Last weekend, at the late stage of 38 weeks pregnant, we travelled down to Hastings to attend the wedding of 2 of our best friends, Ben and Jen.
Now said friends had said for a long time that they didn't expect us to come but we really didn't want to miss it. They have been really good friends for a long time (G Kisby started infant school with Ben), G Kisby was to be best man and I was asked to do a reading.
And aside from all that 2 years ago they changed their flights to return from India where they were travelling to come to our wedding and surprised us by turning up the night before, which was just fab.
We pretty much couldn't find anyone (bar our immediate friends who were somewhat biased) who thought it was a good idea for us to travel so far from home. So much so that I almost doubted the decision myself at times.
But last Friday armed with hospital bag, local hospital details, car seat, midwife notes and a pillow to try and get comfy for the 5.5 hour journey we head off on our trip. Mabel was happily packed up for a weekend at one of her favourite places. Remembering that she was off to Granny's she awoke on Friday morning with the word, "Kenkie" followed shortly thereafter by a run down of all those she would be seeing. So lovely and so much easier to know how much she loves being there (as always, huge thanks family).
We stayed with a group of friends in a lodge not far from the church and split up on the Friday night with the boys heading into Brighton (where they live) for drinks and a curry with Ben. Us girls stayed closer to 'home', and notably had a slightly lower key evening.
The day of the wedding started with a fairly stressful phone call to say that Jen (the bride) had been in a car crash. It was actually a pretty bad head on collision involving 5 cars but thank goodness she walked away with bruising and whip lash. It could have been much worse. The wedding was put back an hour but still went ahead. And luckily Jen's gorgeous dress covered most of the horrendous bruising that was starting.
And it was just ace, we are so so glad we didn't miss it. The church was lit by candles which made the rainy / dark day really romantic. Jen arrived with 6 little bridesmaids dressed in white crotchet dresses and gold pumps. There were splashes of colour in an otherwise neutral scheme (every bridesmaid and Jen herself held different bunches of wild flowers grown at her parent's farm) and Jen looked stunning in a slinky satin dress with a low back, pearls and red lipstick. A kind of combination of Hollywood glamour with 1950's vintage. Ben has always been keen to portray an image of the 'non committal' guy and to be fair for a long time Jen likewise so it was so fab to watch them finally tie the knot and look so in love.
Afterwards we went back to Jen's parent's farm where they had a huge marquee. The wedding was all about them (which is exactly how it should be) including curry for dinner (yum), a huge homemade cake table, tons of wine flowing and dancing well into the early hours. Their first dance was from Pulp Fiction, I have never seen a dance floor fill so quickly.
G Kisby pulled off a brilliant best man's speech. I think I was more nervous than him and had to shut myself up asking if he was o.k prior. I just think there is a lot of pressure on doing a funny speech, not something I would relish I have to say. However, Ben had (unfortunately for him) provided some excellent pictorial content and a cleverly constructed PowerPoint presentation alongside some great timing on the delivery made for lots of laughs (reaction below)...
The only slight panic on the night came from my body giving me a reminder that this baby is getting ready to come out. At 9ish I suddenly felt a bit of a mini 'gush' and absolutely panicked. After discretely checking the cushion on the seat I was sitting on for damage I dashed to the toilet. I stood there looking down in fear, my tights were definitely wet and I am pretty sure it wasn't wee. I didn't genuinely think we were going to have a Southern baby, nor had I any way of getting G Kisby to help me if it was my waters and they continued to flow down my leg. Luckily nothing else happened but it did give me a jolt and we left shortly afterwards in order to get an early night for a 6am start to drive home. Felt we were on borrowed time.
Nothing else has happened since. I did put the experience down to bladder failure (unfortunate) since I thought a 'show' had to include blood. However, looking on the Internet I do wonder if that is what it was and actually that it doesn't mean that labour is immediately imminent, though obviously it is pretty much on the cards anytime.
I am now taking it 'slightly' easier (no more swimming for me). Can't believe that we are now due in 5 days, though we both think that I might be overdue.
The hypnobirthing books are back out and I am trying to keep focusing on natural, positive thoughts so I don't scare myself.
We are all ready and waiting (much more prepared than with Mabel). I can't imagine it happening but I know that it will anytime...too too exciting!
Will update the blog as and when there are any developments...