Keep Calm and Listen to World Service Radio

Prior to becoming preggers, I was one of those people who launched face first into the pillow at night and didn’t stir until morning. I’ve always been an early bird, but sleep has never been an issue. In fact, it was the joke of the Calcutta dormitory that I could successfully zonk out mid conversation and sleep through power cuts at 38 degrees. Obviously the compromised space for my bladder has changed this somewhat – and for the past week it seems like little [or not so little] Freddie, is trampolining on it every night, provoking near hourly get-ups. I am in a PollyAnna mood this morning, so I should like to say that I’m GLAD for the interrupted sleep because it has introduced me to the bizarre joys of BBC World Service Radio. This morning, somewhere around 3am, there was a very interesting discussion between two female mayors, one of Houston TX, and another from Soda, Rajasthan, India … the other morning there was a debate about asylum seekers from Papua New Guinea making their way to Australia. It’s in those small hours of darkness, when one ought be sleeping; that philosophies are crystalised and dreams made. As I wrestle with my maternity pillow, a little reminiscent of┬áSteve Irwin with a crocodile … I mull over the huge task of single motherhood which lies before me. I plan little Freddie’s first trip to India when he’s 5 … I think 5 is a good age, as he will remember it, and not be afraid of the adventure. I imagine his first riding lessons and this season’s three day events, complete with a baby and Labrador. I look across at the empty moses basket awaiting his arrival, and imagine it filled with a warm, gurgling baby.

I try not to think about the process by which Freddie will leave the warmth and comfort of my uterus …. perhaps the reason I’m grateful to world service radio is because it distracts me from the inevitable worries about my cervix dilating to the size of a bagel. It is the lack of control which we/I fear …. like so many things in this life, if I had a set date and was told my waters would break at 3.40am tomorrow; I could plan for the event [at least get some towels ready!] Yet once again I’m reminded that the beauty of life is found in the unknowns, the things we can never plan for or “control”. I am more and more convinced that a positive, empowering childbirth, is centred not in the physical, but in the psychological; I can control my mind therefore I can choose not to panic. I can breathe, I can see beyond the immediate pain, and visualise each contraction as one nearer to having Freddie in my arms … [does this sound terrible cliched?] – I think about those women who give birth on the streets in Calcutta, our grandparents who pushed out a baby and cooked dinner that evening … this is what my body was designed to do … to procreate, to give life, to nurture a foetus in my womb, to propel him into the world … and to love him, to show him the delights and wonder of a world we know so little about.

In the meantime; as I wait … I busy myself catching up with friends and realising that life will never be the same again … I’m on the brink of the next chapter, and the beginning of a new life for a little boy whose happiness will be the focus of the rest of my days.

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My big beautiful boy bump

I had to share these beautiful BUMP photos [you’ll just have to ignore the thighs, and admire the Freddie-bump!] – My first week of maternity leave has been filled with friends and leisurely lunches, and cleaning/nesting. I’ve discovered that McDonalds milkshakes are the perfect medicine for heartburn … and I’ve told baby Freddie that he’s welcome to put in an earlier appearance if he so desires! Momma is ready for you baby boy ….
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10 suggestions from a heavily pregnant bird

1. Yes, I am aware that I’m rather large; this did not happen overnight. I have felt Freddie get heavier and seen the expansion of my waistline over the past 9 months. Exclaiming “GOSH! Aren’t you huge!” probably isn’t wise at this stage …

2. Yes, I am pretty sure there is just one in there; scans are quite accurate these days ….

3. No, I’m not sure of the exact date/time he will arrive … my due date is an estimation. Your guess is as good as mine!

4. Yes, I’m quite sure I’d like that small glass of wine; I need neither your permission or disapproval. If it wasn’t such a waste of good wine, it may end up over your head [the same goes for a tin of tuna, mayonnaise, and the odd cup of “real” coffee!!]

5. Please do feel free to pick up whatever I’ve just dropped on the floor – I promise not to bite your head off. To quote the ecard I shared on Facebook the other day, I’m prone to just walk away saying F it.

6. Also feel free to help tie/buckle my shoes, paint my toe nails or shave my legs [anyone, most welcome!]

7. Yes, I’m aware it’s going to hurt.

8. No, I don’t need to hear your horrific accounts of childbirth including the time you nearly bled to death/gave birth in KFC/flooded Sainsburys when your waters broke/punched the midwife in the face etc.

9. Yes, if I’m hungry I may eat a lot, and if I’m not hungry I might not eat much at all. You don’t need to comment on these things at this stage of my pregnancy. Today I happen to be ridiculously hungry, so those 4 weetabix don’t need raised eyebrows …

10. It is probably best not to argue with me …

Showers, Cupcakes, Steak and the leakage of breastmilk

37 weeks

37 weeks

It has been a few weeks since I last posted; but seeing as I finished work for Maternity Leave on Wednesday, I’m now a lady of leisure and can happily blog away at 11.30am whilst snuggled with my Labrador! It is a lovely feeling to lie in bed reading a trashy novel at 8am rather than battle the morning traffic. That said, I was rather keen to experiment with my new mop and clean the bathroom and kitchen floors this morning [nesting, anyone?!] 3 weeks and counting …

I saw my lovely midwife yesterday and am relieved baby Freddie is in the right position for his birthday. I’m also intrigued by the current leakage of breastmilk, and commented to my midwife “wow, it’s really happening isn’t it“! Yes Verity, there is definitely a baby wriggling around in there, getting increasingly short of “womb”! Bring it on!

Baby Shower cupcakes and biscuits!

Baby Shower cupcakes and biscuits!

Since I last blogged, I had an overwhelmingly beautiful baby shower; I seemed to spend hours sitting on the settee opening the most wonderful presents …. it was fantastic to catch up with so many friends, and to know that 32 people can fit in my flat! I don’t think Freddie will need anything until he’s at least 6months old! I was so overwhelmed at the generosity, and the friends from university who travelled a long way, and my long suffering cousin/birthing partner Sarah, who spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

Baby shower! My lovely friend Helen, who I met on a flight to Calcutta!

Baby shower! My lovely friend Helen, who I met on a flight to Calcutta!

Mention also has to go to Laura – supermum of twin toddler boys and two older girls, who not only crocheted me a beautiful blanket and a horse [I may keep the horse for myself!] but baked millions of cupcakes and cookies, which looked splendid. Then there is Helen, who crocheted a Hungry Caterpillar outfit and a stripy teddy bear and a pom-pom blanket. I can’t wait to see little Fred wearing all these things and getting to know his personality.

The excitement continued with my leaving meal from work, and yet more flowers and balloons and baby things … and a scrumptious steak! We wondered just how many cows I’ve consumed since being preggers ….

So all in all, I’m ready for the big day … although trying not to think of dilating to the size of a bagel! I’m sure there will be time for more idle blogging before then!