Baby annabel and her tasty lashes
It's New Years Eve and its been a really busy few weeks. Christmas and the run up to it seems like ages ago now, even though it's only been a week and it was pretty much the same as it is every year. Up and down to London with work, stress over shopping and present buying, family rows and over indulgence. I'd be happy if I never eat another mince pie again (I don't mean that) and I'm almost sick of Quality Street. It's exhausting at the best of times but doing it all when you're heavily pregnant wipes you out. The up side is that this is the first Christmas in 20 years where I haven't had a single hangover. It's also been a nice distraction from the Fear that still hangs over me.
I've used the time between Christmas and New Year wisely and my dressing room is now no more. The drawers have been moved out, mirrors taken away and various hair products and appliances shifted to my bedroom and in its place is a cot, matching drawers with a changing table on them, hampers and lamps and little unit filled full of wipes, nappies and cotton wool. I started off the Christmas break having awful nightmares about having the baby and not being ready for it. I was literally waking up in a sweat from the most horrific dreams, which were obviously me worrying about having nothing prepared for the baby. They've now stopped and I just had my first full nights sleep without waking up to go to the loo or panic about something since Halloween. I feel almost ready. I just need to get my bag packed now.
I'm at 36 weeks now so technically I could go into labour at any point. I saw the midwife just before Christmas and the babies head was still up and it was kicking away but in the two weeks since I've seen her I feel like my bump has dropped, everything seems lower and baby doesn't seem to be thrashing about as much. It's still moving away but doesn't seem to have the room to kick me as violently as it was a few weeks ago. Everything is swelling up now. When I wake up my fingers are sausages and it's hard to get onto my feet as they are swollen and painful. Once I start to move about everything reduces in size though which is good, however I'm now waddling, which is the one thing I didn't want to do, I get a stitch if I walk about too much and my vision has gone funny. I managed to convince myself I had preeclampsia however I think it's more spending hours staring at Candy Crush on the IPad or doing my tapestry in poor light as when I'm outside everything is fine!
My niece has been amazing recently. She's 9 next week so you wouldn't think she'd be that bothered but she's really excited about the arrival of a cousin. She's also really concerned for me. We were shopping a couple of days ago and I was getting pains, just normal pregnancy pains and needed to rest, my niece held my hand and looked up at me and asked if I was ok, she was all wide eyed, I think she was scared she may have had to help deliver the baby there and then, in the underwear section of Marks & Spencer's. If I need to walk slower she'll hang back with me constantly checking that I'm alright and yesterday, when I struggled to peel myself off the sofa she watched over me the whole time, ready to help if I needed it. Both her and my nephew are always touching my bump and hugging it, but my niece understands that there's a baby in my bump,and it's not a mini trampoline for her bounce on, unlike my 6 year old nephew, or Henry or my sisters oversized Labrador! I'm starting to think that she'll make a better birthing partner than my Mum & sister to be honest.
She's even bought me a Baby Anabel doll that we've called Mildred. Baby Anabel dolls are basically dolls that are like babies that cry and giggle but they aren't as cute as real life babies. In fact they are quite grotesque however my niece bought one for me (using my brother in laws money which he wasn't pleased about) from a car boot sale for a fiver (haggled down from £6 apparently). The idea of Mildred is that it will get Henry used to me cuddling a baby and not get jealous. So a few weeks ago I set up the Moses basket next to the bed and my niece brought Mildred round and I sat and cuddled the doll and made cooing and soothing sounds to it. He sniffed it then ran off to play with my nephew. After they'd gone, and it was just the dog and I, I sat again with the "baby" and made lots of loving sounds towards it. Henry was suddenly much more interested, he came over, sniffed it, wagged his tail, sniffed some more. This is going well I thought, then he sniffed again, then licked its head, ok not quite what I was hoping for but still positive, then he went close up to Mildred's face, wagged his tail some more then had a nibble on her eye lashes....Oh!
So I've had Mildred out a few times since, and Henry is a lot less inquisitive or nibbley with her, if I'm cuddling it he just curls up at my feet and goes to sleep. My niece cuddles it and again he just goes off to play with my nephew and he's not bothered. So now Mildred sleeps in the Moses basket next to the bed and Henry is still at the bottom and the Moses basket has turned into a great place to put clean laundry!
So I'm almost ready, and Henry is almost ready. My next job is to get the dog to sleep in a different room or to work out what I'll tell my child about why it has no eyelashes.