Monday, March 19, 2007

Pregnancy week 32: The first time, ever I saw your face

Symptoms this week, groin pain, huge brown nipples like Erica’s, veiny boobs, no visible stretch marks, can’t see [***] or feet requiring Jason to help out to avoid too much camouflage.

Boo’s 32 week scan. It may be the last of the scans and Jason asked Susan if she could switch to 4D as a special favour and she willing obliged, taking wonderful snaps for us along the way. What a miraculous moment when Boo's face finally appeared with little hands rubbing her eyes.

He has my lips and my cheeks and, says our technician Susan, a "large head". You can imagine how that made us both laugh so much. Jason's big head! And yet Boo couldn't be woken from his slumber, no matter how much rolling and prodding we all did. I thought my endless laughing would do the trick.

The Roberta Flack song was running through my head during the scan.

I met a lovely mum to be, Nancy, last week along the Bluffs and she took me to her yoga class. Despite the instructor chatting for the 1st 30mins (no exaggeration) about her trip to India where I've spent quite a bit of time myself but to the yankees in the class was quite revolutionary... it was pretty hard going. I'm not at all flexible and whilst I used to do Pilates rather than yoga as I think yoga's much tougher. Some movements I was able to do comfortably, but others, forget it! I was so sore afterwards (mostly that pressure on the inner thigh ligaments). And then, when we were warming down, the doula start playing,

"The first time ever I saw your face".

I kept welling up every time I showed the photo to anyone.... just felt so proud and overjoyed. Can't stop looking at the photo and smiling. When I have the video converted from VHS to DVD, I shall be hard to pull away from watching endless repeats...

Had a dream last night about recovery post the c-section. I've been raking up old nightmares because of the horrific experience in the Florida hospital over the myomectomy and then months of infection/complications afterwards, so the prospect of the c-s has been tainted. But then last night, my dream was that 24hrs after the surgery, I was walking around, happy and the incision was healing (incidentally, I'm not sure a baby appeared in those dreams, so perhaps it was a cleansing dream of what's been and gone to allow me to peacefully deal with what's to come).
I have long wanted to capture myself in pregnancy and yesterday, after the 6 years of waiting, I had one of the most ethereal, beautiful experiences of my life, a pregnancy shoot with photographer Jill Hardin. What a fantastic way to celebrate the blossoming stage of pregnancy.
We had 2hrs to fully indulge ourselves in the joy of pregnancy. She shot 120 photos, mono, sepia and in colour.

I'd woken at 3am worrying about so many things and just got up in the end, making lists whilst Jason tried to sleep unsuccessfully. And then I was panicking about how bad I'd look for the shoot I'd waited so long to experience.

The rising sun brought with it a beautiful hot and sunny day in LA. I had my hair and nails done, and a shoulder massage which ebbed away the rock hard pads that my shoulders had become.

The female photographer of a similar age was warm and welcoming into her studio. We were surrounded by a plethora of gorgeous black and white stills adorning the walls, her specialities nude pregnancy and newborns under 3 weeks.

Light streamed through the window onto the black backdrop that set the scene.

She eased us into the room and with the warmth of the sun through the shades, we felt so comfortable.

I had a few photos taken with the stunning black dress that Erica had given me and she had worn so gracefully 2 years ago when I so longed to be pregnant myself. Jason engaged in some of these photos and then stepped aside.

With the windows peering out to the street outside and with little to separate me and voyeurism, I strangely felt comfortable enough to get completely naked. Perhaps the bump masks all modesty, it's hard to say.
In some shots, I wore black or white voile strategically placed Hellenic style, in others, she caught me wistfully staring out of the window and backlit, or lying down away from the camera with my toes pointed and my hand just resting on my breasts, my hair splayed out behind me. Shots of Jason with his hands on Boo, kissing Boo. Jason was fully clothed and I think quite enjoyed the excitement of kissing me on the lips whilst I stood there in the flesh.

There's something so magic about being captured in the flesh in such a way, a bringing together of Jason, Boo and I. I think the feminine form is beautiful in pregnancy and I can rejoice in it now, and yet it wasn't really until I would lightly place my fingers on my breasts, below and above the bump, trying to re-enacting a scene I've seen in a Rubenesque portrait at the National Gallery, that I could see myself in this way.

With this most wonderful of experiences, all my woes seemed to drift away and I felt so incredibly calm and at peace with the world.

My weight 181lbs. Blood pressure 122/74. Fundal height 33cm.

Boo’s length 28cm, weight 1.7k (3lb 12oz)

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