The underwire from my bra is in crisis talks with the space that is decreasing between the top of my burgeoning tummy and the fecund heavy boobs above it. I try and shove my waistbands in that gap now too as ‘under bump’ clothing for me succumbs to gravity far too easily and there’s only so much pull up and wiggle you can manage.
I have quite a forward, neat bump this time. It sits like a sliced new potato on my frame. The skin on top is taut and feels feather fine, so already those jabs and twists can be seen and felt from the outside. It’s almost as if I’m not allowed to distance myself from this pregnancy despite my heart trying to build a force field around itself. Don’t feel too deeply, not yet. Just always keep a cushion of concern to hand.
I inject it daily on either side as if I’m performing a scientific experiment on a boiled egg. DD watches to see if I wince, asks if it hurts. I reassure her it doesn’t. Which isn’t the whole truth. It’s just this little jab reminds me I’m alive, this baby is alive, and I’m doing all I can to keep everything there. So I like that little pinch, that morning ritual. Plus I use it as a reason to avoid taking the dog out for his morning ablutions and needing a cup of tea in bed.
I returned to work this week. And of course, it was absolutely fine. I feel like me and I don’t. It quantified the loss of RD and it didn’t. I yearn routine and regularity and yet the otherworldly nature of the last eight months fit unexpectedly. I had to learn to let go of control, and be responsive more than proactive. And in return I felt RD showed me more love and light than he’d ever shared before.
It doesn’t signal a change in my grief. I don’t feel anymore on top of the pain or surprise that he’s died. I haven’t made space for it, I just try, and try being the operative word, to accept I don’t know what I’ll feel from one moment to the next but to allow that in. It does mean I have a focus and a reason to put on makeup. To lessen my slipper wearing percentage of the day to sub 50%. To give my brain a task it’s fit to cope with.
It also makes the time waiting, and watching, for this new baby more easy to strategise. I plan my itinerary and it slices and dices weeks and goals. So that now, as I approach 24 weeks, I can see what I’ll be doing and when until 28 weeks, the next time I have a scan. A little bit of light cracks in that I’ve reached the point of viability.
I remember with DD, whilst not a pregnancy after loss, but a pregnancy after a very traumatic experience, reaching a point where the worry drifted. And that was all related to getting through critical points on the timeline of my pregnancy and birth with RD. But this time, it just won’t come as I feel like I’ve lost any innocence.
I’m making real in roads into trying to normalise my pregnancy- through treating myself to pregnancy massage, and going to a weekly pregnancy yoga class. And I’m really enjoying both, but I still feel quite outside myself. Like I’m just wearing this sliced new potato. Like I’m just wearing this cloak of grief.
I think I’ll channel DD on this one, and give zero f*cks.