I recently posted a rewrite of Baz Luhrmann's 'Wear Sunscreen' and referred to the importance of making sure you keep your pelvic floor strong and leak free. That's all very sound advice but, after my week from hell, I have a better, more important, completely crucial update that I urge you all to consider. Watch your back.
When I say that, I'm not referring to those 'friends' that talk about how fat your ass got when you're not there; I'm being literal. LOOK AFTER YOUR BACK.
On Thursday morning, I found myself alone in the house with the baby about to wake up and I was paralysed in bed. I don't mean that it was hard to get out of bed, or painful. It was so excruciatingly painful that even the thought of wiggling my little toe sent shockwaves of agony through my body that made me yearn for the 38-hours of labour. I would have preferred to give birth to three babies, breach, while sticking white hot needles into my eyeballs.
I texted my neighbour but, as it was 6.30am, she obviously had better things to do i.e. sleep. My husband was away. My parents live in Devon, so they were out. My aunt lives in Croydon but, as I live in Harrow, and rush hour in London was about to start, she may as well have been in Mordor and my neighbour wasn't answering.
I panicked. I genuinely, for the first time in my short but significant parenting history, had absolutely NO FUCKING clue what I was going to do. I couldn't not get out of bed and I had a baby to look after. There was nothing else for it...I had to call the police.
So I dialled 101 (I had no idea there was a non-emergency police number...there is; it's 101 FYI) and feeling incredibly stupid and embarrassed and all the other things in the world began to explain my predicament. Thankfully, before I got through my sad, painful, tear-stained little story, my neighbour woke up and said she was on her way.
This was 7am. She turned up in her jammies literally, just having rolled out of bed. She still had sleep lines on her cheek. She was wiping sleep from her eyes but she came straight in, got the Small, changed her nappy, gave her breakfast, made me tea, gave me a hug, gave me a tissue while I sobbed.
By this time, I had got through to my Aunt. Just like my neighbour, she jumped on a train and travelled through five worlds to get to Harrow for 9.15am. In the meantime, my mum and dad had also called and said that they were on their way. Before any of THIS happened, I had posted a desperate and humbling status on Facebook that said, "If ANYONE can help me out at home today I would be so grateful...I'm paralysed with back spasm and on my own with The Small.' By the time I got back to checking my phone I had at least eight text messages from friends saying they could help me out.
This isn't me bragging about the amount of amazing friends and family I've got (although I have). This is me apologising. This is me apologising for all my bitching and moaning about the lack of my 'village'. Sure, my village may be the spread across the entire nation (and indeed world in the case of Reagan & Elijah who have been awesome), but when I needed it, it was there. Instantly. No questions asked.
So, to Marie, the Metropolitan police, the amazing people at NHS Direct (111) and St Peter's Medical Centre...to my mum and dad, to my Aunty Marilyn, to Reagan & Elijah and to diazepam, co-codamol, ibruprofen and the occasional glass of wine...THANK YOU.
I have the best village ever.