independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Ever seen a bald man crawl down the aisle?

PREGNANCY, for me, was an extremely emotional period. As Himself will readily confirm, for months before and after childbirth, my mood could shift from excitable chattering to bewildered sobs in mere minutes.

While I was incredibly grateful to have fallen pregnant so easily as a "mature" (albeit only in years) first-time mum, I was also petrified about what might go wrong, and was like a deer in headlights just contemplating the seismic shift about to occur in my life.

Before the first scan I'd convinced myself (and hubby) that I was having triplets, an ectopic pregnancy and a host of rare ailments; all courtesy of my new best friend, the internet.

Threatened with divorce if I didn't stop self-diagnosing, I was forced to go cold turkey on the net, and so the remainder of my pregnancy passed without (much) drama.

Then last month, I received an e-newsletter entitled What your baby should be doing now.

"What should she be doing?" I wondered. "Was she normal?" ... So while normally I'd sensibly press delete, like a moth drawn to the flame, I hit OPEN. Alongside other pearls of wisdom, it explained "Most babies move to pulling and standing up at about eight months".

What? This was not what I needed to hear since our one-year-old had just started to crawl but would much rather be carried than have to walk. As would I, given half the chance.

I spent the following weeks researching, panicking and interrogating friends about their babies' progress. Eventually one sat me down and calmly imparted her own mother's advice: "Have you ever seen a toothless, baldy man crawling down the aisle? Hmm..? No, because they all get teeth and hair and learn to walk eventually. So calm down!"

Irish Independent

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