Oh how rude of me. I don’t think I’ve told you our news. I do love pies but this bump is, in fact, a baby.
After four miscarriages and as many chemical pregnancies, we have a bun that appears to be cooking.
But after all that trying, this baby took a while to get used to. Maya starts school in September and all I could think of was freedom and time. I’d have Fridays to myself to pursue some stuff. I might even take Thursdays back too. Damn it, I’d conquer the world!
Then my old friend the blue perpendicular line showed up on a test. Meh, it won’t last, I decided. But eight weeks in, a little heart was still beating and on it has soldiered ever since.
Uh-oh, though. I didn’t feel joy in the slightest. I wanted some wine and my body back.
I told some close friends I was miserable. I’d been so looking forward to space. I think they thought I’d done too good a job of convincing myself I didn’t want a baby so there.
But humans are adaptable creatures, I reckon, programmed where possible to find the bright side, recalibrate their route and move on.
There I was setting sail on a fresh new course when up popped the giant iceberg of motherhood, threatening to capsize me. I felt like I was already sinking.
Makes me wonder how much of a person’s behaviour isn’t entirely their doing.
In the first trimester, everything made me feel sick. The smell of coffee, the smell of fish. The smell of James.
Seriously, the way he smelt and everything he did from breathing to chewing his food made me furious. I remembered this one from the first time round and a quick Google revealed that disgust and fury at one’s partner is rife among first-trimester women.
I cast the poor man adrift on a cold and snuggle-less sea. It was a hard one to explain (how do you say ‘Everything you do makes me want to break your face,’ in a nice way?). But then he caught me looking at my phone and giggling uncontrollably one day so I handed it over and let it do the explaining.
What I was pissing myself at was a thread on Mumsnet written by women observing the same phenomenon in themselves and seeking reassurance that it didn’t mean curtains for their marriages.
They said things like, ‘Oh man, I want to kill him right now,’ and ‘His breath makes me want to hurt him.’ They were hilarious. I’m not sure James agreed. He went a bit quiet.
But then somewhere between 12 and 14 weeks I switched from gloomy and very low to breezy, loving optimist through no doing of my own.
I suspect my greedy new placenta was just done filling its boots on my nutrients and everything went all rosy and second trimester again.
Now I’m 31 weeks and my ballooning is exponential. I think I might be conducting a one-woman study into the tensile strength of human skin. It feels like someone has unzipped my normal sized tummy and forced a football in side it. I’m tearing through the wheatgerm oil.
To exacerbate my discomfort, my trainer laces, which have always behaved in the past, have chosen this time to come undone six times a day. Bastards.
As the day of the baby’s expulsion draws closer, I’m starting to speculate about how mouldy and moody Maya’s old pushchair might be.
There’s a long list of other baby gear in the loft but I’m damned if I’m hoisting my portly self up there to check on it’s mildew status. It may have to wait for someone else to examine it, probably when I’m in labour.
We’re looking forward to the happy event. The bit where it’s over anyway. We’re eager to meet the second one and find out what she’s like. Will she be a calm, good-natured smiler? Or a screaming murderous psychopath? Ha ha! The excitement is palpable!
I would like to say this baby will be welcomed into a peaceful, ordered home with a freshly decorated nursery. But who would I be kidding?
Maya’s the only one preparing for her sibling’s arrival and she’s doing so by creating a cosy nest of re-styled cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, bits of jigsaw and cornflakes in the room downstairs she has commandeered for going feral in.
The baby will probably love it.