Throw a baby into the wedding mix and watch stress levels rise

Throw a baby into the wedding mix and watch stress levels rise

claire belle freed small
Claire Belle Freed

By Claire Belle FREED (and Elijah!), ‘Confessions of a (nearly) Yummy Mummy’.

You have had months to plan the perfect dress, hair, make up, accessories and you try to look as fabulous as you can…and that’s pretty fabulous. You can let your hair down for almost a whole day and night and relish in the joy of your loved ones joining under the chuppah as man and wife.

Now, throw a six-month-old baby into the mix. Totally different story.

In October, there was the wedding of my darling brother-in-law and his gorgeous new wife. I have been blessed with a brother-in-law who has become one of my closest friends and the same goes for his bride. The engagement news came just after we announced I was pregnant…

So straight away, even before my 12-week scan, my lovely mother-in-law started planning, not the flowers, or the food, or even the suits, but: “how the baby will get to the synagogue” and “will the baby will be able to be in all of the photos?” You can see why they might have thought we were trying to steal their thunder.

So, back to the planning. It’s fine. I’ve lost quite a lot of my baby weight (so bored of counting those wretched Points), so finding a nice dress shouldn’t be too much of a nightmare.

I’ve just had all my hair cut off (partly for style, partly for necessity – have you ever had a baby constantly yanking your hair?!) So having that look good shouldn’t be a problem. Make up and preening? I’ll have roughly an hour-and-a-half while Elijah naps to carefully apply flawless make up, spritz on some spray tan and work my new do.

OK. Plan done. Now, onto Elijah.

Whereas I’ve spent about 10 minutes thinking how to make myself look wed- ding ready, I’ve spent the past few months planning what he will wear, how to plan his food and bottles, how to reschedule his naps and how to ensure he doesn’t scream during the chuppah and throughout the rigorous photo session.

His outfit: well, it has to be adorable, appropriate, stylish and fabulous.

Practicality doesn’t really apply when it comes to being a baby at a wedding. So, the search started when he was only three months old and continued until about two weeks before the wedding (my search for my dress started three weeks before the wedding and ended two weeks and five days before it. Everything had to be wrapped up in one trip to Brent Cross).

Finally, a gorgeous three-piece suit and bow tie was chosen. Cue gushing proud Jewish mum moment. What a handsome boy I have! The wedding day went smoothly with hardly any tears (from the baby… shed loads from me). He let out a loud laugh during an inappropriate moment under the chuppah, but he could have done a lot worse.

Of course no one could take away this moment from the stunning bride… but Elijah did his best. Imagine 250 people seeing a six-month- old in a tux; need I say more?

Now, babies need naps during the day. Elijah needs naps to prevent him being a world-class grump. It was at this point he suddenly realised he hadn’t slept and had had 250 people squeezing his cheeks and decided to let rip – just in time for the all-important photos.

Needless to say, the photos are normally the most stressful part of any wedding…throw in a cranky, overtired, bowtie-bound baby and the stress levels go through the roof. The night nurse couldn’t get there fast enough. I was literally counting down the minutes before she turned up and I could hand him over.

Once 5.30pm came around, it was time for Mama to let her (short) hair down. The baby was upstairs in our hotel room sound asleep, watched over by a highly-recommended night nurse and, finally, after the most tense, emotional, beautiful, stressful, wonderful, terrifying, crazy few hours to get one tiny baby through one of the most important weddings in my life, this almost yummy mummy got a glass – or three –of champers and some delicious canapés (always the best bit).

There are no more weddings for a few more months, right? Right?!

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