I’m passing Make, Do and Push! over to the lovely Rachel of Dinky Thinks today! She writes about her experience of being a Bride with a baby!
I had an idea in my head about my wedding day. I suppose in my vision, I looked lovely, I was excited, organised…. Maybe even a little bit stressed. I had a long slim dress and purple flowers in my hair and someone was playing a guitar whilst I walked down the aisle and married the love of my life. We were probably in a field somewhere, and the wedding would be like a music festival, then we would head to Nepal on honeymoon.
The bride in that vision however, had not done things in the following order
1. Travelled the world for 10 months and come to the conclusion that her partner was not interested in getting married.
2. Started trying for a baby.
3. Received rather romantic and very surprising proposal of marriage.
4. Found venue and set date.
5. Got pregnant.
6. Thought that from birth there were 9 months until the wedding… loadsa time.
7. Land on planet parenthood with a resounding bump.
8. Realise that 9 months have almost passed!
At this point, pre-parenthood Rachel would have panicked. But new Rachel was not really able to panic, due to various levels of anxiety all centered around being a parent. I think had a fairly pragmatic approach to the wedding because I just couldn’t find the time to worry about whether we should or shouldn’t have buttonholes, or a table plan.
Even before we got pregnant, the ‘vision’ had changed. Getting married in a field proved more difficult than we had thought and the lovely tents that we wanted to hire with all the equipment and staff we needed more than doubled our budget, so we really thought about what was important to us. We wanted everyone to be able to be there (up to 130 people including children) and we wanted to have our own music and entertainment and a festival feel. We had decided to do a few things ourselves to keep the wedding personal and on a budget, but hadn’t stretched ourselves too far in terms of our capabilities and time.
So here are the things that were not quite as I had expected:
1. Crafting and Making – Thank god it wasn’t too much of a handmade wedding – I don’t think I could have found time for much crafting with such a young baby who was breastfeeding A LOT; I barely found time to brush my hair most days! I found the first 10 months of parenthood really challenging and it took all my powers to focus on it, with no time left for other ‘projects’ like hair brushing for instance! We did collect jars for table centres and buttons for making the bouquets and buttonholes but these projects were fairly simple…really we had picked a venue that didn’t need much dressing as it was so lovely already.
2. Partying – My hen weekend was my first weekend away from my son who was 7 months old at the time and I had just stopped breastfeeding so spent the entire weekend with one giant boob that was rock hard…. It didn’t step on my fun, but I laugh when I look at photos and I am sure you can tell! The partying at the wedding was probably more enthusiastic BECAUSE we had a young baby… we were sort of off the leash!
3. The Dress – I wanted to look lovely, but it just wasn’t as important as I had thought it would be when I first started trying dresses on. For starters our budget changed to accommodate the new small person in our family, then my body changed to accommodate said new small person. I tried on dresses when Chiplet was 5 months and my breasts were still his main source of food – so I knew I would have to get something as close to the wedding as possible as I would be finishing breastfeeding. I had planned to get a secondhand dress but just couldn’t find anything I liked. As it turned out, the one I bought was pretty close to what I had imagined myself in and even though it was new and double my budget, I was not so emotionally attached to it that I couldn’t sell it on, therefore keeping it within budget. Not sure what I would have done if I had still been breastfeeding – probably would have had to rethink the style slightly!
4. The Night Before – Of course we had Chiplet to sort out the night before the wedding and we thought it would be better for him to be in his own room, which meant that I had a big bed to myself. I might* (*read definitely) have had too much red wine the night before I got married and then hardly slept and woke up feeling like I had basically slept for about 30 minutes. I know the lack of sleep would have happened anyway, but it felt worse since I had missed an opportunity to catch up on kip. My husband-to-be had his parents come to pick Chiplet up to take him to the ceremony, but they were too excited and wanted to take photos of them getting ready, when really he just needed get ready! In hindsight, Chiplet might have been better with me – I would have gone to bed earlier and he might have been a bit more settled having spent some time with Mummy.
5. The Day – We had the most wonderful day and really enjoyed every bit of it, but looking back, our little boy was totally over-awed by all the people and noises and smells. He had his thumb in his mouth the entire time and didn’t even seem relieved or relaxed when he was with us. In some ways having him so little and only just crawling made it an easier day for us, but if he had been that little bit older, then he might have enjoyed it a little bit more. Our family and friends were fantastic at looking after him and they took it in turns to sit with him in the evening whilst he was asleep, 6.00am the next morning however, we were back on shift.
6. And finally The Honeymoon – Taking your 10 month old with you makes the honeymoon more of a holiday… lovely but not quite as ‘relaxing’. We did consider leaving him behind, but neither of us was ready for that. One year on however with our anniversary looming large on the horizon and we are more than happy to pass him to my sister for a long weekend whilst we meander around the Peak District, eating, drinking and ahem ‘relaxing’…
Thanks to Hannah for letting me guest write on her fantastic blog… which I have followed from the start.
Rachel tweets as @dinkythinks.