Ol' Pointy and I went on a date with Sean to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last night, where I stood in front of this Damien Hirst piece and smiled awkwardly at passersby who may actually have thought I was part of the exhibit.
At 30 weeks, Hamish really hates it when I sit down. This is problematic in that I tend to do a lot of sitting down in my day-to-day life, and while I’m able to get around this somewhat at work by using my standing desk—although barely, to be honest, because my belly now protrudes in front of me to a degree that makes it awkward for my hands to reach the keyboard, kind of like a pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex—it’s slightly more difficult to avoid sitting while driving, eating at a restaurant, commuting to work on the shuttle bus, and attending meetings. (“Oh, don’t mind me, guys. I’m just going to stand over here in a corner and take notes / eat my Cobb salad / brace my hands against the ceiling while we take a particularly sharp corner.”)
The problem is that he’s growing (good) and running out of room (bad…. and even worse when you consider he’s still got ten more weeks to go in there), which means that every time I’ve been sitting down for more than two and a half minutes, I’m reminded of his discomfort—and, in turn, my own—with a swift kick or three to the ribs and then a little foot (I think) lodged permanently under my ribcage to show he means business. I can usually make things a little better by sitting up straighter or putting one hand at the top of my ribs in a soothing gesture of conciliation—sorrysorrysorry, Hamish, this isn’t particularly pleasant for mummy either—but I can’t get out of my head, every time it happens, the voice of bossy Judith from the BBC’s Come Fly With Me, who tells her husband “Peter, I’m talking and you’re talking. We can’t both be talking.” In my case, however, the voice is saying “Hamish, I’m sitting and you’re sitting. We can’t both be sitting.”
Unfortunately, however, we do both have to be sitting, and—short bouts at the standing desk aside—there’s nothing that can be done to avoid it. I’m trying to think of this as Hamish’s first lesson in sharing, as well as my own introduction to that well-known aphorism that babies turn your life upside down by taking everything you once thought was your personal property—like, say, your internal organs—and kicking the living shit out of it.
30 weeks seems like a monumental landmark, seeing as we’re now into a whole new set of digits—and properly into the third trimester—and I am alternately struck by thoughts such as “awww, ten weeks to go, still so long until I can meet this little guy” and “TEN WEEKS? TEN WEEKS ARE YOU KIDDING ME. TEN WEEKS DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HAVE TO DO BETWEEN NOW AND THEN.” This is very restful and calming, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I assure you that I am a real joy to live with right now, particularly as it relates to my mile-long to-do list, several items of which are major home renovations requiring the service of actual contractors (“Yes, Sean, it’s imperative that we re-tile the front hallway before the baby comes, obviously.”) I mean, what, do I think the baby’s going to pop out and be a photographer from Architectural Digest with impeccable taste? Does it matter that we landscape the back garden before his arrival? (Yes, actually. Yes, it matters very much.)
Conversely, I would like to note that, with ten weeks to go, I have made absolutely no progress whatsoever on the nursery, aside from pinning a few vaguely nursery-ish things to my Knocked Up board on Pinterest and making a lot of confusing lists on post-it notes. The room is not even functioning as my office anymore, but instead as a dumping ground for the increasingly adorable baby clothes I find myself unable to resist buying, the coats we moved out of the hall closet in preparation for the aforementioned hallway tiling—they’ve been piled on the couch for a week, like we’re having one very long, very awesome party which nobody wants to leave—and any other baby-related paraphernalia, which at this point includes only one (1) gently-used Ergo given to us by my generous friend Diane and one (1) Chicco Keyfit Caddy stroller frame, which I purchased second-hand on Craigslist last week for less than half the selling price and which made me feel—as I wheeled it out of a fancy apartment building in the Mission, where I’d bought it from a bearded hipster who I was 99% sure wasn’t just pretending to sell stroller frames on Craigslist in order to lure pregnant women into his home and kill them—more like a mother than anything else has done yet.
(Considering it didn’t yet have a car seat in it, and was basically just an empty stroller frame, it also made me feel more like a crazy bag lady than anything else has done yet. I detected a slightly pitying look from a tattooed young man who held the door open for me. Like, awww, are you going to put your cat in a bonnet later and take it for rides around the neighborhood?)
Despite my efforts to be what my new favorite book Bébé By Day describes as “a zen maman”—in order to produce, I assume, a zen bébé—30 weeks is also freaking me out a little bit in that I have started to think about the eventual end of all this, the eventual end being GIVING BIRTH, a prospect I had hitherto been priding myself on feeling fairly relaxed about, but which I now recognize wasn’t actually admirable nonchalance but instead straight-up denial. I mean, now that I’ve started to think about what actually needs to happen before I can hold this baby in my arms and dress him in the adorable little anchor-covered onesies I keep buying for 40% off at Baby Gap, I have found myself confronted with the irrefutable fact that there are only two ways this thing is coming out of my body, and neither of them is particularly appealing. Reader, I am beginning to grow concerned.
While I feel fairly confident that my “birth plan,” such as it were, is going to be GIVE ME ALL THE DRUGS, GIVE ME THEM NOW—I am really quite bad at managing pain, and really quite good at taking proffered medication—a small part of me is wondering if there are other things I should be doing to prepare myself for the horror—did I say horror? Ha! I meant to type miracle—of labor. We have childbirth classes coming up in the next couple of weeks, of course, and I have also bought—and carried around with me quite diligently without reading—a book about hypnobirthing, but I guess what I am looking for is someone to tell me how it’s actually going to feel. How painful is it? On a scale of one to ten: like drowning in a cauldron of bubbling oil....or more like drowning in a cauldron of bubbling oil, coming back to life, and then being buried alive because nobody realizes you’ve come back to life and also there is a hornet’s nest? I mean, feel free to use your own words to describe the level of pain we’re dealing with here, but I feel like mine might be pretty accurate too.