With three weeks to go

I’ve had a very busy past few weeks, which is probably how it snuck up on me so suddenly that in three weeks’ time we’ll be holding our tiny baby.

We held our fabulous unisex picnic/braai/pool-party baby shower at our house a couple of weeks ago. There were no games (except boulle on the front lawn) and loads of presents – so many tiiiiny pink things! It was probably the last time we’d have so many friends and family members at our house for a while, which made it extra awesome. But now I know why women might opt to have a helpful friend or family person organise their baby shower for them. Hosting it ourselves was really exhausting, and I spent way too much time on my feet that day. I wouldn’t do it differently if I had the choice, except that I might have spent more time just sitting on my bum and chatting.

We finally finished decorating the nursery this past weekend – Dylan was highly unimpressed with the amount of work that I undertook, but for me it was totally worth it to see the room complete – and bought everything we’ll need for the baby’s arrival. Our poor credit cards. Like every father before him, Dylan wondered aloud how it was possible for something so tiny to need so much stuff as we were driving away from Baby City with our hatchback groaning under the weight of everything we’d bought. I’ve heard that newborns need very little at first – but we’ve bought things that she will need for the first 6 months of her little life. We both loathe shopping, so would rather have got it all out the way in one shot. And if there’s anything we don’t use – hey, that’s what Gumtree is for.

We had our maternity shoot last week – I’ll load the pictures soon. They are gorgeous. We chose a few spots in Noordhoek as the setting, at around sunset, so there are lovely ones of us on the Common, at the ruins near Monkey Valley, and on the beach with Chapman’s Peak in the background. I honestly hadn’t realised how big my bump was until I saw the low-res versions of the pictures the other day. It’s bordering on the absurd. But it does make for good silhouette shots.

And I suppose it’s hardly surprising that, amid all this activity, my body decided to show me, once again, who’s boss (i.e. my body is boss. My mind/will power/stubbornness/determination is not). After a weekend of a sore throat and no voice to speak of (ahem), I suddenly developed rather a nasty cough. Pharmacists, Google and my baby books told me that the only remedy for a head cold and sore throat in pregnancy is to gargle with salt water, drink honey and lemon tea, and take Panados – all of which I did. Dylan finally made me promise to see a doctor (trying to make an appointment with my GP over the phone was farcical, considering I had no voice and the exertion of trying to speak made me cough up a lung), and she was horrified when she saw me. She promptly booked me off for a whole week with bronchitis and a throat infection that had spread to my glands, gave me antibiotics the size of torpedoes, and a pregnancy-friendly cough syrup (it’s called Exigen, and it does exist. Bloody pharmacist). She couldn’t believe I’d ‘left it so long before coming to see her’ – which baffles me. Throughout my pregnancy, when I’ve felt a bit off or been sick, I’ve been amazed at medical professionals’ attitude – either they tell you that there’s nothing they can do for you, tell you to take Panados, and get some rest, implying that you are stressing for nothing; or they act as if you’ve been deliberately neglecting your health and whip out the big guns (those dreaded words, Bed Rest) as if to scare you into looking after yourself.

But I am very grateful for the antibiotics, even though they are basically pure penicillin and make me incredibly drowsy, and grateful, too, for the imposed rest. I’ve spent at least three hours napping every day since being booked off, which, yes, I suppose is my body’s way of telling me that I needed to take it easy.

So, anyway, when I go back to work next week, I’ll be there for two days before I go on maternity leave. I’ve got a list as long as Dylan’s arm (which is substantially longer than mine) of things to get done while I’m on maternity leave, including cooking and freezing meals to eat in the first few weeks of the baby’s presence in our home, so hopefully I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed again in a week.

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