Postcard from Limbo Land


It’s odd being close to giving birth. All I know at the moment is that, in the next two weeks, I’ll probably go into labour. I might not. This baby might be extremely sensible and decide to stay in their lovely warm bath with a constant supply of food rather than venture out into the bleak, cold, rainy expanse that London is right now.

It’s exciting knowing how close it all is, finally being able to meet this little being that you’ve been growing. This tiny person who has woken me up at 4:00am with their gymnastics practice, who has made me enter the odd world of date-eating and perineal massage and has meant that I now have to contemplate getting up off the sofa a good five minutes before I actually need to. We can also finally find out if they’re a boy or a girl and not have to keep calling them ‘they’ and fielding confused looks and queries from people who then presume that we’re having twins rather than the fact that we might not want to refer to them as ‘it’. 

However, this exciting period is also an odd one. You’re in a state of limbo where you’re technically just waiting to see if you have a dramatic waters breaking moment in the Sainsbury’s queue or not. It’s a time when you feel you should be making the most of your last few days of childless freedom, no night feeds or nappy changes to think about, no worries if you just fancy heading out and seeing a film or going out for dinner on a whim. The problem is, this is the time that you least feel like getting up and doing stuff. A walk around the corner, particularly as the Beast from the East roared around us last week, is my Tough Mudder. I come home nauseous, exhausted and in need of carbs and a foil blanket. I want to go out and try the bars that I know I won’t be able to soon, I want to see plays, hang out with friends, sit in the pub, but I also want to lie with my feet up watching endless episodes of Queer Eye with a cup of tea permanently in my hands.

People are adamant that this is a time that we should be storing up our sleep, as if there’s some sleep bank somewhere that I can make a hefty withdrawal from in a few months’ time when sleep-deprived and desperate. I imagine this will go just as well as attempting to withdraw from my normal bank with much confusion, tears and, ultimately, utter disappointment. Also, even if some magical sleep bank did exist, this is not the kind of sleep that I would want to rely on later this year. Cramp, hips that feel like they’re going to fall apart, a constantly alert bladder and unable to lie on my back, added to my new-found skill of snoring, waking up at 4am to pee, not being able to get back to sleep and a body that no longer knows how to be comfortable. Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.

Instead, I’m just trying to make the most of this period of quiet yet over-analysing every single symptom as the start of early labour time. There are very few moments in your life where you can just lie, albeit uncomfortably, on the sofa without a feeling of guilt or like you should really be doing something practical. Yes, I probably still have a zillion more baby things to organise, admin to get in order before having time for such things becomes a distant memory and new restaurants to try, but my body has given me a little gift. It’s indulging my innate laziness and has given me a free pass for an indefinite number of days, and as that rapidly comes to an end, I’ll start the process of thinking of getting up off the sofa to get myself yet another cup of tea.

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