Sunday, 22 October 2017

Nine months later...

Well, when we announced the pregnancy, I totally geared myself up to regale you all with HUHLARIOUS stories of antenatal mishaps - being sick in bins at work whilst live on air*, ridiculous things that I did/said/thought, and my waters breaking in the most embarrassing place possible, and it has all come to naught! Well, except the waters thing, which could still totally happen. I’ll keep you updated.

* Stenography is a unique profession where once you’ve started, you can never, ever stop for any reason whatsoever...

But honestly? We’ve had the most boring pregnancy ever! Except I can’t say ‘boring’, as we got frowned upon in antenatal classes when I described it this way... because pregnancy is magical and special and so very precious and all. So I mean ‘uneventful’ and ‘#blessed’ of course. I’ve had precisely no morning sickness (puking in shock at a positive pregnancy test totally doesn’t count apparently), no cravings, no exhaustion and no crazy mood swings* or anything. I’ve really enjoyed it all, genuinely - minus a slight trauma over the removal of my stomach piercing and the subsequent stretchy hole that’s developed (all hail to Bio Oil!). And now I’m on maternity leave and we have somewhere between the next 5 minutes and 2 weeks to go, and it’s all gone so quickly, but also, I’ve been pregnant for pretty much the entire year, which seems like forever, and I feel like I should probably at least write about some of it. So here’s a few things we’ve experienced over the months...

* Shut up, Jan..


Going for scans...

Putting a face to the puncher of my bladder...

The first time you go for your dating scan, you will be all excitement and nerves - is there really something in there? Is this where I awkwardly find out I’ve made the whole thing up in my head and it’s been really bad trapped wind for all these weeks? What the heck’s going on? And they give you very specific instructions about exactly when and how much to drink before the scan to ensure a nice full bladder, so the uterus can be seen properly.

Now, I am a total people pleaser - especially with authority figures - so despite thinking, “Huh, a litre of water that I have to hold for an hour before the scan seems rather excessive”, I dutifully sipped my way through the requisite amount, and then insisted on getting the bus to the scanning place, cos I ain’t no fool. Except... when we got to the sonographer, we realised we’d totally forgotten the doctor’s referral, without which they refused to see us. But neither would they let us leave to go fetch it. They insisted we ring our doctor from there and have them fax it through. 20 minutes later and still no fax in sight - but what was in sight was me dancing around the waiting room in the age old “dear god, I can’t hold it any longer” pee dance of doom. In fact, so compelling was my performance, the receptionist finally took pity on us and said we could see the sonographer without the form, and would I like to try and “let some out” in the ladies? All I can say is if there’s one thing worse than the exquisite torture of needing the loo and not being able to go, it’s the pure hell of trying to stop halfway through the most desperately-needed pee of your entire life... Twice. Because once just wasn’t enough. Then the sonographer STILL commenting on how full your bladder is, whilst pressing down hard on your stomach with the scanner. And you having to pee twice more during the scan. So, newly-pregnant ladies, for God’s sake, REMEMBER THE DAMN FORM.


It’s not always you that gets the hormones...

When you start reading pregnancy literature,  all you hear about is hormones, hormones, hormones! Morning sickness? It’s the hormones coursing through you! Sobbing because the person in front of you in the queue took the sandwich you wanted? Hormones! Staring in a crazily stalkerish manner at all babies/pregnant bellies/variety of prams as you walk down the street? Hormones, oh pregnant one! Only... well, it wasn’t me who got the hormones in this pregnancy.

It wasn’t me who started nesting for the gods, trying to build our own baby monitor, and declaring he really wants a shed for carpentry projects; it wasn’t me who cried at all the scans we’ve had; and it definitely wasn’t me who sobbed at every birthing video we’ve watched so far... I fear my face was more of the totally-grossed-out-and-traumatised variety at the “miracle” of birth.


And if that makes me sound like a stone-cold, emotionless robot, well...blame it on the hormones.


There will be baby brain...

Finally! A symptom I did get! Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m not the most, ahem, organised person at the best of times, but wow does pregnancy really up the ante. I’ve waltzed out of countless cafes without my handbag, on multiple times forgotten my antenatal card (which I’m supposed to carry everywhere) to routine appointments, and on one occasion even booked an appointment with completely the wrong doctor. Convinced my doctor’s name was Young, I confidently booked in a check-up, only to discover on the day that my doctor is Dr Ryan. There’s no Dr Young at my surgery at all - although annoyingly there is a Dr Yong, and much hilarity ensued when the receptionists discovered the mistake...

The best thing about all this though is (HORMONES) you totally don’t care about any of it at all, it’s just so nice that people are willing to chase you down the street with all your abandoned belongings, or politely indulge you in letting you waddle off to collect all the paperwork you’ve forgotten. And speaking of waddling...


Watschelente...



This is one* of my new names now. It basically means “waddling duck”, although I prefer to view myself more like an oversized penguin trying to make it back to penguin home base with a stomach full of fish.

Either way, it’s somewhat dispiriting when you get all dressed up in your spiffing new maternity togs, proudly walking down the street with bump in full “miracle of life” mode, only to catch sight of yourself in a window and realise you’re walking like you’ve just **** your pants...

The other is Jan relentlessly singing “Big Belly” at me, to the tune of “Black Betty”. He has been firmly warned that any continuance of this after the birth will be looked upon most severely...


People are lovely!

There’s something about a baby bump that makes you instantly approachable. Complete strangers will come and strike up conversations with you out of the blue, purely because you look like you’ve eaten a cannon ball for breakfast. I’ve met an artist from the next suburb over, a woman who has had three children herself, talked about numerous birth stories, and had a man on a bike ride past and shout, “there could be twins in there”! Which... well, OK, uhm, thanks?! And suddenly you’re the special one on the bus who people jump up to give a seat to! And goddamn it, I will take the seat, regardless of the fact I’ve just left the most sedentary job ever where I’ve been sitting for the last 8 hours. You’ve got to make the most of this! And I won’t tire of people making a fuss and telling me how cute and lovely my bump is, because... it totally is!


So that’s about it from pregnancy land. We’re almost ready to move on to labour land, with every twitch and movement now being anxiously assessed to see if “this is it”. Although, I’m getting the feeling this little lady has her parents’ sense of humour already and will hang on in there until the absolute last second just to really freak us out...

But don’t worry, little bubba, we’re ready for you....


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