All in a short, six-month, window, I now wife, mother and mortgage, all in equal measures not knowing exactly what I am doing at all times. My current mantra, when I arrive in a different room of the house, or at cupboard filled with wishes of impossible things, “what am I here for?” Maybe I should think about climbing mountain Kilimanjaro or Mont Blanc? All good things begin with Mmmmn, right? Dial M for life satisfaction, challenge and change.
Lots of long walks during the first trimester around the same trail led me to notice the many wonders of nature and I had a different mantra just for pregnancy, that held me down, grounded, like a weighted blanket on me, “everything around me is perfect in nature!” I marvelled at how perfect all creatures and flowers were, great or small, ancient and newborn. This gave me comfort that everything with my baby would be healthy, safe and sound. One evening I saw a fairytale sized toadstool with a bright red and white polka dotted shroom-hat that was large enough for a harem of exotic fairy nymphs to dance around. It was incredible, and if I wasn’t traipsing the same trail so much I would never have noticed it. The grooves of my repeated walks, like a front door key twisting over and over again in the same home lock, witnessed so many wild and ecstatic beauties that I’m convinced variety would have prohibited. The perks of being a wallflower on a small island are infinite, even if you follow the same old same old grooves, endlessly, on repeat, like a broken record. And there is nowhere else I would rather raise a miniature version of my husband than on this small island, Sarnia Cherie.
“Nobody ever told me that grief felt so much like fear” (C.S Lewis)
Childbirth hit me like a juggernaut of grief, and fear. I had an emergency C-section for reasons only the universe knows/pre-eclampsia. And it has been during the nightime feeds that I half-wake-up with my subconscious startled and confused that my baby was earth side and not on me or inside of me. I could feel my baby with me yet I could hear him in the crib (I’m not confusing this feeling with postnatal psychosis – I believe that this feeling is the grief of birth and my sadness that my little womb rider checked out permanently after 40 ecstatic weeks). I am positive that me and mine are experiencing “the fourth trimester” and we are beginning to come to terms with our new bond, whilst our feral, mammalian and spiritual connectedness beats so strong that we may still be just as confused about our separation by the end of the fourth trimester. I still feel movements in my uterus, phantom kicks, and my tears are for the grief of that loss. I crave the sensation of pregnancy. The cord has been cut and my womb feels sad and empty. Childbirth and motherhood are so heavily marinated and smoked in fear, it’s hard to navigate the unknown pleasures of the myriad of emotions I am travelling through. Six weeks of motherhood have kicked in already – we survived! We are thriving. My armpits still feel like they are holding hands with my uterus. And I can almost see my vagina without having to stand over a mirror. I spent nine months dying to meet my baby and I appear to be showing signs of wishing that he was still in my womb! It’s intoxicating to dwell on.
Imagine a world where ‘Wetlands’ by was based on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP fixation with extra curricular vaginal inserts?
“Putting pine nuts on your salad doesn’t make you an adult” (Fleabag, BBC Three)