My first pregnancy was filled with calculations and a desperate need to try and grasp hold of and comprehend what was happening to my changing body, and self. All physical things were measured, peeing into silly small plastic tubes, standing on scales, ultrasound scans spying in, tape lapped across my expanding belly. Each antenatal appointment was greeted with a different midwife. This was central London, I was just another pregnant woman on a list of many. I remember one visit to the Whittington Hospital in Archway, in the waiting room, watching with horror as a heavily pregnant, handcuffed woman was escorted to her appointment. How demeaning it must have been for her to be chained in public, how inhumane and cruel this was.
I tried to find solace in Emma s Diary and her bountiful tokens of free baby products, but she did not fulfil my search for knowledge. I couldn’t possibly identify with the straight married couple, their cosy and secure lives in suburbia, when I was living as an unofficial tenant in short term housing accommodation in a relationship built on passion. What to expect when your expecting was equally disappointing and did not answer my expectations. I had not envisaged the burning desire and importance of nesting. The morning sickness that stretched from morning to night. The restricted feelings, the confinement. The loneliness of it, outside over there.
Obsessed with making calculations, I creating this drawing, to try to make sense of it, to find the date of conception in order to match the weeks of pregnancy to the babies growth and development, so that I knew where in the timeline the baby and I were, when the baby might be born. So much was unknown but hope and an overflowing love and wanting for my unborn child would see me through.