PARENTS

The Newborn Diaries: 37 Weeks, Aka Get This Thing Out Of Me!

27/08/2010 17:12 | Updated 22 May 2015

This weekend, when I woke up so exhausted that I could hardly pull myself out of bed, only to eventually make it to the couch and spend the day reading/snoozing/eating a bakery's worth of sugary snacks, with the end result being painful indigestion for about seven hours and still feeling more tired than ever, I decided I want out.

I'm ready for this baby to be born.

Of course, now that I'm feeling more normal-ish (whatever that is) again, I am secretly willing the babe to stick around for a few more weeks, or even months maybe, because the terror of a) labour and b) actually being a parent is more than I can wrap my head around at the moment.

In the (rare) calm, rational moment, I think this is the most natural thing on Earth and everything will be fine, even if it takes some getting used to... and then I imagine myself in excruciating, seemingly endless labour only to have the baby come out (in some highly traumatic way) and not know what to do. Or worse, not feel an immediate kinship with my spawn (according to my NCT teacher, one of us in our class of six mothers will despise our baby upon first seeing him/her; only after time will we really bond and grow to love them). Also, one of us will be in labour for three days. Please, let me be the person who is immediately enraptured with my child and has a two-hour labour. Please.

The other thing that's slightly freaking me out is how much attention my bulkiness is attracting. A stranger shouted, "I think you're having a boy!" the other day in the street and it wasn't the first time I've gotten the odd comment from passers-by ("Wow, you're ridiculously pregnant!", "Let's hope it's a good one!" and "Congratulations!" to name a few).

I've also noticed that every time I leave the house, I see about 20 pregnant women (and this isn't only in the nursery department of John Lewis) and I catch myself staring in the same way that I guess I'm being stared at, and then I feel terrible because I know how uncomfortable the looks make me feel, even if they are kind (to be fair, I peek to try and guess how far along these other women are, but I think that's probably as creepy as staring for no apparent reason!).

I understand attracting attention for attention's sake, with a shorter-than-usual skirt or higher-than-comfy-heels, but the thing that I find strange about pregnancy is that you didn't make your tummy stick out 36 cm on purpose (well, I suppose that's debatable...) - you're just trying to make it down the street without fainting most of the time.

As grumpy as I'm sounding, I have found one sanctuary that makes me feel wonderful, no matter how achy or hot or uncomfortable I was before: the swimming pool. Ironically, I used to hate swimming and now it's my favourite thing to do – I feel strong and light at once and I know that it's a great activity for any stage of pregnancy.

I'm completely blissful until I have to get out, get in the shower... and face the world of staring faces again.

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