mother love

December 12, 2018

I always thought I’d have a hard time getting pregnant, mainly because I’d struggled with endometriosis for years. When I did get pregnant, a few months after our wedding, my Mum said that “pregnancy came easily to me, because so much else hadn’t.” I was so grateful to be pregnant, that I resolved never to complain about the nausea, about the leg cramps, about the size of my areola, about anything. My second pregnancy came swiftly after, with bouts of heavy bleeding that landed me on bedrest for months. Again, I resolved not to complain. It was a miracle that he was alive, that’s how I felt. By my third pregnancy, I did complain. Mostly to my husband, who always did his best to empathize with all the bonkers things that were happening to me. This time, the nausea and constant sickness sapped me dry. I felt and looked so dreadful. It really wasn’t until the last month that I blossomed, and started to embrace the pregnancy. When I look back though, the most challenging part, each time in fact, was the huge responsibility I felt. I was so conscious of what I ate, how much I exercised; was the baby growing and thriving in there? “French women drink wine and eat fois gras,” people would say. “Paula Radcliffe ran throughout two pregnancies.” Good for Paula and good for the French. Midway through my third pregnancy, I was coughing so hard that I worried my uterus felt like an earthquake. Would the reverberations hurt the baby? It’s why I was ok with bedrest, because lying flat was the only way I could relieve myself of the responsibility of something going wrong with my son. It’s a long time to carry that kind of weight. Each time, I looked forward to the babies being in the world, not least, because it meant that the responsibility would be shared. And it is, in every way. My husband and I also have a village of good people who guide, nurture and challenge our children everyday. But there’s strain of irrational angst, mad love, punched-in-the-gut pain, that no person, that no village, no matter how big can relieve a mother of. I realize now that pregnancy was just preparing me for it. As best it could.

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