About six weeks ago at my Midwife appointment, I mentioned I was struggling with the emotional side of being pregnant. I had been prompted to do so by a few comments and tweets I had after one of my recent posts, so decided to be brave and speak up. The Midwife was very lovely and sympathetic and made all the right noises about how I am not the only one who feels this way, but the sum total of her actual practical help was that I could, if I wanted to, make an appointment with a GP, who would discuss the possibility of medication. So, really, no practical help at all. I am not keen to start medication while pregnant and at the time only had three months of being pregnant left, so the thought of spending that time trying to find the right medication didn’t appeal to me.
Understandably I felt pretty despondent, but mainly I felt very much alone. Very much that this was down to me to get through and no-one else could really help, which is kind of true. Obviously there are lovely lovely friends, family and a brilliant partner, who are on hand for a chat or a pregnancy related moan, but mostly there isn’t an awful lot they can say or do. I am pregnant, there is an end point and that’s about it really. Added to this is the fact that actually I don’t always want to be moaning about things, contrary to what you may think as a reader of this blog. I want my friends to distract me, to make me laugh, just to not bloody think about all the things that are swirling around my head.
That night, as I lay in the bath, mulling over the day and feeling isolated from everyone, something happened that made me think a little differently. The baby kicked. Something that happens often, sometimes I am too busy to notice, but this kick seemed so well timed. It reminded me that I am not really in this alone, in fact at the moment, I am never truly alone. My baby is always with me, growing, developing, moving around and it is my job to take care of myself as much as I can. No-one else in the world can do this job for this baby right now. I am not really alone anyway, but my baby really does only has me to rely on.
It occurred to me that I have given so little thought to the actual baby. I had been rushing around so much that there was no connection there, no mindfulness, just irritation. So, I vowed straight away that each day I would spend some time on my baby. Call it connecting, thinking, whatever you like, but each day I would take, sometimes only a few moments, to acknowledge it’s presence. It seems like such a stupid thing to say. How can I not acknowledge it? It’s there, an ever-growing, moving bump, but mostly I give it very little thought, it is just there.
It could be by practicing some anti-natal yoga, or a relaxation or my most recent idea, making a blanket for the baby. There is something very special about using my skills with a hook and yarn to create something that will one day wrap around an actual person. For me, making something for someone is an act of love and has become an important ritual for all my babies to have something made by me before they arrive. Some days, though, it may be as quick and simple as placing my hands on my bump as it kicks and really feeling each movement, closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths.
I still struggle and some days are full of worry and anxiety, but I certainly have more of a sense of what this is all for, what is to come and what that means for me. I think perhaps I am quite good at coping, when I know it is down to me to do so. I become quite resilient and discovering that the only help available was medication actually clarified things for me. For a few more weeks, at least, it’s just me and this baby doing this pregnancy thing and that’s just fine.