A year ago…

A year ago I was a whale, staggering from the sea, 

The shingle stabbed and kneaded my feet, 

As I thought – I guess this counts as reflexology?

I tucked into tupperware tight with pineapple, 

spreading fingers over my ballooned middle, 

Feeling for signs of you, your okayness, your arrival,

My mind had been awash with anxiety about your surivial 

and now it was eleven days past the day they said you were due, 

And for the first time in pregnancy, I felt calm spread through 

my achey, sciatic body as I huffed and puffed up the hill, 

we bumped into a stranger who, pointing at you, told us drunkedly 

‘Yup, I had 3 of those and then I went for a  vascetomy’ 

We laughed;  sweat filling folliciles on my forehead, 

‘I think, when we get back, I’ll have to go to bed’ 

I said, but you had a different idea; 

it was your time to appear, 

My body started to contract, 

As i tried to breathe through the agony

of you making your way out of me, 

waters breaking whilst watching Peep Show, 

me calling the hosptial every hour or so, 

until they said ‘it’s time to come in’ 

The next hours blurred by pain, 

remnants of memories – 

A year ago I was a whale staggering from the sea, 

The shingle stabbed and kneaded my feet, 

As I thought – I guess this counts as reflexology?

I tucked into tupperware tight with pineapple, 

spreading fingers over my ballooned middle, 

Feeling for signs of you, your okayness, your arrival,

My mind had been awash with anxiety about your surivial 

and now it was eleven days past the day they said you were due, 

And for the first time in pregnancy, I felt calm spread through 

my achey, sciatic body as I huffed and puffed up the hill, 

we bumped into a stranger who, pointing at you, told us drunkedly 

‘Yup, I’ had 3 of those and then I went for a  vascetomy’ 

We laughed;  sweat filling folliciles on my forehead, 

‘I think, when we get back, I’ll have to go to bed’ 

I said, but you had a different idea; 

it was your time to appear, 

My body started to contract, 

As i tried to breathe through the agony

of you making your way out of me, 

waters breaking whilst watching Peep Show, 

me calling the hosptial every hour or so, 

until they said ‘it’s time to come in’ 

The next hours blurred by pain, 

remnants of memories – 

a mean midwife, coca cola, ‘Shut that up’ I screamed 

when my labour playlsit started to stream, 

An intern giving a  detailed audio guide of Dartford Park,

and wearing sunglasses,  even thiought it wasn’t dark, 

the midwives changed shift at 7am 

I heard their plans for the weekend 

as your head started to crown, 

and I gave birth to you at 7.28  

Even at 7.28am, I was still that Grace. 

Deeply shocked and spaced, 

But half an hour later everything changed, 

I felt a love move within me that meant 

every organ inside me had to be rearranged, 

to accomodate the wonder of you, 

so much so that saying Alf gave birth to Grace 

at 7,58am feels more true. 

mean midwife, coca cola, ‘SHUT THAT UP’ I screamed 

when my labour playlist started to stream, 

An intern giving a detailed audio guide of Dartford Park,

and wearing sunglasses,  even thiought it wasn’t dark.

The midwives changed shift at 7am,

I heard their plans for the weekend 

as your head started to crown, 

and I gave birth to you at 7.28  

Even at 7.28am, I was still that Grace. 

Deeply shocked and spaced, 

But half an hour later everything changed, 

I felt a love move within me that meant 

every organ inside me had to be rearranged, 

to accomodate the wonder of you, 

so much so that saying Alf gave birth to Grace 

at 7.58am feels more true.