Thursday, 3 April 2014

The First Three Months

At first you are there in the shadows - passing seconds of lightheadness; increasingly frequent, yet initially fleeting, moments of nausea. You are there in the cups of tea I make, and then leave on my desk for two hours because I haven't even noticed I didn't want them.

A week or so later, you show a little more of yourself; you are but a line - but at the same time, such a wanted and hoped-for line. Is this real - is that really you? It's a little early, so who can be sure?

You are there in what is not there the next day. Nor the next, nor even the day or week after that. And still, we daren't quite believe. It feels such a quiet way to announce yourself, when in our heads and our hearts there are fireworks. We smile, we jump up and down, we hug each other over and over. We... don't quite know what we're supposed to do next.

Finally, a week later, I pick up the phone. It feels so alien, announcing that I need to make an appointment to see a midwife. Surely, this is something other people do?

You start to make yourself more known. You do not like tea, most meat or sweet dishes. What you do like varies from week to week - marmite, potatatoes, broccoli, spices, pasta, tomatoes, salt and vinegar crisps. You do not seem to like my morning routine and tell me about it every morning somewhere between 6.30am and 7.30am - you will continue to do this, with increasing will and strength for the next 8 or 9 weeks (and possibly beyond).

Seeing the midwife makes it more real - questions, forms, due date predictions, blood tests. We head back to work afterwards, buzzing with so much excitement I expect everyone to be able to tell what is going on. We want to keep it a secret from the world for now, so the only person we tell is our personal trainer, just to make exercising a bit more realistic.

The next weeks pass slowly, in a haze of continuing nausea and sickness, tiredness and yet insomnia, lightheadedness and overall a slight disbelief that we could possibly be this lucky. Each day that ticks past is another day closer to the first scan - what if you are no longer there? What if it was all just a mistake?

Finally, the day arrives. We wake up nervous, and spend the morning working at home before heading to the hospital. Car parking is a nightmare, and we are so nervous at what we will find. Have I dreamed the whole thing?

And then - there you are. You cannot see us, but we see you, and how wonderful it is to catch a proper glimpse - you are surprisingly active for such a little person. There are hands, fingers, legs, feet - even your brain and a heartbeat. We stare, mystified, throughout the scan, barely daring to breathe.

For a little while at least, we can almost believe in magic.

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