I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again. I vowed to relish my work and child free days, to remember that it won’t be long, that very soon I will be stuck under a newborn again beholden to her unpredictable and erratic sleeping and feeding whims. I vowed to make the most of pre-baby mat leave.
The day before my son arrived, two and a half years ago, I had cried, “why doesn’t he want to meet me?” I had implored of my husband, I had sobbed and pleaded (unsurprisingly he hadn’t quite known how to answer me). I have looked back on that conversation since and laughed many times at the ludicrousness of that sentence. I have wondered why I was in such a hurry, why I didn’t relax secure in the knowledge that he was going to arrive in the next week or so one way or another? But as I sit here heavily pregnant (39+2… but who’s counting?) I realise that I had completely forgotten how it feels. That waiting for baby to arrive does indeed send you a little mad.
True to my word I have spent the first 10 days of my maternity leave relishing the days when my toddler is in nursery; I have eaten out with friends, taken long baths, treated myself to large slices of cake, indulged in Netflix, taken leisurely strolls, I have even taken myself on a blissful date to the cinema. Popcorn for one. Perfect.
But then something changed. For the past week I have had Braxton hicks roughly every 5 – 10 minutes, I’ve felt so heavy that at points it has felt like our impending bundle of joy was about to just fall out (if only!), fanny daggers have intensified, loo trips increased, light cramps and backache have teased me, nausea has visited and retreated mockingly, my toddler has started waking frequently through the night once more and getting up for the day at a sprightly 5am. I am exhausted… and those casual strolls to the shop have started to need the mental preparation of a marathon. This morning I cried because my husband forgot to make me a cup of tea. The end of pregnancy is once more filled with symptom spotting and googling. You know you have a problem when you genuinely search for “am I more likely to go into labour on a full moon”?
And so it strikes me that in a world of amazon one click and instantaneous answers via google I am simply too impatient to hand over the control of this momentous occasion to my body and my baby. And that being pregnant in what has so far been the hottest summer heatwave since the 1970s has, unsurprisingly, not helped.
So if you’re looking for me I’ll be at home eating curry and pineapple, sniffing Clary Sage oil in the bath and furiously Googling ridiculous symptoms of impending labour. I know that I should be ‘enjoying this time’ but if you value your life I recommend that you keep that little nugget to yourself.
Truth be told I’ve gone a little pre-labour bonkers and it looks set to stay until baby number two arrives!