Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time?

You know you've hit rock bottom when you Tweet about how very much you simply don't care anymore. Maybe it's a bit too much navel-gazing; a bit too much of the 'look-at-me' mentality of a generation raised on the internet that now habitually overshares everything...I'm willing to grant that. But sometimes, a little pity party is helpful before you square your shoulders and simply get on with it.

I humbly submit that no matter how much you love the Christmas season, it is most emphatically NOT a time to be 9-months pregnant. Time stretches on much more slowly when you're staring down the barrel of an ever-approaching due date. It's like that camera trick in the movies where the foreground stretches past you, but the horizon never gets closer. So time is a fun time to be 9 months pregnant. It's a state of being that sucks all the joy out of the world.

Time moves more slowly. I've addressed this one in passing, but it really does. The days creep by and you wonder just how many hours are actually supposed to be in a week. Normally anticipation makes the time fly by, but in this case, it only means you're cranky and impatient. Some day, someone will discover the inverse relationship between the perception of the speed of time and the duration remaining in a pregnancy. I humbly suggest that when this constant is scientifically recognised, it be named after me. Just a suggestion.

You become Dr. Google. By about 37 weeks, you'll know every possible sign of labour. Every niggle, twinge, and frighteningly graphic expulsion of bodily fluids will be ingrained in your memory. You'll also check yourself for every last one of these signs...probably no fewer than three times a day. Oh, and all those alleged 'natural' methods for encouraging labour at home? You've probably considered finding a way to have sex while walking and drinking a blend of one whole pineapple and raspberry leaf tea. Not that it would actually help, but you'd have a hell of a story to tell!

People become more annoying. Again, I'm sure there is a mathematical quotient for this. Even the most innocuous statements about your pregnancy start to grate on the nerves at this stage. For the record, let me give you a list - that is by no means comprehensive - of things you just don't say to a woman nearing the end of her pregnancy:
     You look ready to pop! What this boils down to is saying I'm huge. I know I'm huge. I don't need you to tell me. And telling me does NOT make the time go by any faster.
     Not long, now! Again: I know. Thanks, Captain Obvious, for pointing out just how much I'm not quite there yet. Drawing attention to the painfully slow passage of time does nothing to make it go faster.
     Are you ready? No. I've spent the past nine months entirely oblivious to the need to prepare. Of course I'm ready! If YOU had a watermelon-sized human being stretching your abdomen beyond all reason and squishing your internal organs you'd be all kinds of ready for it to come out, let me assure you.
     Are you sure it's not twins? Once again: if it's not polite to tell someone who ISN'T pregnant how big they are, it's still not polite to say to someone who is. All you've done is tell me I look huge, which I want to hear about as much as you want me to punch you in the throat...which is not at all.
     Haven't you had the baby yet? No, smart ass, that's why I still look like I've smuggled a pumpkin from the PYO farm! Trust me; if it feels like a long time to you, that's just a drop in the ocean of retained fluids compared to how long it feels to me. If it were under my control - which, need I remind you, it's not - this kid would have been birthed and potty trained yesterday...all while remaining small enough to hold with one arm.
     Just you wait - this is the easy part! No. No it's not. Maybe for some people it is, but personally, I see nothing easy about constantly carrying a baby that you can never put down, who displaces your internal organs and shifts your bones, who wakes you in the night to wee, who impedes even simple movements like rolling over in bed, and who consistently shoves their appendages and extremities into the most painful bits of your body that they can reach. I'd much rather have a baby who I can put in the cot for a nap, whose existence doesn't restrict my range of motion, and who can be moved to alleviate the pain of a foot in the ribs or a headbutt to the cervix.

So yeah: for the next interminable 9 days (and please, not a day longer!) I will be passing the time by avoiding 90% of human interaction, re-watching David Tennant on Doctor Who, and weighing up the cost-benefit ratio of baking Christmas cookies. Benefit? I get to eat them. Cost? I have to bake them. Decisions, decisions...

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