I have been incubating a miniature human being for ¾ of a year and I am officially bored. In ye olden days I would have been confined to a four-poster bed by now, my darkened room smelling of cloves whilst someone fed me peeled greengages. You there! Yes you, with the lute. Dost thou knowest any Kate Bush? But as this is the ‘modern day’ and not a Tudor spa you have to keep on keeping on ‘enjoying’ all the things the later stages of baby-brewing brings.
Obviously, I am fed up of all the usual: backache, groin ache, leg ache, constant weeing, shortness of breath, having to use the stairs to paint my toe nails. If pregnancy is a marathon I know that physically, I am on mile 21: the end is in sight and whilst the last mile will be a straight uphill climb I’m checking off the markers and haven’t collapsed into a bush (yet). Mentally, however, I am on mile 17: trying to massage the stitch out of my side, feet swelling, really not sure why I agreed to do this and I would quite like to stop know thank you, do you think anyone would notice if I snuck under the barrier and got the bus to the finish line?
Like me, my cloud of Eeyore gloom becomes weightier by the day. Here are some other things that I am mightily done with:
I was always told I was ‘born at 40’, and my general level of sensibleness has served me well thus far. However, now there is something totally snooze-worthy about being practical. New season clothes? No point getting excited about them because I know I will be sporting leisurewear for the foreseeable future (it was a genuine surprise to me after baby number one that your stomach didn’t go back to normal the next day just because it was technically empty). New haircut to cheer yourself up? Step away from the salon, you fool. I learnt this the hard way when I tried to work an Alexa Chung style the first-time round. The overall look after week one was less tousled insouciance, more unenthusiastic mullet. This time I have grown out my fringe and have instructed my hairdresser that when I say ‘Just a trim’ what I mean is ‘Wave the scissors around a bit but for god’s sake don’t actually cut any off!’ Why? So I can pile it on top of my head and secure it with dry shampoo. Yawn. Spotted a lovely Insta-worthy leather/ leopard print nappy bag with space for your laptop and a protein ball pocket? Close that tab girlfriend! This plain grey one is perfectly adequate and functional and £60 cheaper and is designed for baby things not your lip balm collection. Stop sulking.
Two Words: Sharp Scratch
I have embraced my need for comfortable pants with gusto. VP HeLl-Yeah! How I chuckle at my early noughties self, the purchaser of shiny bum-floss from La Senza and the discomfort of unsheathed cheeks. Maternity knickers are ace and, I think, will still provide an extra layer of warmth over the winter months. You can wrestle them out of my sleep deprived post-partum hands. But the boobs and the bras? URGH. I used to joke that my sister, significantly more endowed in the breastage department than I have ever been, had to buy dome tents from Millets to keep hers under control. She used to put my bras on the dog’s head, like a canine water polo player, to emphasise how small they were. OH HOW WE LAUGHED. Now I have nothing but sympathy for her. I am becoming weary of my boobs getting in my way when I try to put socks on, needing sweat-based attention, only feeling comfortable when swathed in a sturdy combo of cotton and Lycra. The white ones are now blue-grey; they all try and poke out the top of my t-shirts due to their full coverage. No one needs to see this. It is making me sad.
NHS Speed Dating:
I have seen five different midwives, three nurses, three consultants, two junior doctors and a health visitor. In each case I have had approximately three minutes and 42 seconds to tell them EVERYTHING. It is exhausting and I can’t imagine what it is like for them to be at the end of a conveyor belt of women, each with varying degrees of emotions and stages of pregnancy. I suggest that, instead of a birth plan, we should all have a birth CV- mission statement, previous experience, strengths and weaknesses, bullet pointed, one-side of A4, 12 pt Times New Roman or similar. (Actually, this would probably work with real speed-dating too. Much more efficient.)
Being Told All The Bad Things:
The next person who says any of these is going to get a horrible bra thrown at their head because I have had it up to here (I’m 5ft 5) with the utter guff some people come out with. Despite having already had a child who has been reared successfully to the age of three (well, relatively, she did call the dog a ‘cheeky bugger’ yesterday and her new best friend is a dead wasp called ‘Janet the Friendly Wasp’) I am still a target for people letting me know how awful it is all going to be. Real examples include:
‘You’re having a boy this time? He’ll be trouble!’ (Why?)
‘You look much bigger than last time. Not just your bump, but all over.’ (Why thank you. I have made it my personal target to become as wide as I am tall.)
‘I remember when I was pregnant [insert doom laden story about how their vagina exploded/ the baby had to be winched out by a tractor after a six-week labour]’ (*Puts down ham sandwich*)
‘Your first one slept well? Ha ha, this one won’t then!’ (Is that your time machine parked outside? No? Then pipe down.)
‘Going back to work with two children will be much harder for you. You’ll obviously go part time.’ (But not, presumably, my husband?)
And finally: ‘It will all be worth it in the end.’ Bore. Off.