She was breathing peacefully and slowly, her little red chest rising and falling. Her eyes literally followed me from counter to counter to cupboard, out into the hall to pick up the post from the raffia mat and back again. I poured her a bowl of muesli and put some fresh blueberries in it. She enjoys that. Nobody tells you how flattering it is, how loved you feel, your child following your every move like that. Her beady eyes watched me open my post as if it was the most interesting thing anybody could do. The post was dull as2 usual, a gas bill and junk. I sighed, went to the kitchen bin and threw everything in but the bill. When I turned back around, there she still was, smiling at me, her fur curling around her mouth. Her eyes lit up, fierce with love. When she looked at me from those deep dark eyes of hers, straight at me and through me, I felt more understood than I have ever felt from any look by anybody.
Nobody says much and nothing prepares you. I’ve often wondered why women don’t warn each other properly about the horrors of childbirth. There is something medieval about the pain, the howling, the push-push-pushing. In the birthing room next door, the
November night my daughter was born, I heard a woman scream, ‘Kill me! Just kill me!’
That was just after my waters had