I had a friend over for dinner last night and I made her zucchini and feta fritters. (By the way, Le Docteur - I used a tea-towel to squeeze the moisture out of the zucchinis as you suggested and it worked just fine. Who would've thougth zucchinis had so much juice in them? Extrordinary!) My friend asked how I was feeling about the impending arrival (seven weeks...) and I said "terrified." And she said "You actually look terrified" and I said "that's because I am" and she said "but you weren't terrified when I saw you two months ago" and I said "that's because back then I still didn't really think it was going to happen. But now it's looking more and more likely. And I still don't have a washing machine or enough Bonds Gro-suits." (Luckily, I'm no longer worried about the boppy pillow, even though I went to the site and checked out all the smug looking babies lounging around on theirs.)
Most of the time the terror is fairly well-contained. I'm still pretty busy and I think this is helping. The writing is taking up a lot of my time but feels like a very worthwhile thing to do. My editor emailed me yesterday to say they are about to reprint Camp Chaos which means that there is less than 2000 copies of the initial 7000 left in the warehouse. The mind boggles to think of 7000 copies of my words being in a warehouse somewhere.
I decided a while ago to prepare for the baby as I prepare for going on a big trip OS - making lots of lists. And I have made numerous ones but I keep losing them. Or I add irrelevant items to them, like "buy cushions for sofa" or impossible ones, like "learn to cook." Is it really only seven weeks away? How did that sneak up on me without my noticing?
The thing that is concerning me the most about next month's arrival (next month!)isn't related to the birth. I feel relatively relaxed about that. As I've said on numerous occasions (maybe even here on the blog) my birth plan is to go into hospital with the baby on the inside and leave a few days later with it, happy and healthy, on the outside. I was originally saying that I'd be leaving the hospital with Bump in my arms but Le Docteur tells me they won't let you carry it out, it's wheeled out for you. Probably an insurance thing, I guess.
No, what I'm worried about is all the stuff that comes afterwards because frankly, I don't have a clue what to do. People keep saying that you learn to interpret all the different noises that they baby makes but what about up until then? Will I be staring into the bassinette in consternation, wondering what on earth it wants? How long will that go on for?
And then there's all the stuff. On the American blogs I've been reading every now and again someone will ask what are the essential things a new mother and baby combo needs. This invariably results in a list of items that fill me with fear because not only do I not have them but I don't know what they are. Like a pack 'n' play. What's that? And a Snuggli. And a boppy pillow. What the hell is a boppy pillow? I recently had a discussion with Le Docteur about onesies. This was a term I kept coming up against and I was terribly worried by them. What are they? Even more scarily they implied other products might exist - like twosies and threesies. Eventually I discovered that they are kind of like a jumpsuit, but with no legs and arms. But just as I've decoded one thing, something else comes along to underline my maternial shortcomings. At the moment it's the receiving blanket that's getting me down. What is a receiving blanket? Everyone talks about having multiples of them so they're obviously important. They sound so formal. Like something you'd drape across the infant when you're expecting important guests. 'The baby will receive you now.' etc
I don't know. It's all terribly confusing. I can't help but feel that I'm already a terrible mother because I don't have at least one boppy pillow and several receiving blankets ready and waiting.
It would appear that my interest in maintaining this blog is declining. Admittedly, some of this is because of busy-ness. I'm trying to get three kids books done before October and this is taking up a lot of time. Luckily they seem to be coming along - I've finished another Go Girls book (pretty much) and I have reasonable first drafts for the other two. Still, it is occupying a lot of my time. I'd also love to submit a story for Cardigan Press again this year but that's also due by the end of September so we'll see how that goes.
I've also become obsessed with a number of baby-related blogs recently and the time I used to spend writing my own I now spend reading theirs. The best ones I've found seem to be the ones written by women with long-term fertility problems. Like Julia, who has had eight miscarriages yet somehow still manages to be interesting and witty. And then there's Brooklyn Girl whose blog I've been obsessively checking recently. She conceived after her first round on IVF and has probably delivered by now, but there's nothing on the blog yet. And Barren Mare, living in Scotland who has just had an unsuccessful attempt with IVF.
I'm not sure why I keep reading these blogs, as their stories are very different to mine. I think perhaps I identify with the jumpiness and obsessiveness, the constant concern that something is going to go wrong. But then, perhaps most pregnant ladies feel this way, I'm not sure.
Anyway, the short of it is that it occurred to me last night that in less than two months I'll actually have a reasonable excuse for not blogging very regularly and that perhaps one day I might be interested to read back over what it was like at this period of my life. Plus I owe it to my faithful readers - Vlado, Le Docteur and my mum. Howdy guys. So I shall pull my socks up, although reaching them may result in some puffing and groaning. Perhaps I should get some longer socks.