buy a ‘pregnancy ball’.
I show her a picture of one on Amazon.
“I’m never ever sitting on anything like that.”
Instead, she tries sitting backwards on a chair. And then laid half across the coffee table, with her head laid on one side.
“Is that better?”
The midwife has made her paranoid about where the baby is all the time.
“I feel like I’m tipping her into the sink when I stand up,” Esther says, “I can feel her gushing forwards into the front of my belly.”
She brings all 6 pillows down form our bed and constructs a kind of fortress. She squats on top like a sulky princess.
“Is that better?”
Esther has had two vaccines that have limited her arm movements to those of a T Rex. She can no longer reach for the chocolate in the cupboard. I am getting drunk on my power.
(Courtesy of Hugh Murphy)
I never noticed other new parents much before we became pregnant. Now, I compare myself constantly to them on the street. How do I match up to the faddy-daddies? Some still have hair!
The hardest part of premature balding is the lack of role-models. I’m the odd man out among my friends. In movies, baldies are either impossibly butch heroes or nefarious subhumans.
On Tuesday, I finally find who I want to look like.
Esther: What are you looking at so much?
Me: He’s the new American Apparel model. He’s got a shaved bit on top and long bits on the sides. And a nice little hat. Maybe I could have my hair like that.
She peers over my shoulder.
Esther: I didn’t think I’d ever have to say this, but I’m sorry darling, you’re never going to be a Hasidic jew.
Maybe if I just buy the hat…?
To Be Continued…