I t’s the end of August in 2012. You have reached a milestone. 13 weeks. The second trimester. For me, it’s a turning point.
On Thursday, the day before my first scan, the first time I’ll see you, I put on a baggy shirt and go to meet with my boss, my friend. She is energized after the summer break and excited about the year ahead. Her plans involve me. Of course they do. We’re a team. I realise I have to tell her immediately, not after the scan as I’d intended.
I have to destroy her plans, her enthusiasm. I am shaking. I feel like my heart will stop. I think this is my worst ever betrayal. On Friday I go for the scan. I see you for the first time. Now I don’t have to imagine, I can see! You have all your arms and legs. I am relieved for you, I want you to have as few obstacles in life as possible. I spend the weekend on the phone. 17 calls, 9 hours. I know because I recorded myself and am re-living it making this episode.
I’ve categorized my conversations into themes as I've edited them, and can see where my preoccupations lie. One third work, one third our unknown future, and the final third divided again: love, lost and longed for, my changing body, and you, my baby, inside me. I feel sad to see how much anxiety over work and the future dominate.
We went to Sydney this weekend, to see friends and meet new babies. On the train up, with these conversations fresh in my head, the trip seemed poignant. Welcome to the world little Audrey and Maple.
This is an independent production made by me, Sophie Harper.
I am truly grateful to you, my friends, my family, and my daughter, who accept me when I obsess, when I wallow, when I dominate, and when I’m withdrawn. Who allow me to record, and support me completely. Who share in my sorrows and in my great joys. Who let me share in yours. Music by Chris Zabriskie, Dexter Britain and LJ Kruzer. Story input from Rebecca Mostyn. I’ll be releasing new episodes every two weeks on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for your reviews and messages, I find them incredibly moving and inspiring. iTunes reviews also help the series find more listeners so if you like the series, I’d love you to leave a review.
I have launched a fundraising campaign to help keep the series going strong. You can donate through the Australia Cultural Fund until the end of August.
Donations are in Australian dollars (AU$10 = US$7.50 or 5.80 GBP). For Australian taxpayers it’s even tax deductible. If you’d like to support the production of this series, I’ll be hugely grateful! Here’s the link: https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/not-by-accident-podcast/