Riona O Connor - The Unnatural Woman

Actor. Singer. Mother. Songwriter. Vlogger. Blogger. Eater. Pop over to to view more blogs by Riona.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

5 Weeks To Go - Nipples & Nappies

35 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Size : Large honeydew melon (whatever that is)

How I Feel : Manically calm….

Sitting naked in front of the mirror while applying make up can be a trying experience. I’ve got gel, powder and hair stuck to my boobs and I’m trying to avoid them with my elbows while putting on mascara. Jesus, I never realised how much they got in the way! You see I’m trying to prep my boobs for breast-feeding. I’ve been applying this gel you use to help them toughen up before baby starts devouring them. It’s just that I’ve been letting it dry in, leaving time for EVERYTHING to stick to them. I feel really bad for my boobs. They have no idea what they’re in for. They’ve just been sitting pretty, their only job thus far to remain relatively perky and distract the opposite sex from my less enticing body parts. Now, all of a sudden they have to run the equivalent of the London marathon, with no training, no clue of the route, no acknowledgement of cracked heels or twisted ankles and no idea of whether they’re going to be able to complete the course. I’ve bought all the accoutrements to help them through - the pumps, the shells, the creams the gels. My boobs however, might take one look at baby’s sucky lips and go all Scarface on me, turning into Al ‘Say Hello To My Little Friends’ Pacinos machine gun* spewing blood bullets and nipples sores everywhere. THIS. CAN. HAPPEN. I could suddenly feel like my child is an innocent faced Kirstin Dunst in Interview With The Vampire smiling sweetly up at me while my blood flows from her mouth. I think if that happens it might be time to throw in the breastfeeding towel…

Last week I went into full on nesting mode. I didn’t recognise it as nesting though. It didn’t fit the image in my head where I look like Reece Witherspoon, glowing in trendy dungarees, plaits in my hair, painting a glorious sunny baby’s bedroom with just the cutest smudge of paint on my nose. I was supposed to have bread baking downstairs, the house sparkling clean and filled with delicious smells. No, my nesting came in the form of a sweating, growling, hormonal, panicky, hunch backed, claw-handed-from-scrolling, big-bellied woman scouring the internet in a mad, frothing at the mouth eBay and Gumtree frenzy. I bought everything. Rugs, hoovers, chairs, wardrobes, cots, mattresses, boob stuff, changing mats, you name it I got it! We even got a £900 buggy for £300 thanks to hubby’s eBay bidding prowess. I have never been prouder! Off we pottered in our sweaty triumph to Tesco with all the adrenaline pumping through our veins. Clearly too big for my novice driving boots, I stalled the fecking car TEN times. I thought I’d mastered this stuff! Mortified by the kindness of unknown drivers who didn’t beep me, not even once though I held them up for at least a minute (a life time on a roundabout) I got tetchy, hot and bothered and tearful. By the time I got to Tesco and managed to park, the experience had turned into my own personal Vietnam. I was shell-shocked, beaten down, broken by a clutch and beepless strangers. The adrenaline crash was catastrophic. My husband wisely led me through the gardening section first, where no big shopping decisions would have to be made. The strategy didn’t seem to be working though as I cowered among the yogurts and skirted through the crisp section like Macaulay Culkin circa My Girl in a forest full of bees. I managed to negotiate the over friendly till lady who, not recognising the blind panic on my face, told me her birth story from beginning to end in minute detail, but it was tricky. I actually can’t remember if I drove home or not. Genuinely! No idea! I think I came to an hour later back home on the couch with my hand hovering over a wardrobe on eBay. It was like the transition from bottle of whiskey euphoria, through to drunken paranoia, through to the crushing, all consuming FEAR of a massive hangover. That, ladies and gents, is pregnancy hormones.

I’m now in my last week at work before maternity leave from which I will never return, as my job is finishing in November. To say I have mixed feelings is an understatement. There is part of me that will leave, laughing hysterically in an escape from the asylum/clicking my ruby slippers skipping down the yellow brick road type way. But there is a bigger part of me that will mourn the people, the camaraderie, the friends, the confidences, the gossip, the moaning, the politics, the ranting, the knowing looks, the slagging, the craic, the good bits, the bad bits, all of it. You see I adore it really, even when I am ranting, because truthfully I love a good rant. Never mistake my ranting for upset, usually, I’m having a bloody good time. I suspect the trick with leaving work is not to get overly sentimental. This coming week falls in the danger zone, when I could flail about like a 3am drunk declaring my undying love for everyone and everything. I’m going to need to keep those hormones in check. If I feel the tears coming, I’m going to think of practical things, like my Waterproof Mattress Protector. It’s a plain, practical, unsexy, adult nappy and there for when my waters break to protect the new mattress and mattress topper I ordered from IKEA. Now that’s something really dull to focus on. There is NOTHING emotional about a Waterproof Mattress Protector.

*The same gun was later used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator, this makes the geek in me so very happy.

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