Welcome to the third trimester, my lovelies!
As I write, this babe of mine is engaged in his new favourite pastime – smooshing his little self against my stomach wall in a variety of amusing baby shapes. Like he’s playing Guess The Miniature Body Part with random passers-by (ooh, look, an elbow!). He does this all the livelong day, and ohhhhhh I’m telling the truth when I say that it hurts quite a lot. This child is made of corners. I keep one hand on my stomach these days, like I’m afraid he’ll tunnel his way out if I don’t push him back in. I haven’t ruled it out, either.
Every now and again I look down at the bowling ball I’m heaving around with me and think: whoa. There’s a baby in there?! He gets more baby-like by the day, too: he is the size of a 2 litre bottle, opens and closes his eyes, and reacts to light, voices and loud Dvorak in the mornings. He dreams, according to baby brain scans. What on earth are his little dreams made of? I wonder about that, sometimes. His subconscious can’t have much to dredge up apart from That One Amazing Time the Amniotic Fluid Tasted of Chicken Nuggets.
The Third Trimester has a portentous kind of ring to it, doesn’t it? Here we are, say the baby-fruit emails, where things start to happen. I had a moment of panic this morning where I thought: hang on a minute, we are two-thirds of the way through this baby-growing business and I haven’t even painted my rocking chair. What the heck am I doing sat in an office? I felt so overwhelmed I had to fetch myself a medicinal chocolate finger.
One thing at a time, though. I remembered this week Roald Dahl’s story about his mother’s pregnancies in Boy: how his one-armed father would take her on ‘glorious walks’ up Norwegian mountains, to impress beautiful things on the baby-to-be. I love that idea, medically accurate or not. So we listen to classical music in the mornings as I drive the sunny green way to work (TJ has a thing for the oboe, dismayingly, though it has to be said that he’s never heard his mama play one). I point out the poppies in the hedgerows (not that he can see much). I chatter so he knows my voice. And then, once we’ve started the day well, eaten nice things, and got through another long and sore day at work, we might think about clearing out some cupboards. If not, well, there’s nothing like yet another game of Guess the Miniature Body Part to make the old evening fly by.
PS: BIG RESPECT to the ladies who have carried twins or more. I ask this in absolute seriousness: how did you not burst open? I mean. Honestly.