It's been a fraught start to my maternity leave. M was away in New Orleans and I missed him terribly. His touch would have been the perfect de-stresser as I dealt with the seemingly endless procession of John Lewis delivery men (AEG washing machine, Siemens fridge/freezer, Brabantia bin, spare double bed), house clearance men, plumbers (for defective washing machine), John Lewis after-sales clerks (for ditto) and BT. On Saturday night, I was so stressed that I was physically sick. And now it's a week of guests (though fortunately family and close friends only), antenatal visits and classes, and more deliveries.
And this house is so much bigger than I've been used to in recent years that in my heavily pregnant state it's such an effort to go up to my lovely bedroom to nap, so I catch the zzzz's on the sofa. I can't even think about cleaning and hoovering the house in preparation for all the visitors. And taking/collecting dry cleaning or shopping for food just for lunch is simply too much of an effort. I waddle heavily and feel like everyone is staring at me and I feel like an elephant. Fortunately the lovely M is now back and, as always, takes as much on as he can and never complains.
Not knowing many pregnant women before me, I didn't realise how much bigger and tireder the last month of pregnancy makes one. All I want to do is reside in the deepest silence that exists. I want no words, no sounds, no movement, no obligations to anyone. I want perfect stillness.
But inspite of this, just now I took a step back and walked around my house and stroked my huge belly and thought how lucky I am, how much my life has changed for the better these past two years, how I wouldn't have it any other way.
My daughter is growing exponentially and rolling around to her heart's content inside of me. I think about her constantly. This weekend, I attended both the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Of Taiwan's magical and ravishing Moon Water performance at the Sadler's Wells, performed to Bach's Cello Suites, and Paco Pena and Nishat Khan fusing flamenco guitar with Indian sitar (MP3 link) at the Royal Festival Hall. As well as enjoying it for myself, I kept wondering how Little Planet was enjoying the music also. Certainly throughout she was rolling around and stretching out.
I am so excited for her to be born and gaze upon her and hold her and cherish her for hours on end. But I admit I am also attached to her snuggled tightly inside of me. For while she's inside of me, it's just me and her and the bond is between just the two of us. These last few weeks are the weeks to treasure. For once she is out in the world, I will have to share her.