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  • Writer's pictureTamar Broadbent

'Are you excited?!' / 'That's not how I'd describe it...'


‘Are you excited?’

 

‘Yes!’ I say.

 

Although that’s not how I’d describe it.

 

‘Are you excited?’

 

‘Yes!’ I say.

 

As there is no time to delve deeper - she’s simply making conversation and we are about to start our Body Step class.

 

‘Are you excited?!’

 

‘Yes!’ I say, because I don’t want people to think I’ll be a bad mother.

 

When someone asks if you are excited for your baby to be born, you can hardly say ‘no!’ But I hate how often I’ve said ‘yes’ when it’s not the whole picture. It’s just something to ask, and I’m always grateful when people chitchat with me. But it is interesting that it is so often this question. And such a leading one. It’s probably because it requires an easy ‘yes or no answer,’ whereas ‘how are you feeling?’ is far too open-ended, and might lead to me talking about my crippling indigestion or how I get randomly horny watching the Range Rover advert.

 

But the question irritates me. It makes me feel like I should be all giddy and squeaky about having a baby and that my measured, practical approach is somehow wrong. In the early stages of pregnancy, you don't want to get too excited in case you're getting ahead of yourself. And then by the time it's safe to be excited, there's still half a year to go, and it's impractical to maintain a sustained level of excitement for that long. You'd get a headache. And I've already got back ache, leg ache, boob ache and butt ache. It's quite enough, thank you.


I can’t lie and say that I excitedly daydream about having a baby. To start with, I have no idea what she is going to look like! To imagine her face feels almost sacrilegious, like they must have felt in the olden days about making clay models of Jesus.

 

I know that when my baby is here, I’ll be delighted. But she is not yet here. And there is a lot to do before she arrives! In terms of buying things and training the dog to be less jealous of my husband’s attention, but also with regards to that rather large undertaking I must go through to get her here, which I cannot pretend to feel ‘excited’ about, no matter how much reading I do about birth plans or empowerment or women embracing masturbation in labour. It's safe to say I'm still fairly uneasy about the whole thing.

 

‘Excited’ is a word I’d use to describe being psyched about a dinner reservation. Or counting down the days until a holiday. Buzzing feelings and the desire to put on pink lipstick. Excitement does not feel a profound enough word to describe my anticipation of giving birth to my first child. It is something I cannot yet fathom, and is honestly a little overwhelming.

 

I know I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. And me saying ‘yes’ when people ask if I’m excited is as much about me wanting to get on with my Body Step class as the next gal. But I wanted to write this down to see if I could get to the truth of the feeling. I like to analyse the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of things, even if the ‘what’ is crying because the coffee lady closed her van early and the ‘why’ is simply because pregnancy hormones are MAD.

 

I am not excited because I am not quite ready yet. When she is here, I know I will feel all of the feels. But I want to enjoy two more months of this. Whatever this is. I want to live in the now. I do not want to spend any more of my life wishing for the future. I did that about finding my dream man and now, as much as I love being married and snuggling our golden retriever every night, sometimes I miss our early days when we’d cycle around Amsterdam and drink until 4am... I couldn’t do it anymore. But I miss it.  

 

I know that for every moment I think, ‘I can’t wait for when she is born,’ there’ll be a day after she’s born when I’ll think, ‘I miss being pregnant with her!’ I want to try hard not to say things like, ‘I can’t wait until she can sleep through the night’ or ‘I can’t wait until she can talk to us!’ I want to be present and appreciative in this day, right now, because seven months have already gone by so impossibly fast. Thirty-four years have, really.

 

So. Am I excited for when my baby is born?

 

Not right now.

 

I’m too busy enjoying the tiny presses of her feet. The flicker that could be a wiggle or a hiccup. My cup of tea as we sit in silence, the golden retriever puppy sleeping soundly by my feet, probably dreaming about my husband playing ball with him in the park, totally unaware that he will soon have to share him.

 

We've all got surprises ahead.


Book tickets for Tamar's cabaret show PLUS ONE live in London on 25th June.

And Horsham on 15th June.



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