New developments

A few random thoughts and observations, at 21 weeks:

*  At today’s scan, the baba revealed herself again as being perfectly average. My dates put me at exactly 21 weeks today, and her measurements put her somewhere between 20 weeks and 6 days, and 21 weeks and 1 day. Even with my shoddy Standard Grade maths, I figured out pretty quickly (it took me two minutes, tops) that that equals 21 weeks. Neat.

*  I am so relieved – thrilled, in fact – that this has been a totally textbook pregnancy, and that the baba keeps presenting as being an average size. This surprises me. My mom used to tell me as a kid that all she hoped for when she was pregnant with me was that I’d be completely normal – not too smart or too dumb, not too ugly or too pretty – and it used to really piss me off. It was her fault I wasn’t a whizz at anything, or devastatingly good-looking! But now I realise that that’s the best you can hope for – an average, normal, textbook kind of child, and that there’s a lot of comfort in knowing that your child is like so many others.

*  She weighs 408g now – so next time I get on the scale I’ll know that about half a kilo of the weight belongs to her.

*  She apparently has unusually long fingers. Pianist, perhaps?

*  The obstetrician has recommended that I get the C-section done at Chris Barnard, the Netcare hospital where her offices are. She does C-sections at Cape Medi Clinic too, but she’s not entirely keen on it anymore. A lot of her patients there have been denied pain meds for up to 12 hours; they are forced to breastfeed their babies – no dummies are allowed, and no formula top-ups; and the babies stay in the ward with their mothers from immediately after the birth, no matter how much the mothers need to sleep or rest. She said that they’re very pro-baby there, which seems like a good thing – but after the operation and the initial cuddle and first feed, I’m happy for the baby to go to the nursery until she’s hungry. At Chris Barnard, the doctor says, staff remember that the mother is also a patient, and they respect her wishes. I’m all for that. Bring it on.

*  I have suddenly really started looking pregnant – even in the last week and a half, my belly has become more assertive. Dylan loves it, and I love that he loves it. It’s a little uncomfortable, especially in the evenings – my lower back hurts because I have zero back/core strength and the sudden extra weight in front puts strain on it – and I can’t sleep without a pillow wedged between my legs and under my tummy. At Clicks this morning, I bought a bottle of Bio-Oil (I figure that with all this sudden stretching, and Christmas three weeks away – ie not being able to use the Body Thrills pregnancy package I’m hoping Dylan buys me for another three weeks  – I’d better take precautions against stretch marks). The shop assistant took one look at me, with a quick flick of her eyes belly-ward, and said, “This stuff is great for pregnancy. Put it in your bath.” Strangers have never commented on my ‘condition’ before – so I guess I really am showing. Properly. For real.

*  Colleagues have also started coming up to me and asking me if I’m expecting – people I’d never spoken to before. It’s amazing how people open up to you when they know you’ve got a bun in. It’s, like, suddenly there’s all this common ground, even though they’re a guy in their forties who does DTP work and lives in Gugulethu. I’ve been quite critical in the past of people who can only ever talk about their kids, but I guess the fact is that there are people with whom the only thing you have in common is being a parent – and maybe that’s ok.

*  We’re moving into our big, fabulous, rather rural house next week, but we’re going to start moving boxes ourselves this weekend. I can finally start putting the nursery together – one of the downstairs bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, a sliding door to the pool area, and a lot of afternoon light. The previous owners used it for their nursery too, and their mural of big, evenly spaced yellow, mocha and beige squares is going to stay on the one wall. It sounds kind of ugly, I know, but it really works – it’s a lovely, soft combination of colours. Dylan has big plans to stencil trees, birds and animals onto the dark brown blocks in white paint. I love that this will make it a totally gender-neutral space (I’m holding thumbs for a minimum of bright pink paraphernalia from the baby shower).

*  Great things about the new house: a swimming pool. Big enough to do laps in. I can’t wait to start getting some joint-friendly exercise. Also, a cultivated veggie garden; a jungle gym; a resident owl; and a very short walk to the beach and to the very London-esque Common (except with more sunshine and fewer hoodies).

*  Hard things about the new house: a septic tank. Not sure the flushable nappy liners I’ve got my heart set on (yes, online nappy-shopping excites me) are going to agree with the system. Carpets – not looking forward to having to vaccuum up vomit. No space for our tall top-loader washing machine (and I’m not trading it in for a smaller front-loader with the prospect of cloth nappies on the horizon) without sawing off a section of the kitchen counter. Also, a wasp nest outside the main bedroom window – I don’t even know how to get rid of those things … Still – the great stuff outnumbers and outweighs the hard stuff – and maybe that’s the formula for a happy, contented life.

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  1. Dylan Edwards

     /  December 2, 2011

    Average? Textbook? You’re not, and she won’t be. ❤

  2. Dylan, *this* is why I love you.

  3. Carina

     /  December 2, 2011

    Little late in sending my congratulations to you! But wishing you a happy healthy pregnancy and absolutely amazing years ahead! X


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