It is Wednesday night, 3rd March 2010: The Day Before.
I know tomorrow he is coming. I know because every night, for the last two weeks, I have gone to bed, waiting for him to come, but he didn’t. I woke, each morning, still one person, and not two.
The day before, we went out for dinner, my husband and I, the last hurrah. We had an argument, who can recall the details now? We were obviously both dying of nerves, wanting to be normal, but unable to communicate properly , consumed by tension and fear.
What was I afraid of, the day before?
- I wouldn’t get an epidural in time.
- I had never changed a nappy before.
- I didn’t know about babies: I was scared of babies.
- I didn’t know how to talk to babies.
- I had only held about three babies in my life.
- How do you bath a baby?
I was so worried about having a baby, most of my fears hardly went past the first six months: labour, nappies, bathing, feeding, sleeping. Why was I worried about a baby? It’s not a baby you’re having, its a life. You reduce it to the size of a tiny baby to avoid confronting all the complex realities of it. You worry about things like nappies and baths and toenails because if you let your mind wander beyond that you might sink.
You have no idea of the amount of things you will be worried about in six years time:
- Debilitating costs of childcare and financial struggles.
- The precarious state of your own mental health.
- The strain on your relationship.
- The loneliness of not having your own family in the same country.
- Your lack of career.
- ADHD and ASD.
You don’t even know what these words mean, the day before.