Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Due dates and a feeling of doom

Janey’s due date is today. She’s been packed for the hospital since the beginning of November, Darren has learnt the route to the hospital (he gets confused by one way systems) and Auntie Ivy has knitted herself into a nice spell of RSI. Janey is spending the day at my house because she doesn’t want to be alone, Darren will be collecting her after work at 4pm and has double checked that I know the way to the hospital. You can imagine the withering glance I gave him can’t you. She couldn’t face going to Ivy’s because “she’ll drive me insane following me round with a bucket in case my waters break”.

Amelia is being driven home by Jack today but keeps saying to Janey “if you want me to stay dear, I will.” Janey knows better than to do that. Amelia is only really angling for a longer stay because the news of her planned jaunt to Ireland did not impress her son who is worrying that she’ll get lost in the wilds of Dublin and won’t return. Here’s hoping.

Mac is fascinated by Janey’s forthcoming event and keeps asking her questions like “will it hurt more than when I stubbed my toe” and “how will the baby come out?” at which point I had to divert him by asking him to help Granny finish packing because I’m not ready for him to hear Janey’s vivid description. On being told, by her midwife, that the vagina was one of the largest and most flexible muscles in the human body, she told the wittering health professional in no uncertain terms that “something that could weigh more than 6 bags of sugar is not coming out of my lady garden – I want a cessation”. She meant, of course, caesarean. The midwife pooh-poohed her request and told her and the assorted pregnant ladies at the class that she would have nothing to do with the “too posh to push” brigade. Half of them got up and walked out to the nearest Costa Coffee outlet and she had to go and bring them back.

Still, it’s been a pleasant day so far. Janey finds it hard to sit, stand, walk or lie down comfortably so we spent much of the morning rearranging the furniture and the way she slouches in it. She finally found a comfortable way of reclining on the sofa (pillow under head, waist, calves and feet) but couldn’t eat or drink in that position so had to struggle to half sitting/half slouching position, using an arm to prop herself up on the back of the sofa. As a result, her white T-shirt is now splodged with camomile tea, baked beans and dots of chocolate where the recently scoffed Mars bar has melted. She’s also unbearably hot so both living room windows and the back door are open to cause a nice “breeze through”. All three dogs are huddled in their baskets in the hallway and Mac is in full jumper and jeans mode. And the cramps. She yelped so loudly at one point that I thought we were starting. “Where does it hurt?” I yelled, mentally boiling kettles and fetching towels. “My f****** leg!” she yelled back. Trust her to be the only woman in the labour ward moaning about her leg. Amelia refused to let Jack into the house when he came to pick her up because “Janey is in an ungainly position on the sofa and is swearing like a navvy”.

The open windows (curtains billowing in the force ten gale) have attracted interest from several neighbours. “I thought you’d been burgled!” Ruby Over the Road guffawed as she peered in the window to find me rearranging Janey. “I’m about to be” Janey muttered as I hoiked her left leg up in the air and rubbed it vigorously. Ten minutes later Jane Opposite stuck her head in, closely followed by her daughters Jessica and Melanie. “Whatcha doing?” Jane asked as she caught me (still) rearranging my cousin on the sofa. I stated the obvious to which Jane Opposite responded “You should get a beanbag, ‘ere Jess, go and get mine”.

Janey later said that having Jessica and Melanie, Marjorie Stewart and Jill with the Purple Door all watching through the open window as Jane Opposite and I lowered her onto the bean bag made her feel like she should be in a window in Amsterdam. And it wasn’t even comfortable. The minute Jane Opposite had shut her front door Janey yelped “Get me out of this!”. It took ten minutes to get her standing upright. “I’m not having another one” she moaned as she headed towards the toilet for the fifth time since she arrived. By the time she needed the loo for the sixth time she looked at me plaintively and said “Do you mind if I just pee myself?” My short, sharp answer propelled her to the toilet again.

Ivy rang at twenty to two to ask if anything had happened yet. Janey gave her a brief run down - “cramps, peeing every forty minutes, raging backache, so uncomfortable I want to rip my own head off, losing my patience” – and forcibly threw the phone at me. “I don’t want her here!” she hissed as I put the phone to my ear and heard Ivy say “I’ll just finish my lunch and I’ll come over”. I then spent five minutes convincing Ivy that the minute anything happened I’d ring her.

Then David rang to ask if I wanted anything brought in for dinner as I’d had The First And Only Woman Ever To Be Pregnant in the house since 8am and wouldn’t have the chance to prepare anything for dinner. Unfortunately, Janey answered the call and, as she and I sound alike on the phone, he had unwittingly offended her. She’s now taken to calling him “Your Husband”.

We then had tears at half two as Janey wailed that she couldn’t cope with this for much longer. I pointed out that her due date is just today and that many first babies are late (Mac was six days late) and she burst into fresh tears and hit me.

Kids TV at 3pm and Janey and I had a nice time cackling uproariously at all of the “yoof” television presenters while Mac tutted us disapprovingly. “Look at her!” Janey wheezed as a rather bouncy young lady in a purple T-shirt had a chat with an animated sock about all the birthday cards she’d had that day. “She’s getting paid to do that, I could do that and with less roots showing!” Bea dropped in at twenty to four with a hamper for “the mum to be” full of massage oil and aromatherapy stuff and we had yet more tears which re-doubled when Darren turned up and asked “where’s the baby then?” in a jovial fashion.

Bea castigated him for being insensitive and stood, open-mouthed in disbelief, when he asked me for a “cuppa before we go, I’m parched.” She followed me into the kitchen and said that she was so sorry and that she’ll try to pop in on Friday. I asked her what she meant (poor, innocent fool that I am) and she said “You know you’ve got this until she actually goes into labour don’t you?” The penny dropped as only pennies can. The whole situation was confirmed when Janey said that she’d be here at the same time tomorrow, give or take, depending on how her bladder was.

Under house arrest with very hormonal, very pregnant lady with no reprieve date in sight. I wonder if this is why they call pregnancy “confinement”?

1 comment:

Potty Mummy said...

Serve curry for lunch tomorrow - that might help speed things up a little... Or, apparantly, s.e.x. helps. Never got the chance to find out, myself, being 2 weeks early both times, but I'm sure her husband would be grateful. Or not.

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I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.