I took my changing body shape as a matter of course. This is what happens when you are pregnant and so you go with the flow, adjusting your daily activities and taking things a little easier, especially in the final weeks. I would have twinges or a stitch sometimes, usually occurring after I had taken Ash for his walk. I saw this as my body’s way of telling me to slow down a little, and so I did. At night I would feel stronger movements in my belly – often when I was exhausted and longed for sleep – but it gave me reassurance rubbing my hand over my belly and I would find myself smiling, knowing that everything was progressing as it should.
By February the following year I started to “nest”, preparing for the arrival of my child. A natural occurrence, preparing your home, the nursery, making sure everything was almost in a sanitized state for when you brought this new little person back home. When I had run out of cleaning, I was decorating the nursery in unisex colours and brightly coloured murals, or I was shopping for pale green or pale blue or lemon singlets, grow suits, booties and bibs.
I purchased books on children, on child rearing and read and re-read every invaluable chapter, some of the photographs of newborns with such obstinate expressions on their faces, made me think they were quite ‘ugly’ as terrible as that may sound. I know every baby in their mother’s eyes is beautiful, but in my heart, whether I was delusional or not, I knew that my baby would be beautiful!
My mother’s advice, lovingly imparted, was also somewhat redundant, as back in ‘their’ day they were drugged up considerably for the birth. I don’t think anyone can truly explain what you will go through or how to prepare yourself, because every birth and pregnancy can be so different. But as much as I wanted a natural childbirth I investigated going through labour under hypnotherapy.
**My Memoir The Empty Nest A Mother’s Hidden Grief is now available on Amazon and Lulu (J M Kadane)**