I'm back at home and the humans, the dog and cat have finally re-established their domestic routines. It's easy to underestimate how unsettling it can be to pack up all your belongings, move out for a while, have the house painted and then move back in. Unfortunately, after making some really good headway on my PhD at my mum's house, the thesis has taken a bit of a back seat lately. It's not that I haven't got work done but it feels more distant and not at the forefront of my thoughts and activity. I'm not too worried about this. The amount of work I'm doing is about as much as I can handle under my current circumstances. I have managed to complete the processing of all my interviews and have moved on to the indexing of them into a single document. A number of themes have emerged which have guided a new thesis structure that I'm reasonably happy with at the moment.
I haven't announced the particularities of my circumstances on my blog yet, but feel that now is the right time to do so, what with the due date in clear view. My partner and are having a child. S. is due to give birth on March 9th and baby is packing on as much weight and other physiological goodies as it can in the final days before it emerges into the world. We are of course excited (the obvious emotional state that everyone expects) but are also experiencing an enormous spectrum of other emotions. I guess excitement is the easiest one to pinpoint, understand and share with others, particularly strangers. But other feelings such as terror, trepidation, anticipation, curiosity, nervousness, pride, strangeness, suspense, a kind of inward melting (love?) and wonder are just some of the other feelings that toy with me on a daily basis. What I find so odd is how emotions around birth and becoming a parent are often presented to be quite simple and well, universally positive and 'natural' when in actuality, when you are touched closely by the experience either through a member of your family, close friend or through direct personal experience, there are just so many different emotional states and shades of feelings that people experience that expressing this complexity is close to impossible. Perhaps this is why we resort to platitudes such as "we are so thrilled" or "they must be so excited", when we refer to child birth and why so much cultural labour goes into presenting it as simple and 'natural'.