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There is something unique about the abject misery that has overwhelmed me at intervals during this pregnancy. There is something about the desperate, animal rawness of the crying that is as harrowing to witness in myself as it is refreshing in its vitality and connection with my true feelings. It is grief at the obliteration of my quality of life, at the loss of my body as purely my own (the things I must do to it to help the baby; the things it is doing of its own accord, many of which are uncomfortable) – and a feeling of alarm at the personal cost already exacted upon me in the choice to have a child. It is exhaustion from fear of things going wrong, fear of what this motherhood journey is going to require of me, fear that some chronic illness underlies my pregnancy malaise and that I will not get better. It is guilt – oh, and how! – that I should be feeling any of these negative things when I know how lucky I am to be where I am; that my perfect little baby deserves a mum whose face is not puffy, tear-streaked and wildly contorted in pain, a mum who is calm, confident and thoroughly ready for her arrival. I feel a gulf between my immense love for her and my limited abilities to give her the best of everything.

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