Last Monday, I crashed into my thirties. I didn’t as such crash as meander into them. I am the big 30. An age I have weirdly always associated with the characters of Friends.
The early seasons. Where they all seemed to share the same waistcoat but not the same bed.
An age I also always associated with having your shit together. Which is funny because that’s sort of the whole appeal of Friends. That apart from their ridiculous good luck on the property market, they don’t have their shit together. They bump from different jobs to different partners to different hobbies to each other, like really sarcastic molecules during osmosis.
Still all these years later, it is one of my favourite telly shows. I don’t deny it. I like how the characters attempt to guide and help each other in their lives when they have absolutely no idea what they are doing in their own lives.
That’s what friendship is. It’s like a person on a lot of drugs trying to draw a map to a house for other people on a lot of drugs to follow.
I’m Friends age. I’m thirty. I’ve been surrounded by people, well women actually, saying “but you’re married AND you’re having a baby that’s what every woman wants at thirty!”
Is it? Or is it what every woman is told she wants at thirty?
I think I should start wearing a t-shirt, for those times I feel insecure about all the other areas of my life. It can say, “BUT I’m married and I’m pregnant!”
On Saturday morning I woke up with a bump. A welcome bump. A bump where me and my husband decided that yep, even though we have actually seen it on a scan, there must definitely be a baby living in there. My belly button is suddenly wide, round and protruding. Like a genuine doorbell. I keep half expecting a man with a clipboard to show up at my stomach to try and talk my unborn child into womb insulation or maybe a latter day saint attempting to post a pamphlet through my vagina.
I suddenly look pregnant. Which is quite nice. If a bit sudden. I thought it would be a bit more of a gradual process. But no, the baby has essentially put an extension in overnight. With absolutely no planning permission.
There is a real satisfaction on resting your hands on your pregnant belly. I have no idea why. I ordinarily hate touching my stomach. But now I’m striding around proudly parading it between my palms. Like I’m one of those pricks who drives around town in their Aston Martins. Yep, LOOK AT WHAT I’M PACKING! PRETTY IMPRESSIVE I KNOW.
Speaking of cars and of bumps. I had an unwelcome bump over a week ago. Someone ploughed their car into the back of mine as I was sitting stationary at some traffic lights. I’m fine, the Button is fine and the car can be fixed. Which is all you can ask for.
I remember feeling the force of the car go into the back of mine. That sudden jolt of adrenaline followed by an eerie calm that puts your body into autopilot. Pull car over to side of the road, get out, get driver details, take pictures of damage on your phone…all with shaking hands and one devastating thought, that like a brutal Pac-Man, eats up every other thought you try and have. What if the baby isn’t there anymore.
How could such a tiny thing that isn’t even halfway made yet, that doesn’t even have all of its bones yet, that I haven’t felt yet and that I haven’t met yet, that is only a potential life…how could losing it fill me with so much terror? I can’t really explain it. I guess I feel sad when anything with potential disappears. Doesn’t everything good start as a potential? A potential thought, idea, a hope, a love?
But it was okay. I’ve got a pretty tough womb. I have the Rocky Balboa of wombs. The Scarface of wombs. The Hulk of wombs…okay I’m stopping.
Thirty doesn’t seem so bad. I’ve already survived one minor disaster.
I may not own a waistcoat but I’ve got a bit of my shit together.
Did I used to think I would be married and having a baby at thirty? That I would be a poster girl for that ideology?
Now, don’t get me wrong I am really happy and really very blessed but my choices shouldn’t be used to make other women feel bad about their choices, especially by themselves. But that’s just what we do sometimes.
I’m gonna get t-shirts printed for us all to wear that say “BUT, I’m a molecule and I’m trying!”
Dunno why we do it but women have a habit of making each other feel bad. Not on purpose.
Just sort of by osmosis.