Modern love story of two woman and their family. I'm Amber, and Meet the Wildes is a modern love story about two women who fell in love, and the family they made together. Mostly I write about my life with my partner, Kirsty, and our two sets of twins - boys born in October 14 and girls born in July 16.
5+6. It is snowing again. I leave the office well after dark, treading carefully on the ice lest I slip, and hurt the baby. The world is so beautiful, frosted over like a cake; it seems full of magic and wonder. It is so cold that it almost hurts to breathe, and I find myself marvelling yet again at my life, at my tremendous fortune, to find myself working here, which I love, and going home to them, whom I love. My heart feels swollen and I am giddy with the joy of it all, with the snowflakes dancing a blizzard about me and landing in my hair. I don’t begin to register the dampness until I’m on the Underground. By the time that we pull in to Waterloo, it is starkly apparent that I am bleeding. And I am thinking to myself, as I walk toward the escalator, that this is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have never lost a pregnancy before. My legs are shaking. And because I am remembering the image of our blastocyst in its Petri dish, how it looked like the moon, I don’t think to stop. I am rushing to get home, to take the progesterone that might, if I grasp at straws, put an end to this catastrophe. So I take the escalator steps two at a time and settle myself onto the train, which is gravid with commuters seeking refuge from the snow. And… View Post
It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep; Kirsty is sleeping away from home tonight, with the children, they are enjoying a night at my mother-in-law’s and I didn’t go because they will all be fast asleep on the living room floor and by the time that I would have turned up after work all four would have been sound-o, and we didn’t fancy trying to get four semi-hysterical toddlers back to bed after their mama had woken them up. But now the house is silent and dark save for me tapping away on the laptop keyboard, because I can’t sleep. I’ve never been much good at sleeping when the house is empty. It’s not that I am afraid to sleep alone, it’s just that Kirsty and I are so rarely apart that it feels odd not to wait up for her, like a labrador. Even when I am trying to wind down, I find myself listening for the sound of her key in the door. She even has the dog. So I thought that I would write a quick update as to what we’ve been up to recently, pregnancy aside. I find that I get so caught up in writing little updates on instagram, I forget that not everybody uses it or follows me – and of course, my blog audience was my first. Some of you have been here since before my sons were even born. Our daughters turned eighteen months old on the 30th January. On… View Post
It’s not often that I spend a full day with my ‘firstborn’, as we sometimes call the dog. Woodland walks and pootles around our local parks are typically enjoyed with two, if not four, toddlers in tow. This in itself is lovely, of course, but sometimes I crave little excursions of just the two of us; a chance to connect. Josephine-dog has been my dog for six years next month; she was my dog before my children were born, she has been my devoted companion for almost all of my adult life. There is something special about spending time with her, about the way that in quiet spaces, she seems almost able to hear my thoughts and to respond. We were excited to be invited to a ‘Behind the Scenes with Bakers’ event on Thursday, just me and the bearded lady. I requested and was granted the day out of the office, took the little chaps to nursery and then hopped on the train with my little dog to go and learn more about Bakers. We started the day with coffees and a chance to chat amongst ourselves – it was lovely to see Hannah from Make, Do and Push and Laura from Five Little Doves, with their little companions in tow. Josephine-dog enjoyed a polite sniff of both, and a little meet-and-greet with the other dogs there as well. It was good to meet the Purina team, as well as to meet Sandra Strong from ‘Dog Film School’ and ‘Pippin’… View Post
It’s the fifth of February. I’m laying on my back, thighs parted and held apart. And I am trying to steady my breathing; I feel as though my lungs are leaking. There is something about this position that makes me feel small, that reminds me of the frogs that Persephone and Magnus used to startle from the detritus around the pond, the frogs that would lay prone and still upon their backs like little, breathing corpses. I am trying to remind myself that this is consensual, that I was excited for this; I am telling myself the story of it as though I am a small child, the way that my heart thudded like horses racing as the bus took me from the stop by the Dorchester Hotel all the way to the Lister, how just ten minutes ago the embryologists beamed like children receiving a commendation in assembly as I took the photograph of the blastocyst on the screen and immortalised the before-you-were-human forever. The doctor between my legs is explaining what she is doing, she is apologising, I can feel my lips mouthing ‘fuck’ over again and just as my body begins to twist away from the pain it is over and she is retreating, with a scraping sensation and a platitude that I barely hear. My body feels like a bruised apple. It feels like an apple that has been thrown against the wall until the skin has split and the flesh is mashed. I replace my… View Post
I am pregnant. The baby is three weeks and four days old and smaller than a full stop at the end of a sentence. It is such early days; it was only on Monday that the baby was transferred from cryopreservation to my womb, and we found out yesterday that I was expecting. My head is a mess of emotion; this baby was (obviously) so planned and is so wanted, and yet I am feeling everything right now. Enormous joy, what-have-we-done terror, sadness for those friends to whom babies don’t come so easily and for whom my news might feel like a knife in the heart. And this pregnancy feels like a bit of a shock; we made a whirlwind decision in mid-January to bring forward our planned frozen embryo transfer, which was originally planned for March, and to see that beautiful double line on a test so soon… my own heart is so full. All week long, the boys have been talking about Baby Winter. In fact on Wednesday, as the snowflakes began to topple from the sky, Balthazar turned to Kirsty and he said “Yook, Mummy – it’s snowing for Baby Winter!”. Kirsty texted me immediately, because it seemed such a strange connection for a three-year-old to make. I should have taken it as a sign. Of course, these are such early days and there are no guarantees of a baby to welcome home at the end of this – but we are full of hope. And whatever the outcome,… View Post
Tuesday, CD5. On the table, I think about the meat under my skin; the yellow blubber into which I’ve pressed the needles, the throb of arteries and swoosh of blood and the jumble of organs inside of me. I am worlds away from the susurrus of consultation between my thighs. The rise and fall of my breaths are tsunamis and my being is displaced. So I build a boat for my mind and float away on the water. I am untouchable until they speak my name. This will all be worth it for the baby: approximately one-hundred-and-fifty cells of human potential whom the embryologist graded ‘perfect’ one October, just as the leaves were turning golden, before tucking it away for its long Winter. I have given up coffee and I decline champagne in the boardroom, laughing when when a colleague asks me pointedly if I am pregnant again. But I feel contaminated by the memories, the body-that-was-not-my-body that will belong, for a time, if it sticks, to this perfect new human. How can I convince an embryo to make a home of this toxic wasteland? I don’t know how to be habitable. But oh, beautiful tiny human, I want you. When I picture our future I can see you; the boys and their sisters are exploring the beach together, they are investigating the rock pools, gentle hands cupping tiny crabs, running strands of seaweed through their fingers, displaying to each other tiny treasures and then bringing them to you, our… View Post
I’ve been calling it my Thirties Eve. Birthdays don’t tend to hit me hard. Sixteen was interesting; my headteacher at the time gave me a card that said a more diplomatic version of ‘golly, we thought you might have snuffed it by now’. Twenty-one surprised me, even I suspected that I might have pegged it by then. But ever since that time, the passing of years has been a joy. My twenties have brought me so much happiness; a reunion with the love of my life, children that make my heart beat a little faster whenever I look at them. My twenties brought stability and financial security, my twenties brought wonder. Twenty-nine feels like the beginning of the end of something beautiful. And whilst I have such high hopes for what thirty will bring, I feel nervous. I guess it’s a good thing that I have a year to prepare. Tell me what your thirties have been like for you..?
On Christmas night, we walked the mile between your Grandy’s home and ours. It was brilliantly cold; the ice made the town look sugar-glazed and we puffed our breath into the air like dragons. I had worried about how you would cope with walking a mile after bedtime at the end of an exhausting day, whether it would try your enormous hearts and you would end up puddled and crying on the pavement whilst we stood helpless, your baby sisters strapped to our bodies. But you navigated the mile’s walk by fairylight, running from house to house, exclaiming over the beauty of the decorations. You stopped at the roadsides and gripped our hands; yours felt so cold and small in mine. I wish that I had the words to describe how much you mean to me, how I didn’t know that love could start in my chest but encompass my whole body, that I could feel love in my fingertips, until I became your mother. I looked down at your shining little faces, little white moons in the darkness of night, and I felt so happy and proud that you were mine. You have been calling the festive period ‘my Christmas’. You have taken possession of this stressful, emotionally overwhelming season and you have turned it into something wonderful. I think that my favourite thing about being a mother is in discovering all of the beauty in the world through your eyes; the way that you can take something as ordinary as a walk… View Post
Twenty-eighteen. There is so much that I hope for this year; the year that will close with my thirtieth birthday. I have so many beautiful, wild dreams. Some of them are quite big – I want quite desperately to take my waterbabies overseas this year, to watch them play on gentle sands – and some are smaller, little hopes that sit plumply within grasping distance if I just find the courage to reach out for them. A most important one for me is that I want to learn to mother better; I love these babies of mine so fiercely that sometimes I am afraid that it will crack me, that one day I will be sat in the office and I will feel myself snap and shatter, pieces of myself strewn across the desk that is never quite tidy. Sometimes I don’t know where to direct it, the waves of emotion, the sudden overwhelming longing to hold them when they are at home or nursery and I am so far away that it could be a different world. I place so much meaning on our weekends together that when it doesn’t go to plan, as it sometimes goes with two three-year-olds, I feel so angry – which isn’t fair on them because three years old is such a baby, really, and I want them to believe that the world in which they are growing is a just world and to believe, for now at least, that their parents always hold… View Post
I want to love Christmas. I do. Mulled wine and Mama kissing Santa Claus, decorated trees and tinsel, and tinsel, and tinsel. Every year I promise myself that I will immerse myself in it, face-first, that I will breathe Father Christmas in so deeply that if you cut my wrists I’ll bleed in candy cane stripes. And every year, by the end of the first week of December I am ready to take three Vallium and politely request that somebody wake me up on the first of January. The only part of the traditional Christmas that I’ve ever managed to get fully behind is mulled wine. I thought that this year would be my turning point; this year is the first year that it is more about them than it is about me, the first year in which my little boys know the songs, address every fat, elderly man as Father Christmas, love our little tree with a Druid-like passion and are so excited for presents that sometimes their throats catch and their eyes brim with tears. This year, they reminded me whenever they saw me that ‘my Christmas is coming soon’ and I hugged them to me and thought yes, it is your Christmas. A few months ago, the Alex and Alexa team invited me to their Mayfair office for a coffee. We have collaborated previously on content for their blog and for mine, and separately for an instagram feature or two, and over the course of our cup of coffee the subject of Christmas arose… View Post