I was writing a blog post for a company the other day about pregnancy. As I scrawled through some suitable bump images to include in the post, the (self-proclaimed) Nothern Love Machine looked over my shoulder and laughed.
“There’s nothing attractive about pregnant women is there?” he chuckled.
My scowl made him quickly back-track, as he was actually looking at a picture of my own bump, taken just over two years ago now. But, equally, I completely disagreed with him.
“But some bumps are lovely,” I protested. “They’re the start of life, babies, something amazing,” I gushed. He stared back at me blankly. He obviously wasn’t buying it.
And the more I look back at photographs of myself from 2010, the more I think that – actually – I WAS attractive. I didn’t feel like it at the time. I felt huge, ungainly, swollen and grumpy. I felt tired and a little bit aprehensive.
But I also felt excited, happy and…. content. I felt completely and utterly content.
That’s something I haven’t felt for a year or so now. It’s a mixture of broodiness for another baby (one day!), ambition to do well in my career and the constant calculations of money and our savings account. The stuff of real life, basically.
It’s not that I’m not content as a mum. I adore my daughter. She’s made me. But I know that we’re not quite there yet. I know that we want our family to grow when we’re in a more settled place. I know that it won’t happen unless I work extremely hard and keep putting the hours and commitment in.
And then I take a step back and wonder if the feeling of contentment that I had while I lumbered around like a huge pregnant hippo, will ever properly come back at all. Even if we get to the place we want to be with our family and our house and our life, will I ever have that delicious feeling of calm in the way that I did when I was pregnant for the first time in my life?
Those moments of quiet, as I looked down at my rounded tummy and watched it flutter as a little foot kicked out. Those moments of satisfaction as I used my bump as a folding table to fold tiny babygrows and vests. Those minutes of dedicated concentration as I watched One Born Every Minute and vowed that I wouldn’t be *that* woman – the one to scream and shout swear words while pushing.
I was so completely wrapped up in my baby and my growing body two years ago, that there was no room for the outside world with all its troubles. Just me and my baby.
And there’s a beauty in that.
This post was written for this week’s Gallery. Head over to Sticky Fingers to see the rest.