Had a check-up at the maternity’s ante-natal clinic this week. For the couple of hours that I got stuck there (because lucky me, my file went missing) I enjoyed a little people-watching. It’s the old story; you never notice pregnant bellies until you have one yourself and then it’s just fascinating. You’re consoled by the huge ones, rationalise that the small ones are obviously waaaaaay behind you in terms of dates and then there’s the observing of high carriers Vs low. What’s more intriguing is the variety of ways that pregnant bellies are displayed, disguised or simply dressed. In the clinic waiting room, for example, there were low-waisted velour tracksuits that enabled bejewelled belly buttons to peek out. There were chunky jumpers and long scarves, where the bump was hard to make out and there were belted dresses, which hinted at a proud subtlety.
Bellies aside, another observation was how dependent we have become on mobile phones. Virtually every person in the waiting room had their head down, lost in googling, texting or, in one lady’s case, instructing someone (very loudly) on how to make an omelette. It’s like we have completely lost the ability to just sit in our own company, without feeling self conscious. The renowned Irish art of small talk is fast being buried by smart phone technology. The day will inevitably come where you’ll be able to scan your own belly with your I-phone 37, send it to a virtual gynaecologist and receive feedback from a medical version of Siri. I take comfort in the fact that I’ll be far beyond my child-bearing years when robots start doing internal examinations.
We’re trying to decide whether or not to bring our seven year-old to the 32-week scan. On the one hand, we want to include him in as much as we can but then there’s the fear of scaring him a little. What if he’s disappointed because (just like his Mom) he can’t make anything out or what if the sight of a small alien-like figure invading his Mom’s body scares the pants off him? Add to that the blasé attitude of seven year-olds in general and cue my disappointment when he looks demented bored by the whole thing. We could just end the conundrum and ask him if he would like to come, but I know well that invitation will be met with ‘ok but can you please tell me again how that baby got in there in the first place and how it’s going to get out?’ Ostrich, me? Never.
After reading a book about the power of habit and how we can re-train the mind, I poured a carton of Ribena into a wine glass and told myself that my wine-yearning evenings would be behind me. I settled myself on the couch, well smug at my craftiness…… and lost interest in the whole experiment after about 5 seconds. You know what they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it still tastes like Ribena. Maybe I should spend less time playing armchair psychologist and do something useful like buy and wash some baby clothes.
It turns out that week 28 officially marks the beginning of the third semester so, lo and behold, I’m on the home stretch (allegedly). Currently I can’t see my own toes in the shower and every trip up the stairs leaves me sounding like a heavy-breather on a chat line but great, the end is only…………12 weeks away. I’ve noticed that a lot of parenting websites and blogs are now referring to the first 6 weeks post-partum as the ‘fourth trimester’ Will you get away out of it. It’s hard enough to keep the delivery date in sight, without having to think about those nasty after bits as well. At least once the baby arrives the happy hormones kick in so you can meet most of those challenges (traumatised lady bits, broken sleep, etc.) like the stoned hippy that nature temporarily creates. Here’s to the third trimester where one is expected to glow, nest and relax. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Don’t forget to check back for next weeks pregnancy diary!