It’s a little bit weird knowing the exact day that you’re going to give birth. Certainly a different experience from last time. In 48 hrs I will, theoretically, be holding Thing 2 in my arms. I don’t know why I feel so calm about it really, I seem to lack either anxiety or excitement – I’m just feeling uber-relaxed and sanguine about it all. G appears to feel more or less the same – all of his anxiety is reserved for getting through a ton of work before she arrives, rather than the arrival itself.
However I think the mental hormones are really starting to kick in. I can’t be allowed near anything remotely tear-jerking right now (e.g. had to re-do my mascara yesterday after listening to In The Ghetto by Elvis). Also I’m looking kind of puffy and weird all over. G and I held hands yesterday on the way back from his birthday lunch and he told me that it felt like holding a stranger’s hand, because my fingers are swollen and fatter than usual. Same goes for my feet (good god, how I yearned to take my shoes off) and even my nose looks a bit puffy and swollen this week. Suffice to say none of my extremities are at their most attractive.
Thing 2 hardly seems to be moving at all lately – I keep having to prod and tap and jiggle the bump until I get a reaction… just to be sure that she’s alive in there. I imagine it’s pretty annoying, from her perspective – especially as she was probably asleep and is really cramped up in there. But never mind.
Today I had my last pre-op appointment, where they took blood samples and told me what to expect. I have pills to take the night before and again at 6am on the big day – and after that it’s nil by mouth. I have to be at the labour ward at 7:15am… and, as long as no emergencies occur that bump me down the queue, my procedure could apparently start as early as 8:30am and finish around 2pm.
That elapsed timing sounds WAY longer than last time. I swear the whole business of getting James out and sewing me back up was done in the space of an hour. But, then again, it was an emergency procedure and I was already hooked up to an epidural, which probably made everything go quicker. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens on Thurs. I’ve been told that, all being well, they’ll send me home between 24 and 48 hours after the op. I’m kind of hoping for 24 on the dot, but I suppose I’d better pack for the possibility of 48.
Oh, packing… why is it such a drag to do? It’s on my to-do-list for today, along with eternal laundry loads and a range of weird and wonderful things that you feel compelled to do before going in for a procedure… like epilating to within an inch of your life, buying flowers for the house, cutting your fingernails short, removing nail varnish and (in my case) cutting my own hair.
That last one is actually a freak occurrence. I’ve been meaning to get it done before the birth but have been too feckless and disorganised to arrange an appointment. So, this morning, I thought what the hell and lopped a few inches off the ends with my super-expensive dressmaking scissors and – actually – I think I did an ok job. As far as I can tell it doesn’t really look any different to when I get it done at a salon. (I may well be kidding myself – hence I shall be asking a reliable friend to check whether it also looks ok from the back or is in fact a heinous hatchet job!)
As for Thing 1, I have a feeling his intense excitement about the baby may have burned out several weeks ago, but he is nevertheless looking forward to the big day. He still talks to the baby often and insists on kissing the bump goodnight every evening, and telling her that he loves her, which is v sweet. But I do fear that he’s going to be mighty disappointed by the reality…
In preparation, he’s been given the responsible role of cat monitor. His job is to make sure that the cats are not allowed in our bedroom at any time or on any of the baby’s stuff. He’s taken to it very well and is currently doing an obsessive job of keeping our bedroom door closed and shooing cats away as and when needed. He’s also fully expecting to be my little helper for nappies and is aware that his other important job is to make sure that his 8,000 tiny animal toys are not allowed anywhere near his sister. Here’s hoping that one lasts. (In the meantime we have entered into talks with carpenter Pops about the possibility of a wooden box with a lid for secure storage of 8,000 tiny plastic choking hazards.)
The boybot had his first visit to his future school on Saturday as it was their May Fair. It was a hell of a lot more impressive than the school fairs G and I remember from our youth… (e.g. they had huge bouncy castles and a go-karting track and a Back To The Future show being run by a minor celebrity dad).
Early on I started to worry that it had been a mistake to take the boy along – I think we underestimated how freaked out and intimidated he might be by the profusion of ferocious 10-year-old boys that were racing about and play fighting and hogging every fairground game. But I think his intimidation eased somewhat when we took him to the part of the school for reception children and he saw his future classroom and all of the children’s bags on pegs, just like they have at nursery. He also had a rummage in a box of books that he liked the look of and saw the separate, secure playground for the 4 and 5 year olds. Since then G and I have had a letter inviting us to a series of school meetings ahead of him starting reception, so I expect we’ll learn more as we go on about how best to prepare them.
Eep! A seriously loud hail storm has started outside… it’s hard to carry on typing while the window beside me sounds like it’s being battered by marbles. So I shall say goodbye for now and – y’know – see you on the other side…