Dear baby, You are such a big boy now, 9 months old, you’ve learnt how to cuddle, you’ve started to get clingy, and it’s made me clingy to you too. You go babababa and bffff and dada and ahhhhh. You love singing, you love banging, you love other children. Every day I love you more and every day I am filled with terror. You’ve just got me, bubba, to protect you from absolutely everything.
You smell fresh like a meadow you stretch when you wake you smile so big like you can’t get enough joy out just experiencing life as pure joyous sensation all the magic in everything wind skin on skin the sound of velcro the trees
I’m sorry I wasn’t excited to meet you. I wish I could go back to that first meeting and just bask in it. No rush of love came. It came weeks later, with tears, and I wanted to go back, back to each moment, to the feel of you inside me, to the scans, to the flood of pink in the pregnancy test, and just do it all again, with elation instead.
But there are so many more moments and rainy mornings are the best, when there’s nothing else to do but look at you.
Dear baby, You arrived!
Check out your cool young parents in their denim jackets.
Sorry I don’t know what I’m doing.
How can you bring a whole other person into the world when you are not so sure about the world yourself?
It’s probably a little late to be having these thoughts.
You are 30 weeks old inside me. About 10 more weeks until you are here. That’s not scary at all!
You are so lucky, baby, that you will be born here. You will not be hungry, you will not be in fear for your life. You will grow pampered and spoiled and sad. Pregnancy has made me especially sad with the world. We have so much potential! We could make utopia! We have so much knowledge but maybe not enough wisdom.
I’m sorry, baby, you will wonder at this world you were brought into.
Maybe you can help change it. Maybe it will get better. Maybe we will stop killing everything.
I would like for us to build a little house in a warm country away from the city and to live off the land. But I can’t do that on my own because I am an idiot. I don’t know anything. Without the internet I am nothing. This is the humanity we have made. As a whole we have so much knowledge, but individually we can’t survive on our own land.
Everything is made convenient for us, we can watch any video on Youtube in the blink of an eye, but there is no soul to our lives, there is no meaning, and we are all sad.
Give me hope, baby, with your strange bubbling movements, with the cramped feeling that is you under my ribs. You are a miracle to exist and isn’t that what we all need, one miracle, just one, and we know the miraculous, the divine, and we have hope then, that anything can happen.
I have to stop now, I can’t look at a screen for long anymore. In the first trimester, when you were just a little bean, I was plagued with eye-strain-like headaches and couldn’t glance at my phone without feeling sick. I hope this doesn’t start up again, because I need to search for a life for us and the only place I know where to look is the internet!
I struggle with the concept of bringing a child into the world because I am not so sure about the world myself.
I feel like God, bringing forth conscious life.
But I do not have a god’s power and I cannot mould that life into what I choose and I cannot protect it forever. You will find out the loneliness of the world and you will be sad.
How can you bring another person into the world when you don’t yet know how to be happy?
Dear baby, You nestled in, neither child nor anything remotely considered human, discluding beliefs of the Catholic Church and I would advise to disclude the beliefs of the Catholic Church, you nestled into your warm dark bed and perhaps it would always have been best to tear you out with my fingernails.
I don’t like the world one bit, it all flashed across my mind like fire. It is toxic, it’s all death and destruction, a baby all soft and white and fragile is not safe in a world like this. The autumn air was wrought with peril. The blackish leaves like Halloween decs were ripped screaming from their branches. The puddles were frosted glass, cracked and splintered. Breath fired lungs, gusted vicious white plumes. The sun was more like a snowflake, pale and sharp. My mum always says, It’s a dangerous world out there, she’s only joking, well only half-joking, she’s a big worrier. Well she’s right, I choke on my own spit. Through the hot black tunnels of me was a tiny beating heart like a beetle clicking. A few weeks old and pulsing angrily. You could be the centre of the world.
But it was very cold and the cold made me sad, I thought you wouldn’t want to be born into a cold world. It is all treacherous ice and dark mornings, it is old people slipping and breaking their hips and dying frozen in their living rooms. You wouldn’t like it out here, I thought. You would be sad.
But your heart was loud as thunder in my ears. You see all these men sending other men to war and you see pub fights and you see people sleeping in the street and you see the Prime Minister lying so smooth and bland and you can’t help it, you just love them all. God gave me ovaries, I don’t know if he counted on love.
Dear baby, I will make the world magical for you. This is what you have to do. This is what mothers the world over have to do. I will make the world magical and it will stop us sinking into despair.
I don’t mean to be negative, baby, and that’s the whole point. We are lucky because we are in a rich country and we have family and we won’t starve or be on the streets. We have choices.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t all feel the Earth spinning into oblivion and all the stars winking out like cheap Christmas lights and it doesn’t mean that the rivers don’t gush with poison and our lungs don’t wheeze with nitrogen and sulphur oxides, unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and everybody is not sad.
I will show you the magic, baby, the old pagan magic that they tried to burn with the witches.
Our world will be small, as the worlds of small children are, spent in patches of garden threading daisies, in corners colouring, compartmentalizing buttons and beads in colours and shapes, teatime and bathtime, enraptured by orange segments and bubbles. In the small things we will find the wonder, and the world won’t wrap at the door, that distant land of men in suits causing trouble.
Parents dream of their children’s eyes big and luminous like Catherine wheels and their smiles spread wide like beach parasols at all the beauty in the world.
Then they do not have to think, My child should not be born. He or she should stay curled up inside me like a mollusc. It’s safe there.
What are their brains like then? Are they dull or do they burn like galaxies? Or are they still and omniscient in the ocean-quiet of the womb?
All these babies that should not be born. All these little strangers that will grow stranger with the years until you cannot remember what they were, gentle prods and nudges inside you.
The galaxies glitter and each pale blaze is a blind spot, a hole as if from a cigarette burn.
I will love you but I am not sure that it will be enough.
Dear baby, Here is a secret. Sometimes I don’t want you to be born. I want you to stay safe inside me, coiled like a shell. It’s not safe out here. And you’ll be here forever. What will I do with you?
Dear baby, The new year begins with fireworks in London to celebrate, according to the Mayor, the city’s relationship with Europe, a knife attack in Manchester, a car driven into New Year’s crowds in Tokyo with intention to kill and abortion legalized in Ireland. You turn your 126th day in the womb. I go home crying and wake at 4.45 to your dad at my door high on cocaine and chewing a lump of hard cheese. You will come roaring and kicking into the world in five months, just as the daffodils begin to wilt, bluebells already faded. I wait for you to kick, a new year event, but there is just the quiet, warm space inside me where you dream of the dark universe of the womb, tiny brain like the Milky Way. You will leave bright comet-tails in your wake. Love, Mummy