Today my husband and I have been married five years. I’ve done my research, and it’s genuinely true that you can get less for murder.
We’re celebrating in true Mr and Mrs Buckingham style… with alcohol.
I’m not one for being soppy. Quite the opposite. But it got me thinking about time, and for once not about how quickly it flies, but about how much changes in a relatively short timeframe. When we walked down the aisle 1,826 days ago, we were leading lives that are barely recognisable from the ones we live today.
The biggest change is that two became four.
It took 81 weeks of pregnancy and 23 months of maternity leave to get there.
I never ‘glowed’ – I was a grumpy blob that waddled around eating crisps and chocolate. I ached everywhere, I had horrendous heartburn, I suffered from SPD (savage pain that feels like someone’s repeatedly kicked you in the pelvis with steel capped boots on) and low platelets. I was angry at even the thought of someone daring to drink wine or eat good cheese near me. I was a barrel of laughs.
But those long 81 weeks led to two healthy, happy, beautiful babies, so they were worth every second.
Not that I’d be tempted to do it again.
Both pregnancies led to c-sections – one emergency, one planned – and a total of eight days in hospital. Two trying to coax a baby out, one in labour, one in theatre, one holding our baby’s hand as she recovered in intensive care in the neonatal unit, and the rest recovering from surgery. Without the unfaltering care of the NHS and the quick thinking of our midwives, I honestly don’t know if I’d be sat here saying we have two daughters. We can’t thank them enough. They’re amazing.
We’ve had four cars. Unadventurously, all Mazda’s. We’ve moved house and postcode. We’ve been on eight holidays to Mexico, Sussex, Devon and Cornwall. Guess which one was pre-children!
I’ve been employed by three companies. Four if you count my own. My husband has been employed by two. We’ve both been through TUPE following the sale of the companies we worked for, and I was made redundant. If someone told us back in 2013 that my husband would work full-time from home, and I’d be self-employed and splitting my time between working in a client’s office in London, working from home freelancing, and looking after our children, we’d have thought they were mad.
In those five years we’ve been given the titles of brother and sister in-law, Auntie and Uncle, and Godmother. We’ve celebrated ten of our family and friends tying the knot, my parents reaching their ruby wedding anniversary, and lots of our loved ones hitting milestone birthdays.
Having children has shifted our lives immeasurably, but the thing that brings it home most is when I look at our wedding photos and see four faces staring back at me who are no longer with us. It’s so hard to believe that four of the people we shared love, laughter, and raised a glass with that day, aren’t here anymore. A heart-breaking statistic.
Looking back at the last 1,826 days has shown me that I genuinely have no idea what life might look like in five years’ time.
Our first dance was a Noel Gallagher song, so it feels apt to sum it up using a line from The Masterplan by Oasis: “It’s up to us to make the best of all the things that come our way.”
I’ll raise a glass to that.