Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

We all know the myth of King Midas. The dude who had one wish; to be able to turn everything he touched into gold, it was only when he wanted to tuck into a nice sandwich and give his daughter a cuddle he saw the error of his ways.

Fairytales from across the world warn us against our wishes coming true.

When I was younger I fervently wanted a dog.

My Christmas wish-list would look like this:
A dog
A set of pens
A dog
A pair of pixie boots (well, it was the 80s)
A dog
Did I mention I wanted a dog?

When I was 13 my Grandpa gave me a puppy. The deal was he'd live with me during school holidays and my Grandad (who lived just two miles away) during the term time.

I absolutely adored that dog.

But, I wasn't a very good owner. I was rubbish at getting out of bed in the morning to take him for walks. I got bored trying to train him when he didn't pick up on my meaning straight away and I gave him a fucking ridiculous name (Buffle).

There is always a worry when you want something as much as a child that you are willing to spend years having medical treatment, spending your life savings on IVF and subjecting yourself to every speculum going that, when you finally achieve motherhood, you realise it isn't as wonderful as you imagined.

I'd worry, when pregnant, that I just might not be very good at it. That I might not enjoy it as much as my rose-tinted views of motherhood would have me believe.

Eight weeks in and I love every minute of it.

For anyone else wondering if all the treatment, injections and anguish is worth it. From this sample-size of one I can say it is.

Yes, there are moments in the early hours of the morning when she needs a feed that I have to drag myself into consciousness and wish that she'd lull herself back into sleep. But I find myself wanting to get up in the night more often than not. For a start if I haven't fed her for four hours not only do I find my boobs are aching, dying for a bit of milk release but also, I've missed her. She might be sleeping next to me in a moses basket but I've missed the physical contact and I am happy to scoop her up into a cuddle.

(And yes, I appreciate that I am lucky that she does, at 8 weeks, regularly sleep in four hour blocks. Which might be making the parenting easier than for some.)

And whilst motherhood is relentless - there is no clocking off at 5pm - it is also less pressured than many jobs I've done. It might take three days to answer a text message, but people understand this and I don't get hounded by emails chasing emails.

In short, I have absolutely no regrets in my wish. I am happier than I have been for years.

I also love the her name even more since I noticed Olive is an anagram of 'I love'.

(I'm glossing over the other anagram 'O, evil!' here.)

(I also have dog, and I'm a much better owner now. But he still has a fucking stupid name - Moon).


  1. Delightful news, really, and it is so good to hear you are getting some rest, which in fact IS making the entire experience much more enjoyable. Just so that you know, there will be moments when you will feel very less able to handle and enjoy parenting, and your child will apparently do things against your expressed wishes and desires (hard to imagine, but they come with a mind of their own, children, which is not their parents' mind, thing which would solve such problems, but it is not meant to be this way). So, when this happens, repeat to yourself that you have to LOVE your child every minute, not LIKE. When there are tantrums, or peeing on purpose on the carpet in front of the loo, or shoving someone despite the ten million warnings not to do that, give yourself permission to not like that moment, and your child, but knowing that the love is the all along and will help you in the end. Because it will.
    There is still a while until then. The first year is very, very nice, the mum is be all-end all, and this is a nice feeling.
    I am very happy for you. In this world of cold indifference, it is nice to know that sometimes, good things happen in the end to good people too.

  2. LOL @ Buffle.

    I also agree that this motherhood lark is a lot easier and more enjoyable than most jobs I have had. Working stressily non-stop til 8pm with nary time for a diet coke break then cycling all the way back down Holloway Road in the rain – this is much easier, thanks! And more enjoyable. Even as Arthur sits next to me with snot running down his chin.

    Glad you're loving it. x

  3. ps: I was nutso about pixie boots too.

  4. You're being a bit harsh on yourself - you didn't choose the name Moon, he kinda came with it...

  5. LOL love this post! Glad to hear baby Olive and mommy are doing well!

  6. 4 hours sleep is nice. as is very little crying. I don't want to think about the hell I've been through to get her(e) it does not matter to me in the here and now.
    now I have to google pixie boots....

  7. I LOVE the middle of the night feeds actually. They are my favorite...me an the babe, half awake, snuggled together. Even at 15 months I still don't mind =).
    Soak up every second of the baby time momma! So glad you are loving it!

  8. As a women going through IVF in Australia, I cannot thank you enough for this post. I have done 5 cycles and am currently on a break and have been for about 5 Months and ive been thinking about this alot. What if im terrible? What if its not all its cracked up to be? So thank you :) You have renewed my faith to push on. And Olive is a perfect name

  9. Aw, how wonderful. Thank you for sharing. After a reasonably easy IVF I'm looking at pregnancy complications far too early, and the encouragement is very helpful.
    Also, Olive and I love are awesome.


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