Assume the Position

Kids like to make you look like a liar, it’s a fact. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have rushed a “desperately ill” child to the out of hours doctor’s service for them to sudden perk up and drop their body temperature back to the normal range. They do this on purpose to make you look neurotic.

Foetuses are no exception. The boy child sent me into a total panic while pregnant by refusing to move for roughly 24 hours. My community midwife sent me to the fetal assessment unit at the hospital where the midwife there had great difficulty in locating a heartbeat with a doppler. Eventually she got out the ultrasound machine and lo and behold we were treated to an image of the boy essentially mooning us. He had turned upside down, directing his kicks towards my back and his tiny little baby butt towards the ultrasound wand. He was absolutely fine.

Poppler decided to do much the same thing this week. On Sunday there were kicks a plenty, you know the kind where it looks like someone is trying to complete a Rubix cube inside your stomach, then on Monday it pretty much stopped, and stayed stopped aside from the very occasional wriggle. I was starting to fear the worst. I was beginning to think what if with all that movement on Sunday they managed to tie their umblical cord in a knot or loop it around their neck or something like that? So I was sent for another scan and I discovered I have another mooner.

Relief isn’t the word for it. The scan also seems to have had the effect of waking baby up, the bouncing lunatic has returned.

So Poppler is head down and raring to go, in fourteen weeks from now.

And finally…..

I’m a bit behind on the bump pics, but here it is at week 25. Wow I either need to really clean that camera lens or the mirror. Smudge city.

I love it when a plan comes together….

There’s a lot of talk on my July birth board right now about when to pack hospital bags, what to put in them and what to write on your birth plan. I find it interesting to read other people’s birth plans, some of them are crazy-detailed, like specifying the direction of cut they would prefer if they need an episiotomy. When I had the boy I had one of the those heavily detailed birth plans. I think it was about three pages long and it covered everything from pain relief to what should happen if I suffered a post-partum haemorrhage. I may have over thought it a little. I was trying to micro-manage the experience.

Now that I’m on my 4th pregnancy I think I have finally distilled the art of the birth plan down to the stuff that is actually important to me. It’s about 6 lines long, and I’m going to share it here.

  • Do not offer me pethidine or any other opiate-based pain relief.
  • Do not rub down or otherwise clean up the baby when he/she is born but pass him/her directly to me
  • I want delayed clamping and cutting of the cord
  • I want a physiological third stage (so no syntometrine injection)
  • I want the baby to receive vitamin K orally, not by injection.
  • In the event I need to have a c-section I want the baby passed directly to my husband for skin to skin contact.

This to me is the important stuff – no heavy drugs, no interfering with the process unnecessarily and no invasive procedures for baby, but heaven help anyone who tries to argue with me about it.

At last I am a grown-up.

It doesn’t matter that I am a married woman, with three children, gestating a fourth, running my own home etc. It took until yesterday for me to finally be a grown-up.

You see yesterday I made the most grown-up purchase of my life. Yesterday I bought a washing machine.

Oh my God how I agonised over the decision. There was so much to consider like the spin speed,the energy rating, the load capacity. I was a total novice to all of this. My house came with a washing machine (that has admittedly been dying on it’s arse for the past two years), and before that I erm… well my Mammy did my washing. It’s such a big purchase it’s given me the cold sweats. I don’t know how ANYONE makes decisions like buying a car or a house because the sense of crushing responsibility I feel over picking a washing machine is unreal.

That may also be because the things I buy have a tendency to break and the husband likes to mock me about my uncanny ability to pick up shoddy goods (this also applies when I accidentally buy bruised fruit or food with a limited shelf-life).

I have to wait a full week for my shiny new appliance to arrive and I am overjoyed at the prospect. I’m not sure if I shall just straight dump the old machine or have a ritual burning of it or maybe just take out two years of washing frustration on it with a sledge hammer.

This all fits nicely though with my other new purchase.

I became the proud owner this week of a set of Cheeky Wipes. For the uninitiated they are resuable baby wipes. My sister bought a set of them when my niece was born and she thought they were fab. Like marijuana they can be considered a “gateway” product, because now they’ve seriously got me thinking about going the reusable nappy route.

I’m the youngest child in my family so I was the last one to be cloth bummed in my family. The husband on the other hand is the middle child, he has two younger sisters and enough of an age gap to have helped out at diaper changing time. He has vivid (and according to him, traumatising) memories of having to empty the contents of nappies down the toilet, of the nappy bucket filled to the brim with nappy-san and festering terry cloths, of stirring up the bucket to help the soaking process, of carrying the bucket to his mum. He’s not buying it when I tell him that cloth nappies are different now and they don’t require the same sort of sheer manual and stinky labour that they once did. So since appealing to that sense isn’t going to work I’m trying to appeal to his wallet instead by telling him we can take the money we’ll save on disposables and buy a nice HDTV for the bedroom, and maybe Sky Multi-room.

Anyway since he’s the one at work he’ll hardly be expected to do anything much around the laundering of the nappies anyway, as currently I don’t think he’s even sure what the washing machine IS never mind where it is or how to use it.

You know… deciding to have a fourth child was an easier decision than picking a washing machine.

It’s a……….

I’m pleased to report that the scan went very well last week. It was a little hard to visualise the baby as it was lying in a rather weird position (ankles around ears) so it took a while to get the scan but thankfully I didn’t end up standing on my head like last time.

And I caved.

I asked the question and we got a potty shot.

But I’m not telling. If I told the sex I’d be tempted to share the name and where would be the surprise in that?


Look at that little face! So cute. We were very lucky to actually get some great definition on the face, it’s making me very tempted to go for a 4D scan, though I need a new washing machine so I doubt the budget will stretch to both.

It’s starting to feel very real now and I’m in list making mode, things we need for the baby, things we need to get the house ready, things I just want because they are cute. The priority is going to go to sorting the house out. Our walls have a ring of grubbiness at about a height of between 2-3 foot and I’m awfully embarrassed by it, I cringe at the thought of midwives coming in to the place because they will be judging me for being an awful slattern. The nesting is definitely starting. We took several bags and boxes of rubbish to the dump this week already when I attacked the bedrooms. I thought I was going to make myself unpopular with the husband by insisting that he take some of his lego collection out of our bedroom and pack it away in the attic, but as the boy has been scaling the bookcases with increased skill to get at the Batman sets of late, the husband was happy enough to comply.

I could cry at the thought of everything that needs to be done but mainly because I can’t get cracking on with any of it yet. Lists are only satisfying if you can tick things off them.