There is not much that I am an expert on really. Mind you, I used to be able to lay claim to expertise on a few scores… Such as: restaurants that allow your long lunches to continue through well into the evening without anyone giving out; which pubs have spaces that can be used as impromptu dancefloors; the best place to get a taxi (back in the days when they were as rare and wonderful as an uninterrupted night’s sleep is to me now). Alas, no more! My specialised knowledge on all these fronts has been scuppered by pregnancy, motherhood, and pregnancy again. And by taxi deregulation, to be fair.
But there is one area where I can proudly stand up and declare myself an expert – and that’s attending weddings while pregnant. Over the course of my pregnancies (and please bear in mind that I am not even half way through this one) I have attended 9 weddings. 7 on my first and 2 so far on this. Incidentally, I have also attended 3 weddings while breast-feeding – which, while not exactly the same, has certain similarities – i.e. restrictions on what you can wear (with special attention to awful underwear requirements), inability to fully partake of the free bar etc. etc.
Now, I love weddings, all of ’em. But, there are certain differences in attending a wedding when you are expecting than attending when you are footloose and bellyfree….
First of all clothes; you can get great maternity gear, but it’s great maternity gear, not quite the same as your beautiful Coast or LK Bennett dresses. I had a purple one last time, and very nice it was too. But by God, I was sick of the sight of it by the end. When I discovered I was pregnant again my mother helpfully said “isn’t that great, you can wear that lovely purple dress to so and so’s wedding”. I nearly swiped her. So this time, I have a lovely blue dress. It has been to both weddings, and has done the job perfectly. But I could have cried with envy at all the gorgeous frocks that shimmied past me over the course of both days.
Then there is the booze – and not just the fact that I can’t have (much of) it while everyone else is swilling champagne / fruit punch / wine / gin at high speed. There is also only so much fizzy water a girl can drink. I tend to vary it with a soda and lime here, an orange juice and lemonade there, but there comes a point where I just can’t do any more fizz… (I don’t get that way with champagne / cava / prosecco – strange, eh?)
And as a side point to the booze, there is the fact that I’m often driving at these occasions. Which would be fine – I like driving (except for parallel parking and that doesn’t tend to feature much at weddings) – except that following is usually the sequence…. People announce that they are ready to go, I visit the ladies (for the 515th time) and return to find that they have;
a) ordered / been bought / found another drink
b) decided to get up and dance to YMCA / rock the boat / New York, New York or
c) gotten into deep conversation with someone who appears to be crying their eyes out.
When I do eventually get the renegades into the car, they all then helpfully give me “pointers” on how I should reverse, which turn to take, and other such useful tips. All the way home.
I could go on – about going to the hotel room early ‘cos I’m knackered, only to be woken up by people singing outside or my husband barrelling through the door… About the lack of loos in churches… About forgetting my gaviscon after eating a 7 course meal…
But you get the idea – I really am an expert. It’s nice to be good at something. Roll on the next one, I have the blue dress dry-cleaned, and the car-keys ready.