Are we nearly there?
I did as much work as possible the first month and then it became difficult to hide my blooming-ness. Also I didn’t enjoy racing round town with luggage, so I told Paula I was booking myself out until the expected baba was six months old. It was a time for reflection and for seeing the family. Gran was getting older and not so eager to visit her daughter and family in the States, so to give Mum and Dad a break, I had her to stay for a fortnight. She really was convinced that her natural life span was years and ten, and she was almost seventy.
Maddie and her husband had a party at their house in Caterham and I saw Liam (Jamie’s brother). He was over from the States and told me Jamie now had a daughter and was living in
We didn’t have much in the way of monitoring in those days but I did go to relaxation classes and became a dab hand at deep breathing. Now I was at home every day I got the chance to meet the neighbours. At first they treated me as if I were something from outer space but soon realised I was an ordinary young woman, excited about my expected baby and I made some friends. William was just as excited as I was and we found the long, last months dragged interminably
My increased weight gave me back- ache and when Mum saw me waddling with one hand behind me, clutching my back, she said I needed a corset for support. So I got a horrid pink thing with laces and it really helped. I did have a chat with a midwife and told her I was worried about my waters breaking. She roared with laughter.
‘They’re not going to suddenly break, and flood Epsom Market love!’
I continued to gain weight. One was meant to put on a maximum of 21 pounds: 7 for the baby, 7 for the mother and I can’t remember what the last 7 pounds were for. At last the date arrived but no baby. By this time I was thoroughly fed up and wished I could change my mind and have it later on. After a further nine days I went to the hospital and they suddenly decided to weigh me – for the first time since the start of my pregnancy. They were horrified that I had gained over 4 stone and had gone from 7 stone 4ounces to eleven and a half stones. Clearly it was too late to do anything about it, but they said don’t eat any salt - and sent me home.
Mum had suggested I scrubbed the kitchen floor to bring it on but I was afraid once I got down I wouldn’t get up again. I decided to walk into Epsom from the hospital to get the bus home.
This was a strain – not only was I suddenly very tired, my stomach felt hard and tight as if it were going to burst and I found I was involuntarily grunting with the effort of walking. I got home about the same time as William and he told me to go and lie down and he would bring me some supper. We had an early night and I must have fallen asleep. Suddenly I was awake with this tight pressure feeling, pressing down on me and to my horror the bed was awash. The mid-wife was wrong – I could easily have flooded Epsom Market.