Thursday, 29 September 2011

"On Being A Bad Pregnant Person..."

That belly ring ain't going nowhere :)
I am a very bad pregnant person.  I know I am.  Forget the odd glass of wine or champagne I rather enjoy now and again ("I'm like the French," I proclaim to dubious onlookers).  By nature I have a (ever so slight) problem with authority and being told what to do.  I also have a bit of a 'know-it-all/been-there-done-it' attitude towards pregnancy...especially this, the third time around.

Take for instance blood tests.  They like to give them to you at least twice during the nine month period, and the first time round with Eggie I managed to get out of them completely, and with Dumps I only succumbed post-birth because of a severe, potentially life-threatening infection.

I have a severe needle phobia you see, and the odd injection I can just about manage if it's a precurser to a looming exotic holiday or something - but otherwise forget it.  Blood tests and their evil uncle 'I.V.'s' are to me akin to the type of torture involving having your eye sockets prised out of your skull by a clumsy thug.

So this time round when the well-meaning but exhausted midwife started preparation for a blood test some weeks ago I just smiled and shook my head.

"No way" I insisted.

"Come on girl!" (She was a rather large, older black woman who been round this particular block many times and was not going to put up with any lip from a girl in black converse and pink lipstick, arms wrapped possessively around her body.)

"Sorry, but there is no way...I'm sorry.  I'd rather die."

She looked at me disdainfully, shook her head and let out a long sigh of a whistle while scribbling something no doubt disparaging in my big orange pregnancy book.

"Okay girl but I think you wanna be getting the blood test done at the hospital.  You gotta try to be brave  - there's a lot worse things than a needle comin' up if you're gonna have this baby," she warned.

Don't I know it.  Still, I did not budge, and it was only when I went for my first scan that I was told a blood test was necessary to check for fetal deformities and Down's...  Gulp.  That did it.

In I went to sit across from a middle aged Kiwi man (what is it with all these Kiwi's??) who barely registered my scared mutterings about having a severe phobia and didn't even glance up when I warned that in all likelihood I would faint.

"Roll up your sleeve...come on now," he ordered, and then proceeded to rue the day he got stuck taking blood from the snivelling, soon sobbing, hyperventilating wreck of a woman sat before him.  It wasn't pretty.  I probably ruined his day.  (I know he ruined mine.)

Anyway, today I saw the same midwife for my 21+ week appointment. She looked at my notes then at me.

"I remember you," she said, whilst glancing down and shaking her head at my silver belly ring.  "You gonna keep that thing in?" she asked disbelievingly.

"Yep," I answered.  "I kept it in for my other two pregnancies and it was fine," answered little Miss Know-It-All...

She didn't look impressed.  Fair enough.  And even less so when I shook my head no to joining any ante natal classes or pre-birthing programmes.  Frankly, until someone comes up with a totally pain-free method of birthing (in which case sign me up asap) I'm not interested in any classes, books or advice.

I know exactly what I'm in for, approximately how many screams and cries of "Kill me now!  I want to DIE!  I want to DIE!  You raise this baby cuz I'm going to die and I'll see you in heaven!" wait in my not so distant future...

Eggie and Dumpie were, until recently (thanks to Auntie Ba), under the impression that the baby would come popping out of my stomach somehow...much like a burst Jiffy Popcorn I imagine.  However now that they are aware of the true birthing path, they share a somewhat awed opinion of my lady parts.

When told they were expecting a little brother and not a sister, their reactions were typical.

Eggie had been hoping for a sister (who can blame him) as he was of the belief that 'another Dumpie' would be too great a burden for his weary little shoulders, and that a little girl would be gentler and not break all his toys.  The night before the scan he told me not to tell him when I picked him up from school, but rather to let him look at my face and he'd just 'know'.  Bless him...for he did.

For sure enough, when I picked them up last week, having just returned from the hospital a few hours before, Egg came exploding out of the school and ran straight up to me.  He peered through my darkened shades and thought for a moment.

"It's a boy isn't it Mama," he said knowingly, then looked away for a moment.  "You know, I knew it was going to be a boy, ever since you told me you were having a baby," he admitted.

"How did you know?" I asked confused.

"Because sometimes when you really want something badly you get the opposite of what you want," said my wise little man, before scootering off out the school gates, leaving me somewhat shell-shocked at his understanding of one of life's little ironies.

Dumpie on the other hand stood leaning against a tree, gazing up at me with a little smirk on his face.

"I KNEW it was going to be a boy.  I TOLD you it was going to be a boy.  Why didn't you listen to me Mama?" he said.

Little scamp.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

"Resistance Is Futile..."

...So there I lay, waiting to hear what the sonographer was going to say.  I realised I was shaking ever so slightly.  For days I had obsessed over whether I was at long last going to get my little girl, or whether I was going to forever be the mother of THREE(!) strapping lads.  I had suffered bouts of severe insomnia, waking up in the middle of the night and playing out the various reactions I might have to the news either way.  And here I was, on the cusp of finally finding out.  You could cut the silence in the room it was that thick and heavy.

Then the husband interrupted with, "So have you seen anything which might give you a clue?"

She turned to us and smiled.  "As a matter of fact I have!" she chirped brightly.

And with that, I knew.  It could only be one thing:  a tiny penis waving about between the little ones legs.

And sure enough, seconds later, there it was, visible to all:  my little baby boy.

I was rendered speechless.  In those seconds which followed, I found my head full of a million thoughts and feelings.  Content in the knowledge that it was by all accounts a healthy, perfectly formed baby, I watched as the internal movie in my head played out:

(Two little babies - one a girl and one a boy...the girl baby smiled and suddenly POP went the cartoon bubble surrounding her and she disappeared in a plume of smoke.  I was left with a chubby little male cherub smiling broadly at me, who got bigger and bigger and took over my whole headspace.  But then he started to grow, and I saw Egg and Dumps enter from corner stage and they were all teenagers and they were all HUGE and they were tearing food out of cupboards and stuffing their faces and dumping loads of laundry on the kitchen floor and being so LOUD and trekking in mud everywhere and....and...)

"You okay?" the husband asked kindly, rubbing my arm and shaking me out of my reverie.

At once I was back in the hospital, staring soberly at the screen.  But I ignored him for the moment and addressed the sonographer one last time.

"Are you sure it's a boy?  I mean are you 80% or 90% sure?" I asked.

She grinned her happy, healthy Kiwi grin, swinging her luscious blond locks over her shoulder and winked knowingly, "I am 99% sure...look!"

And there is was.  That little penis, up there on the screen.  My black and white, practically waving at me.

Spun out doesn't even cover it.  I had secretly 99% believed it was going to be a girl.  I 'knew it' deep inside and even had her full name picked out.

Going to be a crazy few weeks mentally and emotionally as I get my head around not just the fact that I was so, so wrong, but that I am soon to be the mother of three(!) boys.

I'm not even one of those hearty, sporty women with ruddy cheeks who I imagine whip up weekend hog roasts for their big sons and all their mates.  I'm already drowning in a sea of dirty laundry, spills and stains, and I can guarantee that every single toilet in this house, is right now, as we speak, decorated in a sea of urine.

The husband is of course taking the news much more in stride.  Already over the shock, he is now amusing himself by thinking up potential boy names, and looking at me quizzically out of the corner of his eye, wondering if I'm going to hold up or lose the plot.

I suppose my biggest worry right now is making sure the poor little guy doesn't get named something ridiculous like 'Barabbas' or 'Hallellujah' - the strong contender at the moment.

And giving away the cute little girl outfit I purchased ages ago, which was simply too darling to resist (sigh)...

Monday, 26 September 2011

"Three (BIG) Milestones..."

My goodness...can it really be THAT long that I've ignored my public outpost for all things of a maternally moaning nature?

Heartfelt apologies for having been silent for so long.  Life just caught up with me, lassoed me head to toe and toppled me over on one side is all...

But I'm back.  And boy do I have news to tell.  In fact, you could say we've recently bridge three big milestones:

1.  Eggie lost one of his front teeth!

Yes, yes, I's not the first tooth or anything, but given its prominent placement in his little mouth it's nonetheless a 'face changer' and he's morphed into this adorable, cartoonish character with the slightest hint of a lisp on certain words.  Too cute.

More importantly, when it happened, he was so utterly ecstatic to lose it, that he let out a blood curdling scream so intent that I thought Dumpie must have chopped off his arm or something.  It was almost anti-climatic when he awoke the next morning to find a crumpled fiver under his pillow.

2.  Dumpie started proper 'big-boy' school!

Dumps doing his favourite activity 'Tap-Tap' in the outside classroom area

Okay, I know I've been looking forward to this day for a long time, but my goodness was I choked up when I dropped him off at school for the first time last week (sniff).

I think it was the sight of him in his slightly too big hand-me-down school uniform, clutching a book bag nearly half his size, that gave me the true perspective of what a little guy he still is (despite possessing one of the biggest personalities I know).  Or maybe it was the realisation that the end of an era has I shall never get back - nor he.

Clowning it up (and refusing to even touch his school lunch...fair enough - look at it!)
Dumps has been my partner in crime for a few years now.  We'd drop Eggie off at school then head out for grocery shopping, long walks to strange parts of town, Starbucks (so much so that before he could read he could point out the familiar company logo in cities as far afield as Kuala Lumpur...shameful I know), and occasionally clothing stores - where he would sneakily slip out of his pushchair and make a run for the nearest locked change room, under which he would wriggle out of reach, leaving me red faced and half naked trying to find someone to unlock the door.

My little man at the start of his first day (not entirely sure this school gig is for him)
Oh those were the days.  Still, you'd never know the little tyke wasn't thrilled to be at school, for after initial hesitancy during an open house day and an impromptu 'hide and seek' nightmare on the first day of school (when Dumpie went 'missing' for almost three quarters of an hour only to be found buried amidst rubble in 'The Room of Doom'), he has taken to it like the proverbial duck to water....
Big smiles at pick-up time (possibly because we're about to go and buy him a big reward treat!)
3. I had my 21 week scan last week and it all looks good.  The baby appears to have the right number of fingers, toes and such and by all accounts it appears to be a healthy baby (whew!).

A lovely YOUNG blond Kiwi girl did the ultrasound, and as the husband and I waited with baited breath to hear those immortal words, "Do you want to know the sex?" a hush fell over the room.  Without hesitation, we both said "Yes!"

So she once again turned to the screen, slid the monitor over my belly and turned to us, uttering the words that would (WILL) seal our fate for the next...oh who are we kidding - the REST of our lives...

(to be con't)