There I was, on my knees, hugging a large bright blue ball. What was I up to? Exercise sessions with Eleanor the trainer who takes me once (or occasionally twice a week) to the limit of my strength and endurance are getting harder. She says I’m getting stronger so she has to up the weights, extend the repetitions and test my limits. The ball hugging followed back extensions, which I hate, but I know my stiff old spine needs to stop it seizing up. Thank goodness Eleanor and her partner Scott’s little personal gym is air conditioned as it is hot again today and with my heart rate leaping the sweat would have been pouring off otherwise. Sorry, too much information.
The other hot person I have talked to today is my daughter in law. Nine months pregnant and just waiting to pop. It reminded me of being in the same state exactly twenty-five years ago when I was pregnant with Zannah, who will be 25 next week. Can recall only too well efforts to get her started as day after hot, slow day I moved from the first into the second week of being overdue. Acupuncture was attempted twice as well as all the usual tried and tested home remedies. Nothing. I had wanted as natural a birth as possible and to avoid being admitted to the main hospital obstetric unit the following week, my lovely GP took me into the GP maternity unit on a Sunday and administered Oxytocin to help get her going. But it still took two goes to persuade her to make her way into the world, which she finally did at 7.15 that evening. She was delivered on to a mat on the floor with me squatting and her dad squashed into the wall because he was supporting me from behind. She lay there quiet, alert and utterly perfect, looking up at us with her lovely blue eyes and I introduced her to the midwife and our GP, saying aloud for the first time the name we had given her at 18weeks when amniocentesis had revealed her sex and which we had kept to ourselves for the rest of my pregnancy…Let me introduce you to Susannah Phoebe Merricks.
Like us Emily and Peter have given their daughter the middle name Phoebe (Walter’s mother’s name) but they too will only reveal her first name once she is born. We understand and can’t wait.