And so it begins again: The Great Baby Wait. As I type, bouncing on my ball (harder than it looks), I am currently 10 days overdue with zero sign of any movement. Ben says anyone who can eat Jammy Dodgers through their Braxton Hicks as comfortably as I can is not having meaningful contractions. We have been here before. I liked being pregnant with Eve, and she seemed to quite enjoy it too. We were finally surgically parted, 17 days after her due date, when she was still small and scrawny and mighty pissed off she had been pulled from her cosy cave. And so it’s no real surprise that the Tummy Baby is following suit. Ben has a theory that I have the gestation period of an elephant, or at least a donkey; that I am just meant to go to 44 or 45 weeks. A donkey… nice.
So I got to thinking about how different these weeks have been to those I spent two years ago, waiting for Eve. In summary, there has been less Escape to the Country and more Frozen.
5 things I did on maternity leave last time:
- Lunched with friends. I would potter into town and then potter home again and wonder if I might have a baby tonight. There has been less lunching with friends and more lunching with Eve this time around. She does not yet appreciate the delights of lunching and is unencumbered by social niceties. If we had been involved in the making of a documentary entitled Licking The Tube, she could not have done a more comprehensive job of getting her tongue to make contact with every inch of our Underground carriage last week.
- Get waxed. For prudence I did this in my first week off, at 38 weeks. I thought it would be nice to be confident in that department. And as one can’t see what the hell is going on down there, I brought in the professionals. Needless to say, this was a redundant activity, as by the time the baby arrived four and a half weeks later, it needed doing ALL OVER AGAIN! So I have not bothered this time around. Waxing hurts; no one cares what your pubes look like when they are trying to deliver your baby; and I am pretty sure they have all seen worse (I have no factual basis for this whatsoever).
- Cooked for the freezer. Giant lasagnes, curries, stews and individually portioned roast dinners. It was chock-a-block with post partum sustenance and nutrition. This time I’ve made one moussaka which doesn’t count as we ate it at the weekend when our favourite Indian was closed for refurbishment. The other problem was I found the freezer was pretty full already with fish fingers, boxes of Mini Milk and gin. So, you know, we won’t starve.
- Walked. God, how I walked. Up hill and down dale, every sodding day. Like Forrest Gump. This time I have not walked the length and breadth of North London because frankly I can’t be arsed. I have lugged a giant two year old about for nine months, balancing her atop my equally giant belly: if that’s not going to encourage a baby out, nothing will. I have also stood about at playgroups for hours at a time, while strangers gasp audibly at the height/shape/gestation of the bump. Last week during the dancing and singing bit, the vicar’s wife suggested we all do the Hokey Cokey “to get the baby out.” Some people think it has “dropped” which is universally deemed to be a good thing (at playgroup). “Oh, it’s so loooowww,” one lady said, as if it was about to drop out there and then. If only…
- Drank raspberry leaf tea. It’s disgusting. It tastes like earth, and not the wholesome down on the farm kind, more the bit of scrubland by the bus stop kind. I drank litres of the stuff. And it made not a blind bit of difference. See also clary sage: I sniffed it, I bathed in it, I rubbed it in. I bought pineapples by the trolley load – it was like living in an Um Bongo advert. None of it worked. Because she wasn’t ready to come. And I am learning fast that babies come when they are good and ready. Or they don’t and we force them out with our dastardly methods and the best of intentions. Either way, they come in the end, and it’s ok.
So while we wait out these final days, I shall try not to wish this little person out before it wants to come. I will enjoy it keeping me company, and be glad of its rolling and prodding and flipping about. We shall stick together just a little longer, me and the Tummy Baby.