On waiting for Godot.

Once upon a time, a long time ago you were on the pill.

It was the most boring six months of your life, which was a shame since you were at university at the time. Your grades, in particular, took a complete nosedive.*

You only realised this after you had stopped taking it. And all your creativity and inspiration, your amusement in small ridiculous things and your zest for life came flooding back. Admittedly so too did your capacity to get thoroughly enraged, occasionally depressed and slightly hysterical, but if this was the price you needed to pay in order to feel sheer joy, then you decided it was worth it.

You were quite surprised to find that the hormonal mood swings so often trotted out as the reason why women are the inferior sex were not a myth, not really limited to a particular week of the month, and, most importantly, far far more integral to your basic make up than you had previously realised. Especially interesting was finding that your intellectual capacity seemed to rely on them too.

Looking back, this was probably when you really decided to embrace womanhood. Of course, presumably, you reasoned, men have their testosterone driven moments too. But what if it doesn’t work in the all-enveloping way that oestrogen and progesterone do for you? What if men feel much like you didn’t during those six months all the time? The very possibility made you feel quite horrified, and very very relieved to be the sex you are.

Pregnancy, mind, is something of a test of this.

A lifetime learning to expertly surf the hormonal waves dis not really prepare you for the humongous rip-tide which submerges you in exhaustion and forces you to eat an avocado every day for the first twelve weeks, gives you great hair and a disgustingly positive outlook for the next three months and then forces you into a state of unaccustomed zen-like calm, which only gets worse the closer you get to the end of the final trimester. You particularly resent the zen-like calm. Have to get into a fight with your husband in order to manufacture enough adrenaline to get anything done isn’t the most ideal way to work up the energy  for paying the phone bill.

But worst of all is what happens when you go over your due date.

Presumably your body is trying to find the right combination of chemicals to trigger contractions.

All you know is that you spent Saturday and Sunday frantically cleaning the house.

On Sunday night you slept 12 hours, then another four hours in the day on Monday, and then went to bed early that evening too.

On Tuesday you woke up feeling energetic, but liable to burst into tears at any moment. You spent the whole day in the park with the Star, who was being wilful. To be fair, this might have been the source of the weeping.

Yesterday, on the other hand, it took you three hours to clean the bathroom, so sluggish had you become and today, well today, you have been told to go and lie down after you came over all faint whilst making the breakfast. Eating constantly seems to be helping with this.

You would like to think you will find the trigger soon – and yes, thanks, you have also tried curry, baths and, y’know, that other thing. Repeatedly – but you are not holding out much hope. Giving up on pregnancies is not something you do gracefully**. You suspect the Star kicked his way out.

Clearly even hormones, even female hormones, even your female hormones have their limits.

So your personal prediction for the revised due date is Saturday 4th June, 42 weeks into the pregnancy and after massive doses of chemical inducements.

*Likewise your libido. As a contraceptive, the pill was completely effective

**This, of course, is a good thing overall.


8 thoughts on “On waiting for Godot.

  1. Titania says:

    Oh dear, how trying it must be

    One of my friends (mother of 4) dragged me along on a veeery long bicycle ride in an attempt to get going. Didn’t work, of course.

    Have you tried dried or pureed prunes? Increased bowel movements are said to help hurry things up. For some, that is.

  2. Yes to the prunes. Sadly they didn’t help. With the labour, anyway.

    Running up and down stairs was mentioned today. Have that scheduled for tomorrow.

  3. Pineapple in large quantities is another suggestion (didn’t do anything for me). However, a spoon of castor oil or any plant medicine with the same use might do the trick – my neighbor tried it at 40w6days, I caved in at 40weeks4days and it worked for both.

  4. Homemade curry did it in the end. Sort of, as I was also induced. Will eventually get around to writing all the gory details, so brace yourselves, people. It was a good birth as births go though.

  5. Just came across your blog and am enjoying your insights into cross-cultural parenting with a Russian husband — I have a lot of the same worries, though my bi-lingual child is almost 14 now and off at boarding school (blissfully happy). Owning a football team would be nice, though…wouldn’t it?

  6. Depends which football team. My hometown’s one can be bought for two packets of crisps and a pint of lager, I am reliably informed. Might be within our means…

    Glad you like the blog Jennifer. I’ve always thought it would be easier if the mother is not the majority language speaker, which is your situation, isn’t it? Too much reinforcement of English is what we suffer from really. Still, it might make me work harder at it, so perhaps it balances out?

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