M y body has seriously never looked better naked. Everything is soft, plump and trim in all the right places. My breasts are growing.
I curse the fact that nobody but me will see, but feel fortunate I don’t have to negotiate a physical relationship. They hurt so much they wake me up at night! I also have to get up to pee every few hours. I am so tired. I dread brushing my teeth because of the morning sickness. Foods taste different. I can’t get enough of pink grapefruit and nectarines. I am put off by the smell of beer. I never thought that could happen!
I am vague and forgetful, pregnancy brain I suppose, and happy that holidays have begun so work won’t suffer. I expect my usual backpain to worsen, but it disappears!
The hormone relaxin has miraculously done the reverse to what I’d been told to expect. No sign of the stretch marks or varicose veins I’ve been dreading either, but pimples start to appear on my back. Agh. My body won’t let me push through exhaustion. I plan to swim and go to the gym, but instead I nap. Often. I stare for hours at the embryo images on my pregnancy tracker app, but make a deal with myself never to jump ahead. I want to know exactly what you’re up to and not wish it away. Knowing you’re growing in there is the most surreal and profound experience I’ve ever had.
Summer holidays have begun and nobody is left here but me. I shouldn’t be alone. I need to travel to avoid that.
I pack my wheely suitcase and load my kindle with essential holiday reading:
What to Expect when you’re Expecting; Choosing Single Motherhood; Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice; The Complete Single Mother; Knock Yourself Up; Sperm Donor = Dad; and of course: My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy.
I have great friends scattered around Europe, I piece together a plan of who to visit and when, culminating in a week in Iceland with my brother. I take off.It is utterly surreal to be an insignificant figure in these astounding places, and at the same time to be so focused inwards. To be so aware of you there inside me. The captivating wonder of each feels somehow symetrical and profound. I can see now I need to pave two paths while I figure out which one to take. So many things to try to understand, to arrange. Two possible new lives, one in Denmark and one in Australia.
Two cultures, two systems, two midwives, two hospital bookings, two childcare places, one baby. So many choices still to make.
Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper.
Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support.
Story input from Michelle Webster, Cathy Gray and Diana Lampe.
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Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:
Everybody's Got Problems That Aren't Mine by Chris Zabriskie; Rain Begins to Fall (Instrumental) by Silence Is Sexy; Blindness Rats by Khonner; Something Elated by Broke For Free; Murmur by Broke For Free; The Stars Are Out by Dexter Britain.
Music by permission from the artist: You, You'll be Waiting by Baby Blue.