Tanya Sweeney: As my due date approaches I am moving like a post-marathon Jabba the Hut
“How are you feeling?” People are routinely beaming at me as though I’ve invented penicillin, or won an Oscar. It seems churlish to admit to the truth: “I’m miserable. I’m sore. I’ve over this. There’s also a nasty rumour knocking about that you’re meant to love, live with and raise the little person responsible for the next 18 years.”
You might have noticed, but having an almighty whinge is pretty much my only vice right now.
Time once was that I used to describe myself as a journalist, but in the final weeks of this pregnancy I have a whole new occupation: sitting on the loo for hours on end to little avail, and wondering where the nearest bottle of Gaviscon is.
Sleep is a faded memory. With concentration at an all-time low, the workday is molasses-slow, and needs a minimum of three separate naptimes. Sitting is a challenge. My belly skin is stretched tight as a drum. Stretch marks have made an 11th-hour dash over my abdomen; my new “outie” belly button grazes off every door handle that it meets. There are entirely new, random pregnancy symptoms like itchy palms, leg cramps, nocturnal drooling and sweats. I feel like I’m a cough away from finding out what colour hair this baby has. I’ve started calling the baby “Keith Flint from the Prodigy”, because I am clearly about to give birth to someone who thinks it’s Glastonbury O’Clock all the time. I’ve begun frantically googling: “Does foetal activity tell you anything about your baby’s personality?”
I’ve always been one of life’s crammers – had Red Bull not been invented, I’d probably still be in college. I have been worryingly lax with Kegels and the perineal massage, and so I do what any sane woman would do in my position: cadge the lecture notes and panic. One friend has brought me up to speed on slings and another on breast pumps, while a third has imparted the lowdown on cloth nappies. I’m not joking when I say each of these requires a degree-level amount of information. I very nearly have my bachelor’s degree in baby.
“Your baby is the size of a honeydew melon!” my pregnancy app informs me (funny…
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