‘Here he is! Here’s your boy.’ The midwife beamed at her, cloaked in sweat that had come from a sense of unique achievement. She was handed her son, as delicate as a box of eggs, his yolk-wide eyes singing at her. As if exorcised of some necessary evil, a gasp of fright had flown from her mouth as he was born. She could pretend this was as a result of overwhelming pride, as was expected, but the long hours that followed did nothing but empty her. It was not a matter of not being in love with her newborn son, it was not a matter of love at all. It was the shrinking that she felt as she realised that there was less of her, and that she recognised no part of herself in him. Something had become lost, and as much as she could consider the conversations that would no longer occur, or the movements she was never to replicate, it was not that at all.