So today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. 36 years old. Chasing 40… how did that happen?
I was woken at 6.50 with the daily tweaks and grumbles from my gorgeous baby. My first birthday as a Mummy. I was greeted by the usual morning routine. Beaming smiles as she sees me. She has half fought her way out of her swaddle bag making her look like she is wearing a toga. She stretches her arms above her head – possibly one of my favourite things about her – she stretches and yawns like she has had a hard day at the office and needs to head home for a large glass of wine. (no that’s actually just me)
35 was my scary age. My serious scary age. I always knew I didn’t want children young – I wanted to travel, focus on my career, enjoy lie ins and generally just pleasing myself. But 35 was my VERY scary age. This time last year, little did I know that she was very nearly on her way. I was warming the oven ready for my little bun. As I turned 35 I couldn’t even imagine that I’d be a Mummy within 9 months.
Life is a funny old thing. After so many years of it seeming so far out of reach, suddenly it happened. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t struggling to conceive, I wasn’t even trying, but for a few years my maternal clock had been well and truly ticking. I don’t know how I would have coped if I couldn’t have conceived. How do women cope? I was so lucky. I conceived the first month we tried, Wow … so contraception really does work!
My maternal clock had been ticking so loudly that it was starting to take over my daily thoughts. Every night I’d go to bed and think. Think myself crazy. How could we afford it? What about work? We don’t own our house? We have no savings? What about childcare? What if I can’t conceive? What if the what what if? I was driving myself mad.
And then it happened. As easy as that. In my scary year at my scary age my baby arrived.
So, now I am 36. I have the only present I need. And now as a mummy myself my birthday means so much more. I have realised that my birthday isn’t just about me. It is about me and my Mum. 36 years ago she was in hospital on bed rest with swollen ankles, high blood pressure and was no doubt completely fed up, nervous and excited waiting for my arrival. She was so young. Only 23, newly married and such a beautiful, slim young thing (sorry Mum I spoiled your lovely figure). I can’t even imagine how I would have coped at 23. I can honestly say I have never thought about my mum on my birthday, but today I have. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here (yes Dad, you did your bit too, but Mum gets the glory). So today at 36 I want to say Happy Birthday to my Mummy. 36 years since she became my Mummy and now a fabulous Nannie to our little cherub.
For the last 35 years, birthdays have been about me. Presents, cakes, birthday parties, new dresses and then when I was older… nights out, shots, cocktails, nightclubs. My 18th was what all 18th birthdays should be and is where ‘The Little Book of Sick’ first began.
My 18th could not go without being marked in a spectacular way. I didn’t want a party… (that would be for my 21st) but I wanted a cool event. Something that would make everyone want to come. Me and my friends were all coupled up with lads that were two years above us. We thought we were so old. So, me and my friend (who was annoyingly 2 weeks older than me) decided to have a joint 18th. The last time we had a joint party was at the church hall when we were 10! Needless to say, this one would be a lot different. We decided to go to a nightclub. We’d been to Tokyo Joes, Preston on a coach trip already for one of the lads birthdays. We all got in! We were only 17, but we all go in! So why not do it again? We booked a coach and booked 50 tickets to The Park Nightclub at Charnock Richard. (If we had prepaid the tickets then they’d have to let us in right?) So we filled the coach with let’s face it mainly underage friends. Having your birthday in September is great as the ‘oldest’ in the year, but could have ended disastrously if none of our friends had ‘got in’.
So, we were all ‘allowed’ to travel half an hour away on a coach whilst the majority were underage (I even took my 15 year old sister and cousin) and attempted to get in to a night club. I don’t think we’d get away with it nowadays! It was the best night. We ALL got in. We were so grown up. We’d been going to town for ages,but we were in a new trendy club and I was 18. I could do whatever I wanted.
So I drank and drank and drank.
Then I spewed and spewed and spewed.
My amazing birthday night involved me spending most of the night in the toilet. I do vaguely remember staggering out of the toilet to dance (well stumble) to Jamiroqui ‘Space Cowboy’ which was my favourite song (and still is). I then fell asleep with my head pressed against a speaker. I woke up. Needed to be sick again and returned to the toliet.
My best mate in solidarity was in the toilet with me, holding back my hair (and probably being sick as well – she’s just as bad as me) After several hours, our older boyfriends – we were so cool – came looking for us. I was so sick that I was unable to move, so they came into the ladies. They were swiftly booted – yes literally – booted out of the toilets and the club for refusing to leave. So, I spent the last hour or so of my fabulous 18th sitting on a wall outside the club, spitting up the remnants of my stomach crying because I’d lost my tiara that my mum had bought me for my special night.
Ah to be young again.
This weekend we are going out for cocktails, but are going out in the afternoon so that we can get the last bus home and take advantage of a baby free early night. I have even considered not going out and JUST having an early night.
The party girl is still in there somewhere. SO to celebrate being 36 I will drink cocktails, spend time (on our own) with my wonderful other half and try my best not to be sick… but you never know!