In the early days of pregnancy, there’s a fine line between looking like you enjoyed your dinner and looking like you’ve got something cooking in there. We knew there’d come a point when we’d need to start acknowledging our bumps during shows so audiences didn’t get distracted by thoughts of: “Is she...? But is she also? They can’t both be...can they?” and we knew that point had probably come when we got chatting to someone in the bar after a gig and mentioned that we were both pregnant and she said “Ohhh, I did wonder. But I thought it was just bad diet.”
Now there’s no way of hiding it, and part of the joy of having a bump is that people feel they can say anything to you. A sales assistant in M&S approached Fi in the (sensible) shoes section the other week and asked her when she was due, then quickly segued into a rant about everything her daughter had done wrong since becoming pregnant. Sandy’s grandson had come early (her daughter’s fault for working too long), been quite small (her daughter’s fault for working too hard), and had a “ridiculous name” (her daughter’s fault for marrying a man whose Grandfather was called Ronnie). Fi said that Sandy’s daughter sounded like a terrible mother, which made Sandy beam with pride, and agreed it was definitely within Sandy’s rights to call Ronnie a reasonable name like Matthew if that’s what she wanted to do.
Meanwhile on a visit to Italy to see her husband’s family, Hannah found herself inundated with advice from all the Mammas in the district about not going outside for at least six months after the birth “because the air is full of germs”, and making sure the baby is always dressed in a vest and long socks “to protect from drafts”. Several local matriarchs crossed the road to stroke and talk to her belly, but communing with the bump wasn’t enough for Hannah’s mother-in-law: she wanted to see the baby. So she did what any normal grandmother-to-be would do and booked a scan that she could attend (through a friend of a friend - this is Italy).
Unfortunately the baby wasn’t completely on board with the idea. Granny G was treated to a brief glimpse of fibia, a few lovely-looking internal organs, and this image:
That’s a firm two fingers up to anyone who wants to see its face.
Hannah’s now concerned about teaching her baby some manners – surely Sandy would have something to say about such prenatal rudeness – and Fi’s started thinking about all the criticisms her own Mum might be sharing with strangers (“She’s still doing gigs! She’s paying some hippy to teach her about childbirth! The other day, she said she liked the name Ronnie!”)