The final countdown

So we have made it to July… and it is becoming impossible to ignore that by the end of this month there will be a little friend for Elphaba.

But when will its birthday be? What will the labour and birth experience be like? And most excitingly: will it be a boy or a girl? Lots of questions to entertain myself while I lie awake at 4am after my seventeenth trip to the bathroom!

It’s difficult to define my feelings about all this: when asked how I’m doing I usually respond that I’m excited, which is true, but somehow too simple. Around the excitement there is a whole host of other emotions, most of which I have no idea how to explain as they are all completely new to me. At our NCT course the teacher told us about the concept of the “maiden dying” within a woman giving birth, which can lead to an overwhelming feeling of self-bereavement. Although at first this seemed like just the kind of out there, typical NCT psychology-speak that we’d been warned about, on further reflection I could start to see what she meant.

I tried to do a search on this idea but all that seemed to come up were stories about dying in childbirth… NOT what I need to see at this point, so I swiftly gave up. So here are my own layman’s thoughts: having a baby means your life will change forever. The maiden/girl you once were is impossible to recapture again. You may still look like her, act like her and think like her, and essentially, you are the same person: just with this added dimension that means you can never truly go back and live that life. I don’t mean to say you will never go clubbing again – it’s not that simple. Even when you are away from your child and completely distracted, I imagine they are always there at the back of your mind; how can you ignore motherhood?

A bit heavy for a Wednesday morning, but although on the surface the idea of an aspect of yourself dying may sound depressing, I think it can be viewed more positively. It’s not like the maiden just dies and that’s it. The space she leaves behind is immediately inhabited by something that fits exactly, leaving no gaps: the mother. And I don’t think I’ll feel at all bereaved at this point: in fact, the opposite. During the maiden discussion, the most important fact of all seems to have been left out. As well as me becoming a mother and Mr Cath becoming a father, we will also be acquiring a baby!

In the meantime, we’re waiting for our little one to come out and play and despite the above, trying not to overthink it all too much…!

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