Once the haze of first trimester fatigue and nausea finally eased, a surprising streak of strength revealed itself to me, a shocking bright light of fearlessness, a maternal super power if you like.
The murmurs of post-loss anxiety remain of course, like lingering lift Muzak after my miscarriage late last year, and no doubt will until this baby’s safe arrival but I can see clearly now, in vivid technicolour and with a sharpened clarity I’ve not experienced before.
A guilt-free enforcing of boundaries has finally found its top note, a protective drawbridge is firmly up, stone walls envelope me only letting in the light, shielding baby and I from harm.
I read recently that we female fetuses are born with all the eggs we’ll have in our lifetime, and when our grandmothers housed our mothers in their womb, we lived there as an egg, deep within our mother and grandmother, too. Perhaps this revelatory courage I’ve found of of late was borne from my ancestral line of brave, strong women, their courage now coursing through my veins on a cellular level, literally empowering me.
My Greek Cypriot immigrant grandmother Annetta arrived in the UK as economic immigrants, working 2 jobs as a seamstress, supporting her 5 children, alongside her husband, my Papu Solomon, a former Cypriot policeman who spoke 6 languages and managed a restaurant in Manchester when they moved there.
My mother, Vasoulla, emigrated at 12 unable to speak a word of English who against grave barriers and adversities, too many to list here, gained a BA, MA and PGCE, becoming a teacher and lecturer, only abandoning her PHD when a demanding little me came along.
Those women, my women, were and are, respectively, warriors in every sense of the word. I am too, I can see that clearly now.
I’ve found this pregnancy-I’m now over 20 weeks- (and the loss before it) have forced me to re-evaluate my life.
To stop people-pleasing and to prioritise self-care, to meditate as a precautionary measure not a reactioonary one to stress; to sleep when I need to sleep, to side-step negativity big and small, and to finally and most importantly, fully lean on myself, seeking self-worth from within, something my former therapist had worked tirelessly with me over the years but has only fully been realised now, age 40 and with child.
My mindset has completely changed since I’ve becom pregnant, I’ve realised those hormonal and chemical shifts that so often make me feel fragile are to be listened to as they’re a reminder to exercise a no bull tolerance policy.
I am now unflinchingly guarding my mental and physical health and that of the baby’s in a way I know I always should have done.
My most important job right now, is to grow this little girl, a child not yet born who unbeknowst to her, has taught me about myself and what matters, already.
Bored Panda interviewed me about my pregnancy here.