Kate Cameron is a 29-year-old mum to be, who starred on the 2016 season of The Bachelor NZ. She'll be writing an exclusive column for us every fortnight, sharing her journey to new motherhood, and her real - not perfect - take on life.
"My 30th birthday is in two days, 12 hours and 41 seconds.
Before this whirlwind pregnancy, I imagined having a lavish 30th birthday party where I'd host all my friends in a beautiful garden setting with the table laid, and a delicious Italian lunch for all. I would drink too much rose (of course) and likely end up singing one of Celine Dion’s greatest hits on top of the table using an empty wine bottle as my microphone. I would call for espresso martinis to be ordered far too early in the afternoon and probably announce to the table at some point in the afternoon that I was going to spontaneously book a one way ticket to Europe – then and there. After all, I had me, myself and I to worry about. So why not?
Roll on 12 months and instead of planning this lavish party, I am on excel writing a budget for laying down carpet in our new house, signing up to anti-natal classes and counting down the days until our beautiful little girl here. So much has changed this past year, I can't help but think how different it will be in 12 months time. I thought it would be fun to write a letter to myself that I will read on my 31st birthday, once I'm a mum.
Dear Mama Kate,
I've been thinking about you, and what your life must be like. How different it must be from the one I know so well. For the record, at this point in time, you wouldn't change a thing. You're happily growing your baby girl, and you just can't wait to meet her.
At 4am most nights, your old life would consist of dreaming about advertising sales numbers and Alfie (our dog) snoring half way down the bed. On weekends you were climbing into bed after a night out with friends, leaving your make up on, giving your Uber driver a 5 star rating at the same time (because you both had agreed to do so).
In your new life I can imagine the baby monitor is going off, and you're realising you were only awake a few hours ago. You walk in a zombie state and hit your head on the nursery door. But you are greeted by a beautiful gurgling baby sound,and you spend the next wee while feeding and talking to your little girl. Saying this, you would probably kill for eight hours straight sleep right now.
7am. In you old life you'd be getting up to walk Alfie before work, pacing the streets like you didn’t have enough time in the day to get the walk done. You’d stop off at your local café and have a long black with cream while Alfie sat on your lap. You would both people watch for twenty minutes or so and absorb the hype of Ponsonby Roadd before going home to shower. You always thought there was never enough time in the morning to get ready, when really you had about two hours and a five minute drive to work.
In your new life, your baby girl is probably needing another feed, change, and a nap. You might have five minutes to quickly jump into the shower, apply some BB Cream and chuck your hair up in a messy bun. You then decide to take the baby for a walk in your active wear. You’re half asleep anyway, so you are oblivious to those looking at you like a looney while they commute to work.
By Midday in old world Kate, it's time for sushi, or salad, and fretting over carbs. The trials of life!
But now, your baby has been crying trying to channel Picasso. She has spewed a work of art on your top, at at this moment you're probably feeling grateful that your current look makes you unrecognisable to anyone you might know on your travels.
6pm. In your old life Brandon and I would be deciding last minute to head up the road to our local food court (we forgot to defrost the meat). I'd order cashew chicken and we'd catch up on our days and people watch in peace. I hear a screaming baby and I think 'that poor couple.'
Nowadays, Brandon is home and you're probably relieved to see another adult. You pass baby over to him and try and prevent dinner from burning (You've never been a great multi-tasker). Finally she is in bed and before you know it you're dribbling and watching the TV show through your eyelids. It’s only 7:30pm, but it's been a long day.
By 8pm it’s all got too much and it’s time for bed. You go to sleep not counting advertising sales but the number of nappies you've changed and the number of times you've been spewed (and probably pooed) on.
So Mama Kate, I know you will read this in twelve months and laugh. But at 24 weeks pregnant and 2 days, 12 hours and 41 seconds away from being 30, my biggest advice to you now is to enjoy the present moment. You may not be sipping on rose on your birthday like you imagine, but what I hope you've found is that being a mother has injected a sense of stability you’ve always sought.
It’s going to be your biggest role yet, so treat yourself on your birthday to a glass of sparkling grape juice and toast to the crazy wonderful ride. After all, this little soul has chosen you for a reason, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Pre-baby Kate xxx
Read the next installment of Kate's pregnancy column in two weeks by checking our parenting section here.
Follow Kate on her Instagram page here.