The continuing trials of an accidental mother
"Any news?" Asked my mother, "Anything strange to report?"
"No news," I replied, "nothing strange."
My tongue was swollen, bitten a million times, my reality shrouded in secrets and lies. Few knew of my predicament (by now I was seven weeks accidentally pregnant) and so it would remain, until out of the danger zone. Although the coil had been successfully removed, I continued to bleed. Nothing taken for granted. What would be would be.
Such was the temptation to splurge the news my social life dwindled rapidly. I did not trust myself to keep schtum. It was hard enough hiding the secret from my son. He knew something was up, kept asking if I had cancer because of all the doctor's appointments I had to attend.
Physically, aside from tolerable morning sickness, there was also a walloping tiredness to contend with. By 9.30pm I disappeared into Vassily Grossman's, Life and Fate, to be transported back to Stalingrad, 1942. This book gripped me to the very last page, all 850 of them and upon ending I immediately wanted to start over.
Losing myself amongst this dense history distracted me from focusing on my own situation... when I did, swathes of fear enveloped as my rational logical mind overtook my primal instinct. The former demanded to know what I was thinking.
Was this really what I wanted? What about Paris? What about all those talks of reinvention? Didn't I know the forties were the new thirties, the thirties the new twenties?
Yes, yes, I'd hoped to regress back to my youth but...
My logic continued:
And what about the Ex? What was happening there? Er mmm...The Ex (who henceforth shall be known as the Glam Rocker) and I had taken up were we left off.
Well, sort of...
We were tentatively back together. I like this man. I like that his instinct matched mine; both of us of the opinion that fate should take its course. Everyone loves a baby, and being a parent gives meaning to one's life. It is, after all the very stuff of it. Still a niggle persisted and it occurred that if I was beset by such doubts, than the Glam Rocker most probably felt the same.
Sure enough within a few days, he called to express these doubts. I didn't want to hear them. We are two very different species, our life experiences diametrically opposed. For the past twelve years I had been playing Mum in a leafy, North West London suburb, tending to my son's needs which have always come first and writing comic detective novels amongst other stories.
As for himself, over the past 12 years the Glam Rocker surfed a Rock and Roll wave, riding high on it's crest before taking a tumble to find himself washed up on some foreign shore, (recently, his band reformed, and they were on the comeback trail). Let's be honest, the only thing he'd ever really had to tend to was his ego. Sure the man even lived in Dalston, an enclave of east London drenched in hip-dom. Really, what more does one need to know?
"This is a big thing for me," he said over the phone, "I'm not..."
"Sure about it."
The Glam Rocker was currently in league with my logic.
Whilst he ruminated on the hand that fate dealt us, I knew, in my heart of hearts that if he were to disappear, to take to the hills and flee, I would continue with this pregnancy; with or without him.
I was not scared of being, 'on my own'. Loneliness is merely a state of mind. It passes and has little or nothing to do with one's single status. Having done a version of what is conventionally labelled 'single motherhood,' I have no fear of it. Actually there is much to recommend it - although I will concede my version was considerably cushioned and my son's father happened to be my best friend (without benefits).
Fact is some of the loneliest people I have known are/were those in relationships.
"I'll call you in few days," sighed the Glam Rocker and the phone went dead.
He had said much the same when he split from me.
I lay in bed besieged by Life and Fate.
All I had wanted from the Glam Rocker was reassurance. I'd wanted him to tell me it would be okay. Whatever happened, it would be okay.
Suddenly, I felt insecure, defensive, vulnerable and dare I admit, lonely.
Alcohol and pregnancy.... Cheers, don't mind if I do.
This continues to be a most contentious issue. Sure, binge drinking is a no-no but I believe most women are rational beings (excepting for certain days of the month) and can make up their own minds. It irks when people become fascistic in their views on this topic. As an Irish native, we cailin's with childer were encouraged to drink iron rich Guinness. The Glam Rocker is half French so culturally neither of us see any harm in a unit or two. I certainly do not believe in the patronising monolithic ideology of the state advocating total abstinence though I realise they are only erring on the side of caution.
7 weeks sober-ish (A lucky number)
Now 12mm long the digestive tract begins to develop and breathing passages are appear where lungs will be. Arms and legs are taking a more definite shape. Eyelids, lenses, toes, and fingers are forming, although they have thick webbing between them. Nose tips and nostrils begin to emerge. Minute movements begin as muscle fibres form. By the end of this week, the mite might be a little bigger than the top of a pencil eraser.
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