The Newborn Diaries: Baby D does black tie
Last weekend, Diana attended her first formal dress event, a wedding in London. And I'm proud to say she was most definitely the centre of attention and stole the show from the bride. Which was perfectly fine with the bride, who happened to be me.
I was originally meant to get married on 4 September, 2010 after my boyfriend proposed last August on a trip to New York. But obviously Diana had other plans for us.
Since she was due on 9 August it made sense to postpone the big event until after her birth, considering I was vomiting and/or collapsing with exhaustion throughout my pregnancy and I would have been the bride who spent her wedding day in a heap on the bathroom floor (without having had a drink to show for it).
If I thought that waiting until after my baby was born would make me want to concentrate on the minutiae of planning a wedding, I was deluded. But actually, my laissez-faire attitude (I didn't know what the flowers would look like until I showed up on the day, to give an example) took a lot of the pressure off the big event and ultimately made everything more relaxing and enjoyable.
I wasn't so focused on being the "perfect" bride: a bridal bootcamp is pretty much out of the question when the bride in question is breastfeeding, while stressing about a flawless complexion seemed like a waste of time when I was inevitably going to be covered in spittle and leaking onto my tulle dress.
I may have avoided turning into a bridezilla, but I still had to put some effort into getting myself sorted for the big day: namely, expressing milk. While baby D was going to be present for the church ceremony and reception, dinner and dancing afterwards, for the first time ever, she wasn't going to be in my arms but in the care of a trusted and loved family nanny.
I needed about 2,000 mls of milk to make it through the day so I started freezing milk six weeks before the wedding and built up a pretty impressive collection, which meant that I could have a few glasses of champagne without worrying about getting Diana drunk (I can't say the same for myself).
Just because I wasn't planning on breastfeeding on the day didn't mean that my body suddenly stopped producing milk, so the pictures of me from the beginning of the wedding to the end of the evening look like a before and after plastic surgery campaign. The most hideous - and unglamorous - part of the day was spent with me dashing off in between courses at the wedding dinner (and during dancing afterwards) to express because I was in pain, resembling Pamela Anderson and threatening to burst out of my dress.
Unfortunately, the pump decided to break that day so I had to lock myself into the bathroom of my wedding suite at the Lanesborough, next door to chilled champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and roses strewn across the bed. To add to this picture of romance, imagine the bride perched on the tub, hand expressing breast milk into the bath. For about 40 minutes. Not exactly seductive. But if that's all I have to complain about, then I think that's a sign the day was a success.
As for Baby Diana, she had her celebrity moment as 120 guests snapped her photo, passed her around and cooed at her into the night. Despite the attention from all of the strangers, Diana was her usual contented and smiling self.
And she wasn't the worst behaved guest either - the copious champagne on offer pre-dinner caused more than one embarrassing exit among the males in attendance, and one of them ended up redecorating the carpet outside the dance floor (Baby D even got through the day without pooing on her clothes or spitting up).
I thought that after the chaos and emotional whirlwind of baby, getting married wouldn't be so special, and I'm happy to say that it did still seem like a fairy tale and for one day, I wasn't the harried, clueless new mum but a woman in love who felt like a princess.
Of course, I swiftly crashed back to reality with a five-day hangover, the result of four glasses of champagne.
As for Diana, she slept all day for the next few days from post-wedding exhaustion. Which means that she's been up every hour throughout the night since.
Read previous instalments of The Newborn Diaries here.