The (3)1st Birthday… With a Baby.

The week before last I reached the ripe old age of 31. There’s something about 31 that’s a bit more daunting than 30 somehow? Perhaps it’s because you’re actually ‘in’ your thirties rather than 30? The days leading up to my birthday I couldn’t help but dwell on last year. Tom had very kindly taken me to New York and despite being heavily pregnant and witnessing their second biggest snowfall in history we had the most wonderful time.

I remember thinking when we were there how much I already wanted to come back and do all the things we didn’t have time to do, all the restaurants we should have booked etc. I quickly realised this wouldn’t be happening for a number of years. We’d soon have a baby and I had a sneaking suspicion swanky eateries and shopping were not really baby friendly, I guess this was the first moment I realised life was really about to change.

So I couldn’t help but do the old ‘this time last year we were watching the Knicks’, ‘this time last year we were walking along the Highline’ etc etc. I felt guilty for reminiscing so fondly on these baby free times. I shouldn’t have though I was just enjoying the memory and if you think about it she was there. Freaking me out with Braxton Hicks, we’d taken out comprehensive travel insurance but I was still convinced we couldn’t really afford to have a baby in America…

And so to this year. I started my birthday celebrations the weekend before by staying with my sister and boyfriend in London. We’d planned a meal (lunch obviously) with them and my other sister and her boyfriend (Eadie’s soulmate). Last minute we decided Women on London was too important not to attend especially as we’ve just brought a little girl into this weird and wonderful world. So off we went, all the boys too. Eadie’s first march (and mine). It was wonderful. Such a great atmosphere, peaceful and friendly. Women, men and kids, all different nationalities. Later that day we discussed if it would really make a difference. I wasn’t sure it would have the impact we all hoped for but it made me feel a little safer and really restored my faith in the human race. FYI Eadie slept through most of it.

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Off we went for lunch. I realised when you have a baby and you’re going out for a meal it’s a complete gamble as to whether they’ll play ball or have a meltdown. Well it was a lucky roll of the dice. We won! We could be smug parents (temporarily)… until her complete lack of sleep that night, you win some you lose some!

The day of my actual birthday came round and despite thinking I’d just work as normal I was convinced (it didn’t take a huge amount of persuasion) to spend the day with Tom and Eadie. They’d take me for breakfast and lunch with a little shopping in-between. Eadie assisted with gift opening and slept through breakfast (this was a gift in itself). Now for lunch… Delight of disaster… We were those smug parents again! Thanks Eadie, it’s like she knew it was my birthday! I said to Tom en route home ‘I hope she stays this well behaved forever when we take her out’ highly wishful thinking I suspect…

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To round off the birthday I had planned to go for dinner with all the girls. During the course of the day I had two phone calls from nursery. First Eadie had conjunctivitis, they were happy for her to stay. 20 minutes later another call ‘she has some little spots on her legs’ I’m told it’s nothing to worry about they’re still happy for her to stay and they’ll keep an eye on it all. By now, and it’ still not midday, I thinking I won’t go for dinner. She’s obviously not well and it’s not fair to leave Daddy on his own to cope with it. Daddy picks her up from nursery and assures me they’re fine and to go and have a good time. I to and fro for another hour or so, alter my plans several times until I come full circle back to the original plan. I’ll go for dinner and stay at my lovely friend’s to avoid the costly journey home/enjoy an uninterrupted nights sleep! We have a lovely night and great catch up, going for dinner now involves months of planning. We’re home by midnight, a little different to birthday’s of the past but I suspect this has more to do with age than some of us being mother’s now!

I get my full nights uninterrupted sleep and decide birthdays with babies are just as good if not better…

Ali xx

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