I have started a number of posts recently on a variety of topics, all of them very much in the news, and important. Like how pointless the UN seems to be if it keeps pretending Syria isn’t poisoning its own citizens, how maybe Edward Snowden’s defection to Russia isn’t quite as ironic as all that if the Metroplitan police uses terrorism laws to detain a journalist’s boyfriend, how shortsighted the delight at house price rises is.
But really all my thoughts are filled with nothing but the fact that I’m having a baby in four weeks’ time. It seeps into everything I do, in the most ridiculous and irrational ways. Obviously I’m excited and looking forward to the baby, but I spend all day with these crazy ideas, because I have spent far too much time thinking about all the risks. Here are some examples of normal everyday stuff, and how it looks when you’re 36 weeks pregnant:
- I might have to drive 3 hours to a christening next week.
Normal thought: Better leave early to get through the A1(M) traffic in one piece.
36 weeks: That’s three hours of sitting with my knees above my hips, because car seats always tip slightly backwards. Sitting like that narrows your pelvis, which can sometimes result in your baby turning the wrong way around. I don’t want a Caesarean. Oh god what if it is a Caesarean, and I can’t move for days and get a pulmonary embolism, aaaah….I won’t go to the christening.
2. It’s hot, there’s an ice cream van. I’ll have a Mr Whippy, yay.
Normal thought: It’s got 150 calories. Or maybe that’s just for the large. I’ll have a small one.
36 weeks: Woo hoo, I’m having the biggest ice cream I can get my hands on. Oh, only…what if the vendor didn’t clean the machine? It was hot yesterday and maybe he left some milk stuck to the tubes. Listeria poisoning is frequently linked to poor dairy product hygiene. What if this is the one in 20,000 chance of my baby being affected? It gives you disabled babies. I think I’ll have a Calippo instead.
3. It’s cold and rainy. A nice hot bath will cheer me up.
Normal thought: I probably shouldn’t drink wine in the bath, but it sure is comforting.
36 weeks: The water’s lovely and hot. Hmmm, maybe it’s too hot, that’s supposed to be bad, not quite sure why, but I’m a bit stressed now. Oh, and the baby hasn’t moved in the last two minutes. He usually moves lots in the bath. Maybe I’ve boiled him. I’d better get out and drink some iced water to see if he moves. Oh god what if he doesn’t…(frantic dressing and running off to down some frozen water and lie on my side prodding stomach, only to be immediately booted hard in the ribs).
4. I’ve spent all day at Ikea getting lost in the warehouse.
Normal thought: That’s why God made gin.
36 weeks: All that new furniture. It’s supposed to be full of phthalates and volatile organic compounds, which have a possibly bad effect of some sort on the baby. And not only have I spent all day inhaling them, but have brought a whole load of new stuff home. Plus I ate some lukewarm meatballs in the restaurant, and the server sneezed just before he dished them up. What if the meatballs have listeria, and/or he’s got some sort of strep infection. Aaaah, now I really need a drink, but that would be even worse, foetal alcohol syndrome….
5. It’s Sunday night. I’m moping about it being the end of the weekend and making dinner.
Normal thought: I could open the white wine now, it’s boring waiting for potatoes to cook. As long as I don’t finish the bottle before I finish dinner, I’m not a lush. And anyway, Richard will have some.
36 weeks: I could have a little tiny glass. There’s not really any evidence that a little drink this late in pregnancy is bad. Yay, crisp cold wine on my lips! Oh, but I read an article yesterday about placental abruption, which mostly results in the baby dying. It said that alcohol was a possible risk factor. Maybe just this little sip is enough. Actually, I’m not really enjoying it any more.
6. I should put some washing on and clean the bathroom.
Normal thought: mañana, no one will notice anyway. I have more important things to do.
36 weeks: I don’t work any more, and I can’t even finish simple household tasks I’ve had all day to do! I suck. And if I don’t do it now, the baby might come tomorrow, and then the house will be all dirty for the new baby and he’ll get some sort of horrible disease.
7. There was a car full of kids in baseball caps that seemed to be scoping out our house when we drove back from Tescos.
Normal thought: Hmmm, that’s unlikely, probably just a coincidence. Oh well, if they do decide to nick our TV sometime, we can probably get a nicer one on the insurance anyway.
36 weeks: Maybe they don’t just want to nick stuff. I’m home alone all day. Look what happened to Sharon Tate.
I could go on forever about all the things I worry about. If I’m not worrying about anything, I’m just thinking rather cheesy thoughts about tiny feet and sleepy little faces. So for the next four weeks, I might as well forget about writing anything else.