Moata's Blog Idle
I'm aware as I sit down to write this post that it is the second in as many weeks that has icecream as its focus. This is not a random coincidence.
Because icecream is just about the best thing in the world when you're heavily pregnant. It's cold and refreshing and you can very nearly convince yourself that it's a "dietary requirement" because of your increased need for calcium.
On Sunday I had what was the best icecream ever, but the extent to which I enjoyed it had relatively little to do with the quality of the icecream.
Sunday in Christchurch was one of those hot dry numbers that makes people walk straight under sprinklers. The kind of day when the heat stays around well past midday and is still stifling at 4pm.
Despite an earlier oath to stay the hell away from shopping malls, a quick perusal of the "hospital bag" revealed that I have no nightwear that is suitable to be worn around other people as my repertoire of wearable bed garments has pretty much shrunk (as I have expanded) to a couple of roomy but not overly long t-shirts. A short stay in hospital is on the cards in the near future, and I'm going to assume that no one there is especially keen on seeing my giant pregnant-lady undies, so I thought a bit of nightshirt shopping would be a good idea.
Today is my last day of work.
And by "work" I mean "my day job where I get to go to an office". Because this blog technically counts as work too, and let's not forget the bit where I have responsibility for the care and feeding of a small human, which I've been given to understand can be quite taxing (if not resulting in taxable income).
Because there's no getting away from the fact now that I really am going to be having a baby. When I first set down the date of 8 November for my last day at work it seemed like a reeeealllly long time away, so no worries. Plenty of time to get my head around this and finish up a few things at work and wouldn't it be nice if the house was fixed by then (ha!). But here we are, roughly 6 weeks out from my due date and it's taken imminent parental leave for me to suddenly go "oh riiiight... I'm having a baby". I really hope that doesn't sound as psychotic as I think it does.
And I'm not sure exactly what to do with myself for the next 6 weeks (give or take, depending on when the Squishy decides to turn up). Other than a couple of thankfully brief periods of unemployment (though, just quietly, a few months can seem like years when you've got no money coming in) and the occasional longish period of annual leave I have been going to work for nearly 20 years.
For the last few days I've been preoccupied with rape. It's not a very nice topic to spend time thinking about but it's one that's very much at the fore of New Zealand's public consciousness at the moment so it's not so surprising that I'd be dwelling on this a bit. In fact, I woke up at 2.30 this morning with a swirling maelstrom of rape-related thoughts demanding my attention and had a bloody hard time getting back to sleep, so this post will be me getting a few ideas off my chest about that. If that's an upsetting topic for you because it has directly affected you or someone you care about then you might want to come back tomorrow. I completely understand.
I am a 38 year-old woman and I have never been the victim of a serious sexual assault or rape.
The fact that my initial impulse was to include the word "luckily" in that statement says a lot about my expectations as to how the world works, especially for women.
I'm not an expert on rape by any stretch of the imagination and what follows are just my own thoughts which have been screaming through my head with an increasingly shrill and incredulous tone, because I'm more and more concerned about how we, as a culture view rape. Despite my lack of experience with rape there are certain things I know to be true and it seems that these things, though they seem self-evident to me, are actually not common knowledge to some and this is A Very Big Problem.
So here's what I know and if you disagree with any of the following you need to take a good long hard look at yourself and ask where that's coming from.
So right about now I am supposed to be working on my birth plan. For those of you not familiar with this piece of pregnancy-related homework (yes, in addition to leg cramps, heartburn and itching, there is also paperwork) the birth plan is what you give your midwife so she knows that you’d like a waterbirth rather than an elective c-section. It’s the flimsy bit of paper that says “should I get to choose how this plays out, this is how things will go”.
Which of course, is a complete fiction.
You could write a very detailed birth plan (my midwife said someone gave her one that was 4 pages long once – I can only imagine it included a snacks menu and preferred birthing hairstyle – anything longer than a page and you really need to employ an editor, guys) but that plan stands a very good chance of going out the window completely because of the simple fact that babies can’t read (it’s too dark in there) not to mention the fact that they are notoriously unreliable.
So really, the birth plan is more of a means to communicating with your midwife or LMC* what sort of birthing “stuff” you’re comfortable with as much as anything. Because let’s face it, if we could all write a birth plan for the kind of labour and childbirth we’d actually like to have - it would be pretty brief and would end with “...and after the completely successful experimental trial of the Utero-5000 automatic birthing transporter results in a clean, totally chilled out newborn arriving magically in my arms with no effort whatsoever on my part. George Clooney turns up to offer me a congratulatory glass of Veuve Cliquot and asks if I would fancy going out with him on Saturday night, which I have to refuse for obvious reasons and he is seen later in the hallway sobbing manfully into the lapel of his Armani Privé suit.”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Question. When is a bus stop not a bus stop?
Answer. When it's a bus "hub".
You might wonder what the difference is. As far as I can tell, the main difference is that everyone actually knows how to use a bus stop whereas no one knows how a bus hub works.
Up until a month or so ago I had managed to pretty much avoid using the Northlands hub or "super stop" as it is sometimes called (and by people with a straight face, no less), but the temporary change of address in combination with my decreased ability to walk long distances, I've been making use of this relatively new development in the Christchurch public transport.
And it pretty much sucks.
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