31 Weeks Pregnant
Baby size : Coconut
How I Feel : Liberated. Excited. Sore.
Orgasmic. Glorious. Sexual. Euphoria. These are words that have soothed and placated me this week. Mothers have sought me out to help me and share stories about how labour is not all pain, fear, tubes and needles. I'm happily shocked. The way they tell it, labour sounds like a fantastically filthy racy romp through a sex party in chelsea. Yes! There are women out there who find labour to be an empowering, fierce, animalistic experience and holy shit do I want a piece of that! It sounds idyllic and too good to be true I hear you say? Well, this is straight from the horse's mouth and I love it. I adore it in fact. I've said before how I want all the horror stories and sexy details right up there in my face. Don't dress it up or down for me or wrap it in a bow of denial or optimism. If I know what I'm in for good OR bad, I can consider it, brave it and go into this labour joyful, fearless and beating my chest shouting BRING THIS SHIT (literally) ON. If I end up trembling, whimpering and beating my husband*, then that's fine too. I'll just happily take the drugs and off we go.
I'm doing a hypnobirthing course next week so of course I think maybe I'll be one of them, all zen and mother earth. I'll meditate all the way through until I orgasm, wince gently, baby will slip calmly out and we'll all laugh and think how glorious it all was. Hey, people are telling me this is possible!!!! The cynic in me is roaring but I'm telling her to piss off and get on board the orgasmic birth train. A woman can dream can't she? Saying all that though, I have absolutely no reason to doubt these women's experiences. I really hope and sort of believe I can share them, but holy hell, if I don't come out of this feeling like Beyonce at Glastonbury, I'll be very, very upset.
Once my glorious sex birth is over, reality will of course hit home. Just for now, allow me to gloss over the fantastic experience that meeting my son will be and allow me to concentrate on the bigger issue here - knickers. I went into the snake pit this week - the biggest, cheapest High Street Store of them all. I shudder even at the thought as I’d usually rather vomit up my favourite dinner than darken it’s doorway, but I did it. I did it for one noble reason. To buy gigantic post birth knickers. After I give birth I’m told I could bleed for weeks. Hurrah! I can't even wear sanitary towels no no. I must wear specially made industrial size pads fit for a camel and waddle around with them and possibly some ice packs in my pants. No knicker of mine has ever held such mirth, and I've got a big arse to contain! It was time to bring in the big guns and god damn it I did it. These knickers are huge. Some are frilly, some are patterned in the vain hope of allowing me to maintain some sort of feminine sex appeal. But seeming as I could fit the titanic in them that might be a tad over ambitious. Bring on the ice packs and industrial pads I say. I'm ready.
Kate Middleton looked pretty good post birth right? She hid her giant knickers very well. Go girl! I’m very happy for her and I think she’s gorgeous and heavenly too, but before we all slip into whimsical adoration mode, riddle me this - if each and every one of us had designers sending us dresses, stylists, hairdressers, makeup artists and PA's to hand us frozen bags of peas for our swollen vaginas every five minutes, wouldn't we appear gorgeous, relaxed and media ready too? Of course we would! However despite all this, I don't envy her. Imagine the pressure to look that good after squeezing a cabbage through a keyhole and shitting yourself in public? Although I’m assured I won’t give a damn how I look post birth, I don’t want to look back on the pictures and see Jabba The Hut holding my baby. If I think I look like an elephant on crack, I know that no matter how special the moment is, I will edit my oompa loompa head out of those pictures, and that would be such a shame. I know that’s not a particularly ‘fuck you world media and your pressure’ thing to say. Mmmmm. The feminist in me says ‘oh get over yourself’, the subconscious media trained pony in me says ‘keep your makeup kit at the top of the hospital bag’.
When you’re pregnant, the overwhelming reaction to bump is oohs and aahs, wonder and awe. I have to admit I love it! I love the stroking, touching, minding and attention as much as any self respecting yorkshire terrier wagging their tail. Every now and then however, I meet someone who does not rub my belly, give me treats or find my bark cute. I’ve had a hand extended towards my bump accompanied by the expected ‘ooh’ sounds, when suddenly it recoils limply, like an average penis in the mens shower room with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The ‘ooh’ quickly turns to ‘eugh’, the happy face turns sucked-on-a-lemon sour and said hand is unceremoniously wrenched away. Aha! So there are some people in the world who are unsure about how natural this is! The freakish, alien nature of pregnancy is bigger to them than the beauty of it. In a weird way this makes me feel good. It’s reminding me that although my body thinks nothing of this pregnancy and mocks my mind daily for giving it as much thought as I do, that it isn’t this mundane, average experience. It IS slightly alien to me, it IS a big deal and it IS really special. Phew! Thanks for the reminder!
This week, I also succumbed to sciatica, passed my driving test and exchanged on our house. All big things I would usually drown out/celebrate with copious amounts of wine. Instead, I sat on the couch watching Grand Designs, drinking tea and ticking more things off the To Do list. Jesus. I have so much to making up to do with the wine gods when baby is out. Beware. It could get really ugly.
*The fear on his face when he read this. I'm speaking metaphorically of course....