What’s going on? What on earth is this 10-month thing? I thought humans had a nine-month pregnancy. It seems to have been going on forever. I feel in two minds about everything: I am desperate to stop feeling elephantine and to get this baby out and yet I also don’t want her to arrive yet, I’m not quite ready mentally. The scary question is: will I ever be?
I have just stopped working and gone onto maternity leave. It feels very strange. I am a huge blob with tiny arms and legs just waiting to pop. My days seem purposeless. I go for slow, puffy walks and dip in and out of mindnumbing daytime television. It’s just a waiting game.
It’s high time to pack that hospital bag and get all the bits and pieces needed. I draw the line at buying nightdresses for the hospital covered in bears (the only ones available at a large maternity retailer) and disposable paper knickers. But I do buy some sleepsuits, scratch mitts, socks, breastpads for breastfeeding and nappies.
I've also been fitted for a nursing bra. The fitter told me to buy size 40E. I think she must need her head testing. Surely not. I’ll look like Dolly Parton and will have to get clothes especially made for me. Sadly, I buy four industrial-sized bras with cups as big as mixing bowls.
I'm also starting to leak colostrum, the substance your body makes to feed the baby before your milk comes in. I can feel the baby moving more now and am finally getting the odd kick. My midwife has said that I need to count 12 movements during the time I'm awake. If it falls below, I should call her.
My friend has just come round with a Moses basket and a car seat that used to belong to her two kids. It’s very kind of her to pass them on, especially as she wants a third child. It’s amazing how many people give you things when you are about to have a baby. We still need to buy a buggy but choosing one is like picking your life-long partner. We have been three times to buy one and have left empty-handed and exasperated, not to mention sick of the droning about travel systems, prams, pushchairs, etc. At least we have a very nice little sling for the first few days.
My midwife is coming round very regularly now and says that the baby is in exactly the right position for childbirth. She recommends sex or a hot curry to get the baby going. The truth is I can’t face either at the moment.
As nothing seemed to be happening my midwife suggested she give me a couple of 'sweeps' to get the process moving. It appears to have worked because I have just felt a rather sharp shooting pain not unlike period pain. I’m going to phone my midwife and get in the bath. It’s happening. It’s finally happening… I can’t believe that I am about to have a baby… I’m elated and terrified but must stay calm; after all, women have been doing this since time in memoriam, haven’t they…?
I'll let you know how it goes.