15 December 2008

I'm beginning to look like Father Christmas

Just a regular old update then - mainly because it’s easier to farm the thought-scum that gathers at the top of my brain than dangle a tasty line in the deeper waters of the subconscious mind in the hopes of snagging a bigger fish. What? Yes, exactly.

So I’m 36 weeks + along, which means that by Friday, I could go into labour and come out with a baby that has reached full-term. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Every day I gingerly maneuver the great hull of my midsection – towards the toilet, into the shower, between the desk chair and cabinet, the bed and the wall – and carry on with life in spite of the discomfort.

A few weeks ago we had our antenatal classes with the NCT – not quite the hippy love-fest I’d been warned about, though certainly not a clinical hell, as was evidenced by our instructor’s dominatrix-like boots and stripy underpants, which she found far too many occasions to flash.

We spent two full days and one evening with eight other very nice first-time parents-to-be and were ushered through the terror (of which there is plenty) and joy (uh...) of what it will mean to birth a dirty plastic doll through the mouth of a soiled pink toque. Oh those were just the metaphorical teaching tools, but rest assured it’s the visual I will henceforth associate with my upcoming trials in hospital.

Everyone has a funny antenatal class story I’m sure, so here’s mine:

We were asked to visualise what a gorilla giving birth in the wild would be likely to do, in terms of finding a spot, getting comfortable and even asking her gorilla pals for help. It was the perfect allegorical blend of science and fantasy. As sentient beings, we humans tend to forget that the birth-giving process is, above all, completely natural. Huzzah! We were finally thinking outside the box of modern medicine!

Well, most of us anyway. Our instructor asked, “So what are some of the predators we might encounter in a labour ward?” and before the rest of us could conjure up that intrusive orderly or unwanted mother-in-law, an overzealous incubator piped up with “PEDOPHILES?” And because this is England, nobody batted an eyelash while the instructor attempted to address this unlikely scenario.

Okay, I thought it was funny.

So here it is, weeks later, and even though we’ve bought the newborn essentials and written up the birth plan and gathered the elements of an overnight bag (in theory), I am still having trouble believing that what we’ve been talking about and preparing for since April could feasibly happen any day...no...any second now. Fortunately, belief doesn’t enter into the equation, and this kid is going to come whether I’m ready for him or not.

And I am not, so please, kid: try to hold off on the grand entrance for your poor, frazzled mother? At least until she can erase the memory of The Constant Gardiner, Snow White: A Tale of Terror and The Changeling, which, you must admit, were some pretty poor choices for weekend entertainment.

Also, the more times I hear Oh you’ll want the epidural, trust me, the more I want to shout Enough with the scare tactics, you insensitive twat! and prove otherwise. I know I have a low pain threshold, and anyone who knows me could tell you the same. I can’t even get on the kiddy spaceship ride thingy at the fair without wanting to vomit. But I will not be talked into having someone else’s experience before I’ve even had a chance to register that first strong contraction. So fuck off, you epidural-pushing veteran baby-labourers!

And, erm, thanks anyway!

I'm also meant to tell you how deleriously happy I'm feeling about this important and exciting time in my life, which I'm going through with the most amazing man I've ever met. And I am! I really am.


Anonymous said...

:) HO HO HO!

Anonymous said...

My sister (mother of five) once told that the only miserable thing about any of her pregnancies was getting boatloads of unwanted advice from those who had gone before her...that and being touched by strangers. May your remaining weeks of gestation be free of both. Oh, and watch out for the pedos in the neonatal unit. (That made me laugh out loud.)