|That belly ring ain't going nowhere :)|
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.