I finished work this week, so I celebrated by schlepping around in my tracksuit with no make-up and unwashed hair, reading books with my feet up on the couch, cleaning the house, doing a bunch of yoga stretches, setting up the baby's nook, and packing the baby's and my suitcase for hospital. This was good timing because Baby B also reached full term this week, meaning that even though the due date is still a couple of weeks away, she could choose to arrive at any time and not be premature.
It is also rather nice because I can now use some of the 20 percent use of my hands the physiotherapist tells me carpal tunnel has left me to write blog posts and work on my novel, instead of writing for my clients.
However if I’m honest, I’m still probably pushing things a bit. I’m wearing great big splints on both hands (Mr B says I have “cyborg arms”), and I’ve lost most of the feeling in my right hand as I type this. The pain woke me up again last night despite the splints, the massages, the ice packs and the regular visits to the physio.
Another reason I’m kept awake of late is that Baby B is pressing on a nerve in my pelvis, which creates a sensation not unlike a searing hot frying pan resting on my thigh. There are moments when this sudden burning has brought me to my knees, almost vomiting from the pain.
Yet, I suspect that if this is the sum total of my pregnancy suffering, I have fared very well indeed.
And then there are the other sensations.
Like when, mid numbness or searing pain or both, Baby B rolls over and elbows me in the ribs. Or kicks me hard in the side. Or I feel my entire uterus constrict in those strange ‘practice contractions’ they call Braxton Hicks.
And I think, WOAH, there is an actual HUMAN CHILD growing INSIDE me. And she is ALIVE.
And I am overcome with wonder.
From the start, my body knew how to nurture this child into life. Baby B is big and strong because my body took care of her. It knew what to do although I had no idea.
And now my body is preparing to send my child into the world and straight into my cyborg arms. I cannot wait.
Baby B's kicks are a reminder that I am playing my own part in the miracle of eternal life.
So it is with these lofty thoughts for company that my little neurological ailments come to mean almost nothing at all. “It’s only pain,” I tell myself, which is all it is. Just signals from my brain.