When I got pregnant for the first time, I had been a serious, obsessed writer for about seven years. I was able to foresee that the kind of three-hour writing session I was used to committing after work would be curtailed by the presence of a little person. I hadn’t realised that he would interfere with my writing while he was still in my body.
If you’ve been pregnant and it has not in the least diminished your intellect or powers of concentration, I salute you. I found myself deeply distracted by my new phase of life. Previously articulate, I could no longer grasp the – perfectly ordinary – words I was reaching for. My written work fared a little better, but it just wouldn’t flow. My ideas stalled and morning sickness sapped me of the energy I had once lavished on my prose. The result was being unable to write for about nine months before my son was born.
After he was born? Ha! Don’t make me laugh. As an insomniac, I thought I understood sleep deprivation. Oh how wrong I was! It took me another nine months of maternity leave from my writing to start again.
Now I’m pregnant for a second time. Perhaps in this pregnancy I’m doing a little better (I’m also not working full-time, as I was with my first child). In the first two trimesters, I did have to sleep if my son did, rather than take that time for writing, but – every now and again – I experienced the joy of opening my laptop and tapping away. I was averaging about 500-1000 words a week this way. For the last month to six weeks, my toddler has cut out his afternoon nap. I know it was only 20-30 minutes, but it was my 20-30 minutes.
Spoiler alert: Expect a mini hiatus in the not-too-distant future. 😉