We’re about to head off and see a movie for maybe the last time at a cinema in a while. Maybe not, who can say? But also it’s going to be a great way to spend some Sunday time.
It turns out that hanging around at 38 weeks is a lot like showing up to an exam an hour early (in case your car got a flat tyre). Those who went to UWA, it feels like showing up for one of those big exams at the Undercroft – there’s all that lush grass and flowering trees and a cool breeze but all you can do is worry about sighting your friends so you know you’re at the right place at the right time, but not wanting to talk to them cause they’re just going to be running through some equation or other that you don’t want knocked out of your brain and you’re wondering if you should use the bathroom now or in 45 minutes and whether you should eat something even though you feel a bit sick. And the knowledge that in 4 hours, it will all be over and you’ll feel relieved, but worried how you went, and then moving on to the next thing.
The waiting game. I’m frustrated and bored and sore and uncomfortable and irritated and over it but also really aware that when this is done, I’m only at the starting line. People say you should rest up and sleep now – if fucking only I could! I’m not tired most of the time until I’m keel over and sleep where I’m standing tired. And there are NO SLEEP POSITIONS LEFT! I actually dread going to bed now cause I know I’m in for 4 to 6 hours of tossing and turning and pulling a muscle or feeling sick cause I’m on my back and checking the clock to see how much I just slept. I had two positions left – sleeping on my left side and sleeping on my right side but my right side has almost filed a complaint. My shoulder and arm hurt. And now my right hip has started crying out in pain after just one hour of “sleep”. I’ve moved to using a pillow under it but even so, my thigh cramps pretty badly. For all the bullshit people tell you about “you wait til the baby comes and you get no sleep” I say Whatever Man, I’m running on, as Jonathan said the other day, Jetlag state anyway. I’ve not slept a good night since March. And I rarely get more than 2 hours in a stint anyway. At least my body won’t hurt so much in the act of trying to sleep.
My hands are so bad now that I am really limited by what I can do. Today they are so swollen I can’t really bend some of my fingers and I look like I have man hands. I never realised how much like my dad’s dad’s hands I have. Maybe it’s just the knuckles. I used to think I had my mother’s hands. This week has been a bad one for them anyway. They were so bad Wednesday that I was in a very very bad place – not just with the swelling and numbness and pins and needles (it feels a bit like constantly knocking your funny bone) but with shooting pain through my middle fingers and through my wrists. C stayed home cause he didn’t think I was coping. It was a tad pathetic, I guess. But not being able to take care of your basic needs is never a nice place to be (luckily I wasn’t quite there but it was close). I have no real grip, I can’t open a jar or a bottle, I can’t shut the front door, I can’t really drive. A couple of days I couldn’t even type – on a good day I can use my fingernails to poke at the keyboard, all my fingertips have been numb for weeks. If I think about that too much, I get a panic attack at the claustrophobia.
Actually, something that has surprised me about this journey has been how much I’ve had to deal with claustrophobia. It’s not really something I thought I had an issue with but it’s been something I’ve really had to manage the last few months. And especially in the dark, small hours of the night.
But now, there is really very little left to do. I’m mostly packed for the hospital. The baby’s room and crib are set up. I can’t craft, I can’t write. I can do very little at all that requires hands, which is pretty much everything. And I hate everything that I have recorded on my Foxtel IQ. There are no movies I want to watch and holding a book is nigh impossible. I am ready to be done with this now. Which is of course how nature talks you into the next thing, which sounds completely unpleasant.