Forty-eight hours have passed since the baby was due. Two sleeps. Six shots of Gaviscon. Thirty-six trips to the loo. How many times have I written down the due date or spoken it in answer it to the inevitable question, “When are you due?”
The phone hasn’t rung since due date eve. The good luck emails have dried up. The chances of anyone dropping in are nil. Everyone’s waiting to hear ‘the news’.
Allan’s at work. For the last two months, he’s diligently carried his mobile. For the past month, he’s even turned it on. But now I think he’s given up on ever getting the call.
As for me, I’ve washed, ironed and folded all of the baby’s clothes. I’ve made up the bassinet and practised tucking in and untucking a baby-sized teddy bear. I’ve set up the change table with nappies, wipes and an assortment of creams and powders for treating and preventing ailments I haven’t even heard of. I’ve had a nap.
I’ve covered our mattress in plastic in case my waters break in a Hollywood-style tidal wave. I’ve added ‘Chloe’ to our ‘Final Baby Names List’. I’ve dusted, Spray-and-Wiped, vacuumed and mopped the baby’s room.
I’ve had my final pre-baby haircut and bought a really expensive, really small jacket to inspire me to quickly return to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve considered starting a rigorous pregnancy exercise and stretching regime. I’ve had another nap.
I’ve crossed ‘Chloe’ off our ‘Final Baby Names List’ and added ‘Zoe’. I’ve read every book there is to read on babies, every book there is to read on anything. I’ve decided against starting a rigorous pregnancy exercise and stretching regime.
I’ve crafted an announcement email on behalf of Allan, tempting fate with the inclusion of the obligatory, “Mum and baby are doing well.” I’ve packed and repacked, repacked, repacked and repacked my hospital bag. I’ve added ‘Abby’ and ‘Oliver’ to our ‘Final Baby Names List’.
I’ve worried about the chance of a caesar, the risk of an epidural, the possibility of the baby being abnormal. I’ve ripped up our ‘Final Baby Names List’.
I’ve made thank you cards for gifts we haven’t yet received. I’ve stopped wondering whether the baby will be a boy or a girl, and started worrying that it’ll be neither, that my belly is just a belly, a phantom pregnancy or the accumulation of all the beer I’d drunk since I was a student.
I’ve eaten spicy-chicken curry – three nights in a row.
I’ve done everything that was on my ‘Before-the-Baby-Arrives To-Do List (the newly expanded fifth edition), as well as plenty of things that weren’t. I’m more ready than I’ll ever be.
So… where’s the baby?
Author’s note: Tess was born after another 36 hours, three sleeps, eight shots of Gaviscon and 44 trips to the loo. She was well worth the wait.