This afternoon, I've been looking back through my blog archives for late 2006 and early 2007 when I was pregnant with The Prawn, trying to draw some inspiration from the fact that, yes, pregnancy does, at some point END.
Due to my body's unfortunately tendency toward miscarriage, I have pretty much been pregnant for all save two months since last January. This has lead me to an enormous sympathy for elephants. (22 months is a long time, ladies.) So, 10 months and counting since I could, in all good conscience, refer to myself in the singular. Oy.
The first mention of any serious complaint in my pregnancy with the Prawn came in February, about a month away from her due date. I suppose it should have come as no surprise that 3 years on, the niggly bits might begin to start a bit earlier. As I included in my Facebook status the other day, I've already come to the point where when I drop something that I need on the floor, I tend to take it rather personally. The fact that the Prawn does not know any of the most popular dirty words is a minor miracle. (To be honest, she learned the S-word after The Rock Star dropped a running hard drive on the floor once, but he managed to convince her that "sugar" is a much more interesting word. She now says it exclusively in times of stress.)
Of course, I must add the traditional "how grateful I am for this pregnancy" disclaimer at this point. Other than our early roller coaster ride, the rest has been pretty much a piece of cake up until now. That I can bring myself to complain at all is testament to a ferocious head cold, which, on top of other discomforts has reduced me to being a big whiney girl about the whole thing. (Diminished lung capacity will do that to you. So will heartburn so bad that it's started eating the back of your tongue.)
The serious waddle is about 3 weeks old at this point. Pain in places I wasn't aware that I had ligaments started last week. And new for this week, just in time for the head cold, sneezing and hoping I don't wet myself! Awesome. Of course, I am, in fact, a limber and adept frolicking flower fairy in comparison to my unfortunate sister-in-law, Trumpet, who has spent most of her pregnancy on the couch, wedged into positions that could charitably be called "not as uncomfortable as sitting on a rusty spike" with complex arrangements of pillows and hot water bottles.
Last week, I dutifully made my way to a midwife appointment for the usual pokings and proddings. When it came time to listen in to the heartbeat, the midwife, as is often the case, had to pursue the Squid around her uterine squat in order to get a good reading. When she finally DID manage to get a handle on the little bugger, she said, "Ah."
"Ah?" I said.
"I was wondering why I couldn't find the heartbeat where I was expecting it. The baby's breech at the moment!"
This was not exactly news that I wanted to jump up and down about, even assuming that I was CAPABLE of jumping up and down any more.
People make a pretty big deal about the METHOD in which babies come into the world. I would certainly be the first to admit that this is a VERY big deal to a lot of women and with seemingly unnecessary c-sections on the rise, (more down OBGYNS who are anxious to get back to the golf course rather than a SUDDEN INABILITY OF WOMEN TO DELIVER BABIES NATURALLY. Seriously, I don't for a minute believe that our pelvises have been evolutionarily sabotaged in the last 30 years.) it's even MORE of a thing; creating feelings of weakness and guilt for women who are rushed into surgery. It's taken me a good few years to process the ordeal of the Prawn's birth but after a few chats with a very helpful hospital midwife, had begun to hope to take the natural route this time around.
However, if the Squid remains resolutely head up, in four weeks, I'll be scheduled in for an elective c-section 2 weeks after that whether I like it or not.
There are several things wrong with this.
a) GETTING CUT OPEN AGAIN WHILE AWAKE. I can not over-emphasise how fucked up this is. This is something that happens in horror films. (Luckily, at no time during the Prawn's birth did any of the surgeons gloatingly attempt to show me my lower intestine.)
b) 6 weeks is in no way enough time for me to pick enough underpants up off the bedroom floor to fit in a moses basket. Also, there's a not insignificant mildew problem that needs some serious attention before we end up with sentient fungus.
c) Do you have any idea where our bottle sterilizer went? Cause I don't. Also, the crib?
d) DID I MENTION GETTING CUT OPEN WHILE AWAKE?
Do I wish for an end to c-sections? Of course not. They undoubtedly give a fighting chance to mothers and babies that under other circumstances, would not have been so lucky. But I can't tell you how much I don't want another one.
So I will be spending the next 4 weeks trying desperately to get the Squid interested in the upside down lifestyle. One website recommended putting headphones down your pants and trying to "coax" the baby down with Mozart. (It occurs to me that moving the headphones up to the top of the belly and replacing Mozart with Wu Tang Clan might be more effective.) However, I think I'll stick to bouncing on our newly ordered exercise ball, spending some time on my hands and knees and maybe joining the Prawn in the enthusiastic dance routine she's developed to "Single Ladies".
Or maybe I should just get on with picking up those underpants.