Sunday, 11 May 2014

Then There Were Three...

Ok, my son is on a sling being walked around Brixton by his Urban Grandma and probably wanting a feed in approximately 22 minutes. If anything can motivate me to write it's a deadline, and there's nothing quite like a crying, red-eyebrowed face of a deadline. I'm sure editors would get epic results from their freelance journalists by sending round a hungry, screaming infant when the time for the article's completion had arrived.

However, I am sitting in a cafe overlooking Brixton Square. From my view I can see the town hall where my husband and I registered our marriage (well, my fiancée and I did) and I remember the years that we spent here when we were courting (oh yeah, is that what the kids are calling it these days!?) and where our romance began. I'm sitting here alone, reminded of the time when I became part of a two, and that has led me to remember the moment when two became three (The Spice Girls lesser known track).

For nine months this new human being has been growing a head (and other organs, you know what they are, I'm not going to list them all) inside me. I prepared my body and mind for the birth; I prepared a room, a bed. I got clothes ready for the baby and for me for their arrival and I baked loads of stuff in the run up to the birth, because that's what you do (apparently).

Nothing, Nothing, Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of the first few hours we spent alone with our baby. I went into labour at 8pm on a Tuesday night, by Wednesday at 3.20am our son was born. By 6.30am the two midwives that had been with us since 10pm the night before left. There we were. The three of us. 



I have a son.

Not having seen a new newborn before, I was astounded at this little creature that was in front of me. All images I had imagined of fluffy cuteness faded into oblivion as I saw in front of me this tiny half baked human bean. Like an organ of mine that had been removed from my body for my viewing and nurturing pleasure, I couldn't help but be terrified, amazed, inspired and shocked by what it felt like.

I suddenly understood people's need to get them dressed up and photographed asap in sheepskin rugs, or in their Father's hands or with flowery headbands on. The weight of existential pressure of what has happened is almost devastating, it is almost too intense to bear witness to, such is the power and glory of it. 

I run a bath and sit in it to soothe my body and relax my warrior limbs. I look down and realise. He's not there anymore. He is no longer a part of me. He is separate. He now has a gender, a name, a face. For the last 264 days I have danced every morning with that little boy in the shower, but on this day, my first day as a Mother he is in the other room being held by his Father. My Husband, that was my boyfriend, that I loved from when we were first in Love in Brixton. Where I now sit. Alone. Thinking about those hours when my child was born.

Right, that's quite enough of that. I've got a son to feed.

Love and swollen ankles,
Mutha Courage X

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