Friday 7 January 2011

Baby mama

I had my first baby when I was 20.  Physically, this was a very good age.  Emotionally, I was too young.  I'd thought I was not, but it certainly tested my patience, which failed the test and I spent quite a lot of Weeza's first few months in tears, as did she.  Fortunately, the Sage could also be called the Rock.  He looked after us both and I gradually improved.

Nothing daunted, Al was born exactly two years later, their birthdays are two days apart.  This was a different story.  I had got into the swing of things by then, Weeza was an adorable toddler - she was such a dear little girl - and, although we'd just bought a fairly huge house (anyone who has visited here might think this house is not small.  It's so much smaller than our last house, I call this a cottage), I did have a cleaner a couple of mornings a week by then and everything went swimmingly.

Physically, I bounced right back in no time.  Apart from being rather thin - within the acceptable BMI range, but only just - I was extremely healthy and had loads of energy.  In fact, I probably had more energy at that time than I ever had before or since.  I wonder what I was doing right.  My only small problem, because of being so slim, was a tendency to low blood pressure or blood sugar or some such, and if I stood up quickly I sometimes had to sit down again before I fell down, and sometimes I lay flat on the floor to save myself from fainting.

Just as an aside, I don't know how these 'size zero' women live.  I weighed more than 7 1/2 stone and had a tendency to faint, and I was a size 10, which would be an American 6.  Much smaller and I'd have been ill.  I had an extremely healthy diet.

Anyway, after a year or two I put on a few pounds and continued to be fit, healthy and have plenty of energy.  Ro was born when I was 30.  I sailed through pregnancy and birth, but was very surprised to find that having a small baby was far more tiring than last time round.  We'd intended, as there was quite a large gap, to have a fourth child, but changed our minds within weeks.  Like Rog's holiday of a lifetime, never again.  We were too old.

Both Weeza and Dilly were in their thirties when their babies were born.  I don't think they bounced back with as much energy as I did physically, although I'm sure they were a lot more prepared emotionally than I was at the age of twenty.  All three of us were in stable married relationships with supportive partners and families, which must have helped vastly.

Obviously, I'm not going to come to a conclusion here, it depends on so many things.  Being mother to a small child really does take it out of you though, I wonder if one can really prepare for it as we simply don't know what it's like until it happens.  I can tell you, though, being a grandparent is pure pleasure.  Worth having children for, I promise you.


Unknown said...

Ideal arrangement - grandparenthood.

Dave said...

I realise it's slightly different for a man, but by brother (2 years younger than me) has a 7 year-old daughter. She'll still be a teenager when he's reached retirement age. Not sure I'd like to be dealing with teenage tantrums when I'm in my bath chair.

Z said...

We're glad we had our children young enough to still be energetic when grandchildren came along, aren't we!

The Sage was your brother's age when Ro was born, Dave. And indeed, if I'd left it until my late thirties and had another baby, he'd have been our age at its birth. So yes, it raises another debating point.

Dave said...

The Sage, of course, isn't in a bath chair.

allotmentqueen said...

I had my children at 36, 40 and 44, but that was because the right partner wasn't there earlier (they do all have the same father!).

On the reverse side my sister (2 years younger than me) had her first child when she was still 17, and she now has grandchildren.

I used to think I would be a pensioner before the youngest finished school, but the government's seen to that and he'll be 20 by then.

I do wonder whether we'll live long enough to see any grandchildren. My eldest son (now 21) has a best friend two weeks younger than him who has a 2 yr old and another on the way - and most people were shocked that they were so young.

Rog said...

Dave's thinking of having teenagers in his bath?

I'm looking forward to a brave new World when the place is populated by the offspring of John Humphries, Rod Stewart, Rupert Murdoch and Elton John.

Rog said...

I don't know why they can't just get dogs like normal people.

Z said...

Dave has more baths than bedrooms in his house, I expect the teenagers won't have to share his. I hope not.

Many years ago, discussing looking after me in old age, Weeza stated her position. "I don't mind pushing you around in a bath chair, but I'm not going to wipe your bum." Seems fair enough.

My best schoolfriend had her children at 35 and 40, AQ, so her children and mine are almost a generation apart.

Dogs are more trouble than children, aren't they Rog? Puppies, anyway. John et al probably took the easy way out.

Christopher said...

I have a grandson I haven't seen yet even though I make a monthly contribution to his eventual university fees. If he goes up a year or two after he's finished school, I shall be:

a) Dead, or

b) A lean and slipper'd pantaloon, palsied with senile dementia, or

c) Discovered inexplicably in one of Dave's baths.

(Incidentally, at least one of Dave's slippers could do with a good wash. Do they still have slipper baths in your part of the world?)

Roses said...

I was 23 when I had Boy. I loved it. Had my marriage been made of stronger stuff I'd had lots of kids. C'est la vie.

Getting it out the way was the best thing I did. I love my Boy and can't wait for grandbabies.

But then I'm lazy, I like doing things the easy way.

Sarah said...


How do we know said...

am so glad u wrote this post..

Anonymous said...

Some say I'd be my own baby.

Z said...

You can tell a former undergraduate, rather than just a student, because he says "goes up." Oxford or Cambridge, Chris?

I remember being puzzled, in my youth, by signs for a slipper bath, but I not for a few year. I expect Dave will start a new fashion for them. Or a necessity, anyway.

What I have no experience of is bringing up a child alone. I found it quite tough enough with both of us. I suppose one manages what one has to, but I can't imagine it.

Dogs are more interesting, aren't they, Sarah? Although children improve on acquaintance, too.

I was going to follow up on it, HDWK, but I'm really tired tonight! Don't know what I'm going to write about instead though!

You need mothering, Mago.

savannah said...

it was so much easier then, sugar! ;~D xoxoxo