Being pregnant has been an experience which has brought with it so many surprises. Quite apart from the joy of expecting our little one, my “advanced” state (politically correct way of saying I am now huge) catches the attention of other mothers when I am out and about.
On the way to my phsyio appointment today I stopped a short while at a second hand bookstore in a trendy Canberra neighbourhood, en route. I had spotted one of Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic books and could not resist the urge to pick it up given my own love of pretty vintage. The lady in the bookstore beamed and after some chit chat announced she was also going to be a grandmother for the first time.
A woman in another shop stopped me to wish me well and proudly told me her baby was now fifty two years old!
The weather was sunny as I passed a string of cafes and a huddle of new mothers coraled by a multitude of prams. I found myself feeling so glad to live in a place like Canberra where people do engage in polite chit chat.
The thing about pregnancy is that you suddenly have a connection with any other woman who has ever been through it before. They know the pain and the pleasure. They also know that you are headed for that big event, a rite of passage called labour and birth. I admit I feel like I am on a conveyor belt as the unexpected is about to befall me. Yes, I get the gist, I know its going to hurt… but I don’t think I will really appreciate what that means until I have gone through it. At times, now that the baby could pretty much turn up “whenever”, it does feel a bit like I am waiting for lightning to strike.
At my appointment, the physio confirmed that the pain in my left wrist wasn’t just carpal tunnel, but associated with it. DE QUERVAIN’S TENOSYNOVITIS. Unfortunately, this may not disappear the minute the baby turns up and can take months (and months) to heal…I tried to make a joke of it with the therapist when she told me I had to limit my use of the injured hand… “Does this mean I get out of housework…?” She smiled but said seriously, “It could be aggrevated by chopping vegetables or hanging laundry… I would suggest you refrain from activities that require you to use that thumb”
In other words, this was really bad news for my already uber supportive hubby. I guess kneading fresh pasta dough is off the cards for a little while.
Is there any woman that breezes through pregnancy?
De Quervain’s ain’t so chic. Especially not on top of the carpal tunnel. As with all rites of passage, the passage is not easy and maybe its going through all the yucky stuff that heightens the import of the big event – baby’s entrance into the world…
That said, in the same way I don’t think “love” for our little on starts at birth (we love them now, they are a very real entity in our lives), I now appreciate parenthood doesn’t either. At this point it’s me not caring so much about the little aches and pains that wake me in the night and my husband telling me it doesn’t matter that in addition to his very busy job, he’ll now be carrying a much greater load at home…
No, its not chic. But its also not just about a singular event but a journey that we have embarked upon. There is no particular end destination, except to know soon we will be joined by a little spirit we cannot wait to meet. And we hope only that he joins us safely.
We are already on a road, a path upon which we are making our way forward, innocent of what may lie ahead and knowing with absolute certainty that there’s a lot that we know we don’t know… but we are equipped with faith, hope, love and best intentions.
“Is it your first?” I am often asked. My answer is usually met with a knowing smile.