Pregnancy was not my fortè. In fact, I hated most of it and couldn't wait for it to be over, so the last thing I wanted to do was go and chat to other preggos that were having the time of their life. This, it would turn out would be quite the error, as I could have done with a heads up on how to actually look after a baby.
Last week my health visitor came round, probably to make sure I hadn't left Arabella in Starbucks or something, and invited me to a few classes, baby massage, first aid and just a Friday group that's 'invite only' aka for all the mothers they think need a bit of support.
It's only now I can actually admit I need a bit of support really. Living in St Albans isn't the easiest for me, I don't really know anyone other than James' family and friends so I tend to feel really isolated and I find it incredibly difficult. I don't really have friends I can go out with on my own, Central London Is a bit too far for a casual night out really with my ladies and my family are hours away. I'm very much on my own. It's about time I met new people and time Arabella got to interact with some other babies.
So last Friday, James and I went to our first baby massage class. We arrived, a standard ten minutes late, all hot and bothered to a room of about 9 other women, their babies and two health visitors. I probably should have gone on my own but I don't think I would have been able to get though the front door without him there.
We all sat in a circle with our babies on changing mats and had to sing each of them a song so we found out their names, I thought this was a bit weird but the babies liked it. I just felt like I was back in nursey again, and also one of the little boys name's was Clem? Strange name, cute kid.
After that, we got our babies in their nappies and rubbed some massage oil in the palm of our hands, learnt how to massage one leg, and as I picked her up, I turned her around to see all the other babies and she jolted forward throwing herself from my hands and onto her mat face first.
I suggest making sure your hands are oil free before picking up a post-massaged baby, as I had never dropped her before and I will never, ever forget the looks of horror and judgement that I saw in the faces of those fellow women, who tried to laugh it off but really I knew they were all judging me in their heads even though I'm sure they've made a mistake whilst trying to control their bambinos, not that they would ever admit it.
Somehow I managed to compose myself without crying, but inside I was on full blown meltdown, so horrified and I really felt like I was a terrible negligent mother, when really I am absolutely smitten with my baby and would never dream if hurting her. Arabella was completely unfazed by this ordeal and was laughing the whole time. I really do hope that she isn't a female baby version of jonny Knoxville. I think the worst thing about it is that she's so much smaller than all the other babies. Even ones younger than her. She's like a china doll, so visibly fragile, she's like a 3 month old newborn!
On Friday I will return for class 2 of 4, hopefully on my own, and hopefully filled with artificial confidence made up of knowing that Arabella has a better pram, because really that's all it comes down to in the end.
Alexandra Loves x