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.
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.
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.