Saturday, 23 June 2012
I was thinking a little bit yesterday about instant gratification and getting the things I want when I want. I don't know if it's that I'm just becoming older and more solvent, but lately I find myself in the position where I either already have most of the non-tangible things I want or where I can afford the majority of the material things I believe will make me happy.
I've really invested in my most important relationships over the last few years and I now reap the benefits of that, and if I desire something - from a holiday to a new frock - I can look at my budget and generally find a way to indulge myself. It's most likely that said holiday would involve an Easyjet flight and a tiny, self-catering apartment, or said dress would be purchased from Primark or H and M, so it's not that I'm suddenly rolling in cash, but what it does mean is that if I am desperate for some kind of treat, there is normally a way I can get it.
In recent times everything around me seems to have become more accessible and faster - from fashion to holidays, food to music - and while I haven't had a credit card in years there seems to be a general social philosophy of 'buy now, pay later'. I think that has changed a little with the recession and as a society we have been a little more cautious after the bubble burst, but we are still as a nation in general very consumer-orientated creatures. I suppose in short my point is that I rarely have to wait long to get what I want now. That makes me sound very selfish, but I don't mean it like that - I am just reflecting on how lucky I am to be able to indulge a lot of my desires and whims.
But here's where pregnancy differs. Nothing about having a baby is instant. In fact, our experience has been quite the opposite. The Boy and I decided in September 2010 after five months of marriage that we were ready to increase our fold. I remember the day clearly. We'd been to the wedding of one of the boy's friends and enjoyed dressing up in our finery and knocking back the champagne and the wine, but coming back to an empty flat that day something changed for both of us, and we sat up into the small hours talking about our life now and how ready we both were for the next step. I came off the pill and we began trying for a family in the October - although for the first few months we were totally clueless about when we should be doing this (oh the irony of having spent half my life dreading I would accidentally fall pregnant, only to realise there were only a few days a month this could happen!) and I didn't fall pregnant until January 2011. And then of course as you know, that wasn't to be for us and we said our goodbyes to our first baby in the subsequent May.
Because our baby had just edged into the second trimester I had to go into hospital to deliver it, rather than have an operation to remove it, and as a result of being induced and having the contraction my body thought it had been through labour and it took months for my system to settle down again. Much to my dismay at the time we weren't really able to try again until August. But perhaps this was Mother Nature working with me, not against me, as I don't think we would have been emotionally ready for that challenge any earlier... who knows? And so we tried again for a few months - three I think, but I found the negative pregnancy tests too disappointing and I realised I was becoming quite angsty about the process which I didn't want - so we decided to calm down and just enjoy being together. And I guess as is often the way, that was when the wind changed direction and I fell pregnant on New Year's Eve during a short break away the Boy and I enjoyed together in Devon.
And I'm now 27 weeks pregnant and expecting our baby Beans in September this year - almost exactly two years to the day we made our decision to try to become a family, and it's already been 17 long months since my first positive pregnancy test. No, I think it's safe to say that there's not been much instant gratification there. Nine months is a long time to carry a heartbeat within you, and to feel it blossom, move and grow, but it is changing me as a result. In some ways I feel it's the making of me - already I can feel myself becoming more patient (believe me, patience has never been a quality I have possessed, anyone I know will tell you that!) and more calm. And each day that passes I love the Boy and my Bump more. With each kick I get from Baby Beans I feel so desperate to meet him or her - but I am also happy to smile to myself and wait. Because the best things come to those who wait, and for once, I'm happy to take my gratification delayed.