I saw you both, from the buggy area on the train; Scarborough bound. I put you both at around eighteen – or at least that stage in your life where nothing sags, everything is pert, and you can rock a tattoo like the one you had, of a busty burlesque girl on your calf, and look good with green streaks in your long, shiny hair. I stared at you both for far too long because you were astounding to me; like a piece of beautiful art.
Your figures alone; made me want to weep.
In case you were wondering, I was the weirdo, in terribly unfashionable clothes, with too many bags, who was shoving various food stuffs into a toddler’s mouth in a frantic attempt to keep him schtum for the two hour journey, staring at you wistfully. And I overheard your conversation, which went like this:
Cool girl 1: Have you spoken to (friend’s name)?
Cool girl 2: No…you know, she’s had her baby now.
Cool girl 1: Yeah, I know. I text her the other day and I got no reply. So you know, I can’t really be
doing with her anymore.
Cool girl 2: She didn’t text you back? That’s really bad.
I thought I might venture a reason you may not have got a reply.
Your friend is facing the very real reality of being responsible for a tiny human for the rest of her life.
She has said goodbye, for the time being, to sleep, to socialising, to eating hot meals, to drinking hot tea, to peeing, pooing and showering alone.
During the birth she has, more than likely, had several strangers stare at her privates (they aren’t private anymore).
She may be in a huge amount of pain, unable to sit down, terrified to poo, buying maternity pads by the truck load, she might be feeling the pain of a Cesarean scar.
Her legs, where once a cool tattoo could have been placed, might be triple the size after an Epidural.
She might be struggling with breastfeeding,
her nipples might be bleeding,
she may have had to pee in a vase in her room because she is too scared to leave her new born for one second (this definitely did not happen to me, no way).
She may have a list of family who are desperate to visit.
She may be dealing with conflicting interference from well meaning health visitors and grandparents.
She may be in the transitioning period between the pure elation of giving birth, the epic come down of emotions shortly after and the dawning terror of ‘HOW THE CRAP AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ANY OF THIS?’
She might be running her hands over her figure, puzzled that it hasn’t immediately bounced back like those people in the magazines seem able to do so easily.
She might be fiddling with the clasps on a tiny baby grow, shaking hands, terrified of the fragility of this new born, scared to death of breaking them.
She might even be suffering from Post Natal Depression, feeling alone and hopeless, and in more need of support from her friends than you could ever know.
She might be mourning the loss of the old her, settling into her new role, figuring out what this all means.
It is very possible that she read your text message…but then completely forgot she ever read it,
or forgot that she owned a phone (as I still do, and my son is 17 months old).
She might be wondering why she spoke to the delivery man with one boob on show and didn’t notice.
One thing is for sure, she is dealing with the after shock of her baby arriving.
So don’t give up on her just yet… in eighteen years, she’ll be back to her old self!
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Twitter : @sivitersteph