I am ten days away from my due date and I am in Ghent, standing upright in the turning bit of the tram. I’m holding on to the rails for dear life as the floor shifts beneath me.
There is a middle-aged couple sitting down on the seats next to me, happily chatting. A group of students are behind me in seats, laughing together. There are other commuters, busy on their phones. I am carrying heavy shopping bags that are digging into my shoulders, my back aches, and balancing is a serious challenge with the belly.
The tram stops, and a single seat opens. I move towards it, but I’m not fast enough and it’s taken by someone else. The tram goes on, and so does my white-knuckled grip on the rail. I have been having practice contractions for days, and one rolls over me, making me breathe shallowly. Sweat prickles on the back of my neck. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.Read more