Sometimes there is just not enough room in one body.
Last night after scoffing down buttered toast and soup, I began to feel unprecedented levels of discomfort. I could not sit back without getting heartburn. I could not sit forward without my belly getting in the way. Even the thought of lying down was stomach-churning. Building two pillow towers and lying face down with my belly hanging in the middle was not a great success either.
So I paced our apartment and tried to sit perfectly straight-backed in bed and nod off.
After my third attempt at upright sleeping interspersed with pacing, I suddenly felt that old familiar urge. Noooo!
But yes. Mad dash to bathroom ended with four bouts of noisy, convulsive heaving. Of course I also managed to pee my pants amid all the hurling. Yuk.
I did feel 100 per cent better though, aside from having to attack the bathroom with disinfectant. Tucked myself into bed and played Angry Birds for half an hour till I collapsed with sleep. Another little chapter in the pregnancy journey.
In other news, my mother has stopped calling the fetus “raspberry” and started calling it “Grace”. This is a name we’ve been mulling over as a second name, which she knows, but she likes it much better than any of the other first-name options we’ve told her about, so this is her passive-aggressive campaign for Grace, I ‘spose.
She’s also fairly determined to teach me how to swaddle and encourage me to let the babe sleep on alternate sides, rather than on her back, as all the Sudden infant Death Syndrome material advises. This is so little Grace does not develop a flat head, like my cousin’s baby, who had to have cranial therapy or somesuch to correct his shovel-like noggin.
I’m happy to be coached in swaddling etc but not so keen to ignore the SIDS advice.
I love my mum, but this Grace episode made me think about my own lack of appetite for confrontation – I really am lily-livered and have to gird my loins and give myself huge pep talks to tackle such situations.
I have learned to be much more direct in life and the workplace, but it costs me – it’s always stressful, more than it has to be. Some of this is down to my natural character, but it’s also down to how my mum parented me, and the values and ideas she instilled in me. She’s a terrific mother, who gave me oceans of love and every opportunity in life and still carries on today, giving and giving. But this is one thing I’d like to do differently with my daughter – I want her to have the skills to handle issues directly, and to be able to acknowledge if she’s angry about something and express it in a constructive way.
I may come to regret that when she’s expressing her anger freely sometime soon. But I think it’s important that girls know they have every right to demand things from life, and I don’t mean tiaras and trinkets. I mean respect, baby, and opportunities and adventure and freedom and decent pay.
Just like Aretha sang it.
PS, When I just played that Aretha clip the baby starting kicking wildly. Not in time to the music or anything – but surely a very good sign that she likes a bit of soul? Maybe we’ll call her Aretha. I wonder what mum would think of that