Looking back and looking forward

This Sunday just gone was our one year anniversary. I have now been a married woman, a wife, for one whole year and three days. 

That’s 368 days. I’d like to say 368 utterly wonderful days, but I’ve spent 258 of those days being pregnant, and therefore a large proportion of those days has been spent either throwing up or peeing. But you know, apart from that, they’ve been wonderful. 

It all seems a bit surreal right now.

A year ago we were lying on a tropical island with our toes just touching the sparkling water, sipping cocktails, and basking in that (irritating to all but the couple in question) glow that only newly married couples can have, with no idea of what the future would bring. Except that whatever it did bring, we would be together.  Husband and wife. A married couple. It was exciting and thrilling, and at the same time comforting and comfortable.  

We were living in Russia, where the temperature was about to dip below zero and remain at around -20 for the next six months. We had plans to travel, and see the world. Living life as a young couple with no ties and the world at their feet. Holding hands and taking leaps into the unknown.

We did not have plans for babies quite yet. Or to move to a country where when the thermometer shows below 30C people start commenting on how chilly it is.

But here we are, one year later. 37 weeks pregnant. Living in Malaysia. And you know what – it wasn’t where we thought we’d be, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

It does make you wonder where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing on our second anniversary though. If this much can change in the first year, how much can change in the second year (especially when you throw another human being into the mix)?  And where will we be in five years, ten years, twenty years from now? What other unexpected situations will life have thrown at us? I know one thing for sure though – if our relationship grows and improves like it has done in this first year, we have a long and rather bloody wonderful marriage ahead of us.

Happy Anniversary Mr Wells – here’s to what the rest of our life will bring!

————————————

Ahem. Ok. I think that might be the most sentimental I’ve ever got on this blog. I promise it won’t happen again. Blame it on the hormones. Normal service will now be resumed. 

Talking of hormones, I’m still pregnant. Very much pregnant. 

As of tomorrow, it is three weeks until my due date. According to the internets, (which we all know are never wrong), that not only means that my baby is now the size of a swiss chard or watermelon, but that I am now classified as ‘full-term’. 

I.e., any day now, I could be expected to push this baby out of my uterus. Any day now, I could become a MOTHER. Any day now we could be walking back into our home with a tiny new-born baby in a huge car-seat, wondering what on earth we’ve done and how we’re ever going to cope.

I’m going to stop talking about it now because I’m starting to hyperventilate and don’t want to bring on labour (Andy is back in the UK until the end of the week, so the baby and I have come to the agreement that we will wait until at least next week to meet one-another). But you get the idea. Any day now. So I apologise now if I suddenly go a bit quiet over the next few weeks. I have some posts lined up and ready to go, but from what I’ve heard, looking after a baby is going to take up considerably more time than growing bones has done, so I will be taking a little break when the baby decides he/she is ready to remove its foot from underneath my ribcage and make an appearance. Anna and Aisling will no doubt keep you up-to-date with what’s going on with me, and of course I’ll post a picture as soon as my brain is functioning on a level marginally higher than ‘survival’. 

Talking of pictures, I have some to show you. No no, don’t worry, these are not my normal spectacularly bad quality iPad pictures. These pictures are at the opposite end of the spectrum. 

I know I’ve not talked about my life here in KL much, but I will do at some other point I promise (this post is already lacking in cohesion as it is). What I will say now though is how utterly welcoming and friendly every single person that I’ve met has been. I have made friends here so quickly. I already have a group of girls, any one of which I could phone and could meet for coffee and a chat, and who have all, without hesitation, offered to be there for me if I go into labour whilst Andy’s away. It’s like having real life AOW girls as friends. Not that you’re not all real life, but you know, I’m not sure you’d be up for popping around for coffee. Not that you’re not all welcome.

One of these lovely people, is my new friend Chloe who has also just arrived in KL, and who is also pregnant, so we have quickly formed a bond based on shared circumstances and swollen feet. What she has though, that I will never have, is huge creative talent (we all know how creatively challenged I am), and she has just set up her own photography business over here. When she suggested we have play around and do a bump shoot together I jumped at the chance because I’m thinking that my iPad pictures are not exactly going to become family heirlooms. I say ‘I jumped at the chance’ because I did…but then shortly after agreeing I had that horrible realisation that that meant I was going to have to have my picture taken. 

As Lucy Stendall will tell you, I am not a natural model. I get nervous. And uncomfortable. And when I get nervous and uncomfortable, I start talking. And pictures of me talking are not all that flattering. Lucy found the best way to prevent this was to shout at me every time I went to open my mouth, so I took this to heart, and every time I went to talk whilst Chloe was taking pictures, I would picture beautiful Lucy screeching at me. It worked a treat.

Neither Lucy or I though can take any of the credit for these pictures. They are all down to the supremely talented Chloe whose website you really need to go and check out (more of the pictures from my shoot are here). And then fly over to Malaysia to have your picture taken by her. Deal?

To make a thirty six weeks pregnant, highly uncomfortable me, look as serene as this, in temperatures in the mid-thirties is not something that happens by chance. To take pictures of me wearing not all that much at thirty six weeks pregnant that I am happy to post for the interwebs to see takes some serious talent. Chloe has worked wonders.

See…slightly better than the iPad pictures, yes?

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Life Experience, Marriage, Travel, Your Favourite Posts
18 interesting thoughts on this

17 Comments

  1. Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness me, you may just be the goddarn prettiest pregnant person I've seen.

    Good luck for the upcoming weeks – I'm sure you are going to do amazingly well with the whole pushing out a watermelon but! And I know we are all v excited to meet the first AOB!

    Xxx

  2. Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    'Bit' I meant, not 'but'…x

  3. Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Oh Clare you look gorgeous. All the very very best with everything.

  4. Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    you look splendid and cannot wait for you to pop! x

  5. Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I am rendered speechless. These pictures are next level INCREDIBLE. Clare you look AMAZING. All the good lucky things I had to say before I scrolled down have left my brain. I will be back when I've picked my jaw off the floor and reattached it.

    Px

  6. Anonymous
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    (Katie here, but on client's computer – bookkeeping today)

    Happy Anniversary!

    Beautiful photos. Chloe is uber talented.

    Well done on making friends so quickly – sounds like you already have your Kuala Lumpar support network in place. I'm impressed.

    xx

  7. Anonymous
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    (Katie here, but on client's computer – bookkeeping today)

    Happy Anniversary!

    Beautiful photos. Chloe is uber talented.

    Well done on making friends so quickly – sounds like you already have your Kuala Lumpar support network in place. I'm impressed.

    xx

  8. Mahj
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Good God, Clare you look ruddy fantastic. Dear God, please may I look like Clare when I finally decide to grow feet?!
    If I'm in this in awe of your pregnant photos, I may collapse when AOB arrives!

    xoxo

    PS. I love the talk about Malaysia, it reminds me of honeymoon!

  9. Sarah
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Wow, Clare you look wonderful. You have now set the standard for pregancy style – I will also want to waft around in lovely floaty things looking amazing. Every day.

    Lots of luck for the big day and looking forward to more pics of AOB!x

  10. Posted November 9, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Clare you look amazing! Good luck with AOB, I'm so pleased you are in a friendly, supportive environment!

    X

  11. Posted November 9, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    W.O.W. Clare those photos are just beautiful. What lovely images to have and for AOB to look back on and treasure. And you look so radiant and glowing and beautiful. How are you making pregnancy look this damn glamourous?!

    Happy anniversary to you and Mr Wells, embrace the soppiness! :-D and all the best thoughts in the world for the arrival of AOB!

    K x

  12. Posted November 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Wowsa, Clare! You look beautiful and so serene. Gorgeous shoot! Hope Chloe can do a shoot of you and AOB soon too.

    Happy anniversary to you and your hubby!

    Looking forward to hearing more about KL in the future.

    xXX

  13. Posted November 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    So glad you are settling in well over there! Sorry for my lack of comments lately, been super busy and reading on my phone in gaps at work but HAD to come on properly tonight to say WOW, Clare these pictures are amazing and you just look fantastic! Uber-jealous of you over there – my parents are there right now and constantly uploading amazing diving pictures to facebook, grrr!

    Can't wait to see the pics of AOB when she arrives – (I'm voting for girl) ;)
    x

  14. Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you look absolutely stunning in those photos, Clare – you may have spent most of the last 258 days throwing up and/or peeing, but you make the whole being pregnant thing look rather glamourous (even if that's the last thing you feel!).

    Hope the last few days/weeks (whatever they may be…) go smoothly for you, and really can't wait to hear about the babba.

    And congrats to you and Andy for your first year of marriage – here's to an even better second year.

    xxx

  15. Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    C, no matter how shite, tired, throwy uppy you may have felt over the last eight months, no matter how much panic, or thoughts of being on the baby train and UNABLE TO GET OFF, seriously.

    LOOK AT YOU.

    Like A said: "I'm getting all emosh" – yep. Too right. Grace and elegance and poise. And contentedness.

  16. Mrs Jones
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    You look unbelievable! So utterly incredible. LOVE the b&w; sideways shot.

  17. Posted November 10, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Claire!

    You are so damn thin! You have a beautiful big baby bump… but look at the rest of you. The most amazing pregnancy pic's I've seen. By far. Can't believe how well your carrying it.

    Good luck with everything! Can't believe you're in KL… but a stone's throw away from me!

    Naomi

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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