I was on the other side of the world watching the cherry blossoms bloom when I began to feel odd. Sick and woozy, as if I’d eaten something bad. I almost passed out on packed tubes and in scorching onsens (spas powered by natural hot springs). I pushed the thought to the back of my mind that this felt very familiar and only mentioned it in a joking way to your father – I couldn’t bear to hope and be disappointed.
A week later, jet-lagged and home again, I took a pregnancy test and within seconds two pink lines blossomed. It was the first sign I had of you. Almost three years exactly from learning I was pregnant with your brother, I was pregnant with you.
It had been the longest winter. April is the cruellest month and it was then things finally snapped in somebody I love. The crisis team was called and there was talk of secure psychiatric units. Things were so bad I wasn’t sure if I should go to Japan at all. How could I go? I felt so ill with stress I was barely sleeping, on the verge of fragmenting myself. To survive I would need to dredge every bit of my energy and resources. How could I stay?
So we went to Japan, your father, your brother, me and you – my little stowaway. And among the mountains and the cherry trees, I felt something in me emerge from hibernation that I thought was long dead – hope.
With your brother, I could think of nothing else. With you, there were long periods when I forgot about you. Not because you were any less wanted, but because I wanted you so much it hurt. It was as if I couldn’t look at you directly. I worried if I did you’d disappear as if you were never there. You shimmered like a moonbeam at the corner of my eye. So precious and yet so ephemeral.
It hasn’t been an easy pregnancy. I have sat heavily bleeding in the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) more times than I can count, convinced that you were gone. Only to see you moving in flickery black and white, busy with growing and utterly indifferent to my panic. My love for you has only grown in tandem with my fear of losing you. I’ve struggled through gestational diabetes, more recently high blood pressure and anxiety that has never quite left me. Externally this pregnancy has coincided with some of the most challenging events within my extended family. Much as I have tried to protect myself and by extension you from the stresses I cannot help but worry about how you will have been affected. I have felt so anxious this pregnancy about losing you, I haven’t been able to shout as loudly as I would want about your presence. But step by step, day by day we have made it to 38 weeks and you are almost ready to enter the world.
I am so in awe and completely poleaxed by my love for you. I am so utterly terrified of the capriciousness of this world I am bringing you into.
You are moon-skulled with star-fish hands and your brother’s nose. Your favourite position is wedged securely under my ribs as close to my heart as you can get. You are never more active than when I am in the water, shifting from side to side like a tiny Kraken. The feeling as I wait to meet you is like every childhood Christmas rolled into one. Oh the anticipation, as if my body can barely contain it. I cannot wait to see your face, to hold your tiny hands, to feel the soft susurration of your breath. Until then stay and grow, my baby,
Love your mummy.