My husband is a massive Arsenal fan. Like obsessed. He used to read an Arsenal podcast to the bump almost every day, so much of what Isobel heard her daddy speak was of keepers, defensive midfielders, formations and transfer gossip. Simon also watches every football game available, regardless of who is playing. Hence I have lost him this weekend (the start of the Premier League season) to the TV and iPad (yes he will watch two games simultaneously!) and my football widow status in addition to my childless mother status has left me feeling lonely. Normally I’d make plans with friends but those who have been around have been going out drinking continuing the wedding celebrations I wrote about yesterday and I can’t face bars or pubs right now.
So this weekend I’ve been occupying myself, reading mostly, but today I can’t stop looking at pictures of Isobel and watching the videos we made in her company. I see her face, even on my iPhone screen, and my fingers itch to be able to stroke her, my arms ache to feel her weight, my chest is heavy with an unnatural lightness. The absence of Isobel is a physical presence, so wrong and so alien. How can I not be pregnant anymore and yet also not have my baby to nurse? My body doesn’t understand.
The pictures I have capture the only facial expression of my daughters that I will ever see. There should be so many more pictures, years and decades worth; different places, different times, different clothes – a baby, a toddler, a little girl, a teenager, a young woman, a woman grown. These pictures (four days, one outfit, one location) are all I have and I resent that fact, even as I am so grateful for them. I cannot stare at her here in real life, so I will stare at her picture.
My beautiful baby girl.