One day I was catching the train into the city five days a week for work. The next, I was on 13 weeks of bed rest.
My first pregnancy, 35 years ago, was all planned out. I like to have a plan, I write lists, I put appointments in my diary – that's the sort of person I am.
I planned to get pregnant and after a few months it happened. But then things stopped going according to my plan and instead progressed differently.
As I was working in an office environment, I had planned to work until one or two weeks before my due date. Other women had done it, so I could too.
However, at my six month check up, my obstetrician told me I could forget that idea. My blood pressure was high and the weight I had suddenly gained that month was a bad sign. I was to go home and stay in bed for the next week. He was very clear that I was only to get up to shower or go to the toilet. If my blood pressure hadn't come way down when he saw me in seven days, I would be admitted to hospital. I burst into tears and then discovered he didn't have a box of tissues.
What a shock to the system. One day I was catching the train into the city five days a week for work. In my time off I was visiting Dad in a nursing home or going to see other family members. I was never one for just sitting around watching television – I was busy doing things and looking after others. Suddenly, I was just sitting or lying down in bed.
At first, I wondered how I would cope with the boredom and I felt pretty down. I was also worried about my baby as my obstetrician, a very serious man, had explained the risks that can be brought on by pre-eclampsia. He mentioned the possibility of having seizures during the birth and of my baby having a low birth weight.
Even though I had complete bed rest for the week as instructed, my blood pressure remained elevated and I spent time in hospital. My unborn baby and I were monitored closely and after a few days my blood pressure was consistently down so I was allowed to go home. I spent the rest of the pregnancy in bed, thirteen weeks in all.
This gave me time to really bond with the life growing within me. I talked to my baby and played him/her music. (My husband and I called our unborn child Natander because he/she would be Natasha if a girl and Alexander if a boy.)
I read lots of pregnancy and baby magazines as well as books on other topics (no internet back then). Each morning, I enjoyed reading the newspaper and became quite good at solving crosswords. I looked forward to seeing the latest women's magazines, entered competitions and even won a couple of small prizes.
In addition, I wrote poetry and a few reader's letters for magazines. I finished a tapestry I had never found the time to work on. I appreciated the visitors who dropped in and the neighbour who made trifle for us.
A nurse came to the house to check my blood pressure each week. The highlight of my week was being allowed to go out for a check up with the obstetrician (I had to take in the urine I had collected for the previous 24 hours to check the protein level too). In addition, I had extra ultrasounds to check on my baby's growth.
It was planned that my baby would be induced a week before the due date. Again, baby had other ideas and I went into labour a few days before this.
My darling baby arrived safely and there were no more days in bed for me. Life was full of all the things a new mother does.
My son was a very fussy baby. He only settled when he was being held, he didn’t nap for very long during the day, he was very uncomfortable after a feed (more so in the evening) and he never slept through the night.
I remember looking out the bedroom window at the weeds growing in the garden and thinking how much I would like to get out there and pull them up. I wouldn't have done anything that could have put the well being of my unborn child or my own health at risk.