“It's funny, I don’t seem to have had any cravings in pregnancy,” said Mrs Brit, and proceeded to eat her fifteenth orange ice-lolly of the afternoon.
At least she’s got an excuse for her brain-scramble. I can only blame mine on this unwarranted blast of summer. Things are becoming fractious. Doors are sticking, paint is peeling. The shower, for some reason, is refusing to settle at a reasonable temperature; the only way to manage is to continually switch between a low heat on the high setting and a high heat on the low setting, and duck in there quick as it journeys back and forth between freeze and scald. Sleep is elusive and, even when you catch it, broken.
Today’s antenatal class was all about pain and complications. The attendance dwindles weekly, but only one more to go. Before moving on to the good stuff (drugs) the midwife ran perfunctorily through some ‘alternative’ pain strategies. Apparently you’re welcome to take in your own aromatherapy gunk, or even your own acupuncturist or hypnotherapist if you like (visions of Paul McKenna waving a watch-chain at writhing unmentionables). They’re all effective, if they’re effective for you, says our midwife, though she drew the line at chanting mantras.
“Some people believe that Positive Affirmation helps,” she said, and wrote Positive Affirmations on the board. Then she paused for a moment and added: “But no, that doesn’t really work.” She drew a cross next to it.
We emerged blinking and befuddled into the sunlight. The unfamiliar is all around us, but we have to build a little world to welcome our offspring. Whatever we make will be his or her norm. It’s an anxious prospect, when you think about it, though most of the time it feels like a treat is coming. I expect next week it will rain and sanity will return.
Mrs B rests her ice-lolly hand on her belly, which wriggles and beats in response. All the time and getting closer, the drumming, drumming in the deep…