by Kate Todd
“You forget so much,” I was told. About pregnancy, about labour and delivery, about the early weeks that pass in a blur. Back then it was inconceivable that long after you were here and asleep in your nursery I wouldn’t be able to recall with perfect clarity the feel your oceanic rolls or the sharp jabs you delivered daily to my lower ribs. Our bodies were constantly in sync, leaving an impression that would take years to erode, if it ever did.
After the third stage, when the doctor said, “There – you’re not pregnant anymore!”, I didn’t feel the sense of emptiness I thought might come after being severed from you.
Instead, I marvelled in quiet wonderment that you were finally here.
Stepping back onto the mat for the first time, I thought I would miss you. After all, we’d practiced together for six months (you were a warrior then already). But lying utterly still in shavasana didn’t leave me bereft.
Instead, I soaked in the energy and felt the thrum of my muscles and ligaments.
As the button on my jeans – an actual waistband! Pockets! – slid through the hole, I didn’t mourn the roundness that was there before. It’s hard to remember how far my bump extended, even though I spent hours talking to you through my fingers and palms.
Instead, I poked and prodded, tapped and patted with no reply.
“Our bodies were constantly in sync, leaving an impression that would take years to erode”
When we packed away your second set of footed sleepers in two months (your height doesn’t come from your mama), your father asked: “Can you believe she once fit inside you?” I could not.
Instead, I smoothed and folded, in awe at how fast you are growing.
But the first time I thought about exchanging the bedside cot for your cotbed in the nursery and spending the night without your hot breath on my neck and your long fingers and razor-sharp perfect little nails grabbing my robe, my body didn’t whisper. It shouted.
No. Not yet.
Because when you left my body, you took something of me with you, something more than my eye colour and stubborn nature. It was nothing that could be weighed or measured by the midwives, but a thread as strong as spider silk.
Kate Todd | @KTodd_Writes
Kate Todd is a London-based writer who has recently swapped her data analyst role for the full-time role of new mama. When the little one naps, Kate makes time for reading and writing, yoga and experimenting in the kitchen. Eventually, she’ll finish editing that latest manuscript, but for now she’s enjoying watching her daughter discover the big wide world (and of course, stories).