I am cooked. I equate it to that feeling on a long haul flight (with a toddler or 2) when you feel so rough and tired and rotten that you think, just let this stop or more precisely, if this hunk of metal goes down, I’m OK with it. My point is, I'm ready to be unpregnant.
I'm both excited and nervous to meet the shifting aquatic creature who has been residing in my tummy these past months. I cautiously imagined the little blastocyst at just six weeks, and by eight weeks I was living with the taste of metal in my mouth, salivating if I hadn't had carbohydrates within the hour. Everything made me nauseous; the sight of my maternity clothes, the touch of wool, the hum of the refrigerator, the aisles of food in the supermarket, the faint smell of gas from the cooker.
We found out early we would be having our third boy, that I would be a mother of sons. I brushed off comments from those who said 'Bad luck!' as if a daughter was the trophy and another boy, the booby prize. But it hurt that I didn't have their support. And perhaps it hurt too, because if I looked at myself squarely, I realised there was a raw nerve there. I would never have a daughter. Of course, I love my boys. It wasn't that I'd never shop for marshmallow hues in the clothes aisles at Old Navy, but I suppose as a woman, I felt I'd learned a thing or two and although I'm no teacher, I wanted to pass it on. I was ready to champion her career choices as an equal to my sons, I was ready to make sure she grew up with as much confidence too.
I thought about my own role as a daughter and rightly or wrongly sensed I may have provided more family cohesion over the years. It made me wonder about the shape of my own testosterone-infused family in the future. Such musings are dangerous though. Who knows what this little boy inside me will be like? All I know about him are movements I cannot fathom. I cannot tell an elbow from a heel as his shape twists and turns inside me. I know I must get on with being the best parent to my sons, rather than a mother to a younger self or a girl I will never meet.
And there it is again, a tightness, a twitch, a strange twinge, an awkward pressure. My whole body is engorged. I pull Dom's hand across my stomach. This is the last time we will feel these jelly movements coming from within my swollen tummy. Each time, the movements shock him, make him shudder even. So far along and yet still how strange pregnancy can feel.