Bedtime Story

Tomorrow it's one calendar month until this baby is due. I feel huge and ungainly, my maternity clothes barely cover my bump, I'm tired and I need to pee all the time. I also have a cold, which is adding to the crankiness and the whingyness. So, to spare you all the force of my grouching I'm going to tell you the bedtime story that Asher tells me every night. After Sanjay has read books with him I go in to tell Asher one of three stories. I tell him my version of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Bears or The Hare And The Tortoise. Before I start I ask him which story he wants, he tells me he wants the story of The Tortoise, Just the Tortoise. I tell him I don't know that one and he needs to tell me that story and he begins:

Once upon a time there were three tortoises, Luki, Juki, Ooki. They lived in a field and ate grass and flowers and they all lived happily ever after.

Sometiems there is one tortoise, occasionally five and sometimes there names are different, but always a variation on the theme. Whether there are one, three or five tortoises there are still only three names. Occasionally they live in a house (as well as the field) or they eat grass and flowers for breakfast, or some other slight variation. Despite the limited dramatic tension (or any plot *at all*) I find this story quite soothing - feel free to use it anytime you are trying to put me to sleep!


So, no excuses for not blogging this time, just general distractedness, and it's past time for a pregnancy update.

Basically, everything is going swimmingly. The last two ultrasound scans have had the baby measuring around the 30-35 percentile which is great. So great, in fact, that I've decided to skip then next scan, unless there is something specific they want to check for when I go for my fortnightly appointment. I'm still taking 100mg Aspirin every day, I'm trying to remember my multi-vitimins and I've just today purchased some red raspberry leaf tea. Over the last two weeks I've started to get really uncomfortable with the common, grumpy late pregnancy discomforts - varicose veins in my upper thighs and groin that hurt when I've been standing or sitting for too long, a bit of breathlesness all the time, I need to pee every 10 minutes (and it's unsatisfying because there's only a teaspoonfull there!) and my clothes, even maternity clothes, are getting tight and uncomfortable. People say I still look small, but I feel GIANT and like I'm always full (and always slightly peckish, too). However I'm pretty sure the baby's arrival isn't immanant because I'm still only waking up once a night to use the bathroom.

I've only got about six weeks to go before this baby is born, and I'm not really feeling prepared. We don't have a name shortlist that we're really happy with (there are a few girls names we like, but boys are more difficult). I haven't really done any prep for birthing - I'm not as fit or strong as I was when I was pregnant with Asher, because between paid work and mothering and active almost-three-year-old I don't have time for 'luxuries' like Pilates, and there have been no classes and minimal reading. There isn't anything I *really* need for when the baby comes but I still feel really unprepared. I'm making lists like a crazy woman - I want to hire a car capsule and buy a baby bath with a stand but they are easy to come by and I can live without both (we have a reversible car seat that works for a newborn and we have a booster car seat for Asher, but I'm keen on being able to cart the capsule around with the sleeping baby). Basically I'm feeling nesty, but too sore and tired to really do much, except look after Asher (and that's a struggle by itself!).

I'm also feeling a little maudlin because these last few weeks are, in all likelihood, the last times I'll feel a baby wriggling and kicking inside me. Despite all the pain and discomfort of being pregnant there is an undeniably special relationship a mother has with a foetus. It's such a private thing, yet it's on display for everyone and it's such a short time out of a lifetime, but so intense. It's also the closest thing you have to having control over your kids - after they are born they are even more subject to the whims of chance and the universe. I'm feeling ambivalent about our decision to not find out the sex of the baby too - I don't mind if this baby is a boy or a girl, but if I am carrying a boy it is highly unlikely I'll ever have a daughter, which is sad for me. If I have a boy I wonder if I'll want to mourn that loss - it will probably feel disloyal to the little boy, and so I'll stir guilt into the mix as well. I have no doubt that I'll love the little person either way - I guess I already do!

Anyhow, I need to go and lie down for a bit before I attempt to hang the washing out.