“When my daughter Alison was born, in the tradition of a new parent, I began to photograph her, initially in a separate and private body of work.”
Every day since the last week of October Dominique pops up on my messenger with the same message, “Still pregnant.” A small thing, but powerful, as every time it reminds me she’s carrying an entire human being curled in her belly. Tiny hands, tiny feet, an entirely separate heart-beat. I’ll be glad when it’s born, though not as glad as her, I’m sure, who complains daily that she wants it out already. “I think it’s staying,” she messages me, despairing, “I’m over-due.” I know I can’t relate, not really, though I try, and feel I understand to a point.
I had a nightmare, once, that I was pregnant. I could see inside my belly, which had distended to translucency, and see that the child had sharp, triangular, razorblade teeth.
When the message doesn’t come, I wonder, “did it happen? Is she at the hospital now?” I’m torn between relief and wonder and disbelief, that she could be doing anything so incredible as I sit at my desk and help people with media software issues, until it is my turn to message her and ask, “Not yet?”, soothing the day back into something mundane. Earlier today she had an appointment with her midwife for a membrane sweep, and I was blaming that for her lack of message, while with a less rational part of my brain, I was crossing my fingers until she returned.
“Still round?” I asked, and eventually she replied, “Home again. Think I’m in labour, though.” “Excited?” “Contractions about every four minutes. Will check again in an hour or so. I am SO READY to be vacated.”
I know her contractions didn’t necessarily mean anything, she’s been having them on and off for over a week, but that was this afternoon and I haven’t heard word back since. That hour later check in never happened. Those fingers are still crossed. Maybe she’s having her child right now. I was hoping for a Hallowe’en baby, but November 12th should do just fine, too.