Recap for Blog 52 – Can I be a lover and a mother at the same time?: Zani realises how pregnancy has reawakened her own need for mothering – for being loved and cherished unconditionally. Fortunately, her “foster mother”, Vee, continues to rise to the occasion!
We wander around shops and ooh and aah until we have a pretty good idea what is available. Then we sit down to lunch – and not a moment too soon.
My feet get tired more easily these days and feel two sizes bigger than normal. Midwife Miriam has suggested that bigger feet are due to the body preparing to relax ligaments in order to encourage my pelvis to open wider to allow Brandon – I said it, I called our baby Brandon! – to enter the world. I always thought that the pelvis is fixed and that the girls whose cute little hips fit into size-8 jeans would never be able to experience natural birth. Not true, said Miriam. She said nature starts relaxing the ligaments all over the body and this provides flexibility in the muscles and joints to help Mom relax more, and to make more space for Baby.
Over lunch, Vee asks what I liked most of all the items we’ve seen over the course of the morning and whether I have a particular theme in mind. I say I liked the clean lines of the cherrywood furniture we saw at the second-last shop. What also makes it the best choice for me is that it has matching rocking chairs and the clever expert on the radio said it is beneficial for Mom and Baby to rock in unison, because when they move together, they work together.
I also want to keep the room as calm, relaxed and neutral as possible and want white bedding with stone-coloured walls. Vee wholeheartedly agrees and mentions that she thinks that dark blinds might be practical to go with the sheer white curtains on my wish list. Curious, I asked why, and she explains she has read that darkness, or low light influences light-sensitive glands to help a baby get into a routine and to sleep regularly during the day, so he isn’t overstimulated.
At this moment I feel a rather peculiar sensation, like little bubbles running across my tummy, but I pay no further attention. I have things to do, places to go and people to see and, besides, I am enjoying a rare chance to spend the day with my foster mom.
I thank Vee for having been so available to me through all of this and tell her about my thoughts earlier today. She is clearly touched. She, she says, is the privileged one, to be invited to be a part of our pregnancy – something she never thought might come her way. She asked if my mom doesn’t feel excluded and I explain as best as I can about Mom, how she sees the world and how she lives her life.
Vee nods. She says she has read a few books by Michel Odent, an obstetrician and author of many books on childbirth who writes clearly and eloquently about the hormonal changes that happen in a woman’s body to help her manage the two roles of lover and mother. She says the two roles are fueled by different hormones, which is why many mothers battle to be both a lover and a loving and caring mom at the same time.
And then, just I am about to look over my shoulder for my old friend Fear, Vee senses what is happening and, with her natural ability to bring peace to a storm, immediately goes on to explain that the same doctor stated that research indicates that a dad who is present at birth and who actively participates in the first few days after birth tends to have a lower sex drive and thus makes fewer sexual demands on his wife.
I smile in wonder at how even a loving and mature couple seems to be taken care of by nature.
By the time Vee and I say our goodbyes, I am ready for a nap. It has been a long and exhausting morning, and all I want to do is put my feet up and snuggle into my duvet, but that isn’t to be, because I’m not used to taking time out during a busy day. I just can’t fall asleep. So I prop myself up on a mountain of pillows and tune in to the developmental expert’s interviews, determined to catch up with Jake, who has very nearly worked through all of them by now.