About a year and a half a go, I went on a training course for foster carers, Yes it may come as a surprise to you but the local authority not only allow me to look after my own children,but other peoples too from time to time.
Anyway, this training was aimed at helping foster carers to understand how memories, triggered by the things we see, smell, taste and hear can impact on our behaviour.
In order to illustrate the point, the speaker bought with her some little kodak film tubes, from back in the day (when you actually had to take a film to the developers.) Now what she she did next rather reminded me of what my brother used to do with his farts in our youth, She had preserved scents in the cylinders to pass around and see what memories they activated.
And its strange because as we are moving in to these winter months there are many seasonal happenings that trigger memories for me, taking me back to this this time last year when I was desperate to hold on to the baby I had not yet met.
Halloween Costumes, the wet weather or the X-factor theme tune music all remind me of being in hospital, five months pregnant, trying to convince the staff there that I was not a nut job, that I was going to have a baby early and I was scared. High tariff television was my only escape from the prospect of the impending pre term labour.
Stephen and I would huddle up on the too- high, too- thin bed, holding on to a headphone each and watch the celebrity wannabes dish out one cheesy pop song after another. (forgive me Stephen for exposing this)
Any way, the one act that that I disliked above all others was 'Wagner.'
It wasn't because he couldn’t sing for all the tea and china but because he made me giggle so much I just couldn't help myself! This would then be followed by me thinking I'd provoked yet another bleeding episode. Of course being a silly pregnant woman, I'd laugh at any thing remotely funny and Wagner had me biting down on my lip so hard I looked like I'd done ten rounds with Mike Tyson, Talk about an emotional roller coaster!
Those days leading up to the 'viability' stage of pregnancy were marked by fear and powerlessness. The sense of guilt, worry and concern saw my anxiety levels soaring and I felt very isolated in the realisation that my baby would not be born to be healthy. Nobody else echoed my concerns much less confirmed them, not a single doctor or nurse, which had me questioning weather I was, in fact losing the plot.
I see a similar pattern emerge these days when the the X-factor theme tune plays out on a Saturday night. It triggers a sense of alert deep in my consciousness, only this time it's not the bathroom I run to but the cot side where before me lies a beautiful sleeping Smidgy-Roo, and I count my lucky stars (excuse the pun) that we are where we are today.