I haven’t written a blog in a while. I am 9 months pregnant and it is difficult to sit on a chair for long periods. I have tried working on my laptop while I lie in bed but my legs become restless and jumpy and I don’t get much literary inspiration when I am horizontal. Now that my dead-end, mind-numbing job is finished, it may also take a while for my brain to thaw out and get back some of its old agility and elasticity after so many months of dormancy.
Pregnancy has been a breeze from a health point of view and I am grateful. I have noticed a few changes to my mind and body, other than simply growing what feels like a heavy watermelon in my tummy. These things have made it difficult to concentrate and write coherent blog posts.
Something has happened to my brain cells. I feel as if my head is full of marshmallows and fluff. Alastair even noticed I have become rather ditzy. I picture the little men that work inside my brain – “The Cells”. These are the guys that pull the levers, control the cogs, wind the cables and prevent my screws from getting too lose. I think they are slacking off on the job. I picture them a bit overweight, with beer bops bursting out of their old, oily t-shirts and plumber’s cracks peeking through their shorts when they bend over. These days, I imagine them hiccuping, sweating, burping and bashing into each other because there’s no longer much order, productivity and discipline up there in my engine room.
Recently, I forgot my bankcard PIN number as my index finger was poised over the machine to pay for a trolley load of groceries. No matter how hard I tried, I could not remember the 6-digit PIN that I use every single day of my life. It just flew out of my head.
The other day, I lost my underwear (bra and pants) at the public swimming pool. I didn’t forget them there because I noticed they were gone when I finished my 40 lengths. I looked in all open lockers, under every bench and in the depths of my bag. I did not leave them in the car. I drove home in my wet costume and they weren’t in the house either. Where did they go? I can’t for the life of me understand how two undergarments can disappear into thin air. Alastair suggested that they were stolen but surely someone would have preferred to swipe my wallet or cell phone instead of my Bridget Jones-style underwear? I suspect that I put them somewhere random and one day, when I open the freezer to get the frozen peas, I may discover my frozen pants and bra.
Another thing about pregnancy is that I eat like a human Pac Man. My raging appetite surprises me. It is as if I have a nest of baby birds that live in my stomach. They permanently have their heads thrown back and beaks wide open. They constantly squawk and chirp for food, particularly the sugary stuff. To be healthy, I sometimes throw down fruit sugar in the form of grapes, plums or nectarines but they prefer Haribo gum coke bottles, Lindt chocolate or some sort of dessert. The strange thing is that I am not that fat. Many people have said they can’t tell I am pregnant aside from the belly.
Pregnancy is tiring. I no longer sleep throughout the night and I now operate in that feathery state of sleep deprivation where the edges of consciousness are constantly blurred. People have said this is only the beginning and apparently it will get worse. There is a pull of lag and delay on all my actions and reactions, which is another reason why blog posts have been so irregular.
I am now on maternity leave and I feel I should do something productive with this time off. The spirit is willing but the body is weak. I prefer to lie heavy-limbed and static, draped across the couch like a tendril of wet seaweed. The glorious thing about this period of sick leave is that I am not genuinely sick. I have the freedom to fall into the tiredness and lounge on the bed guilt-free because I know this feeling is temporary and normal. If I had an illness that incapacitated me in the same way, I would fight it violently. I would push against the lethargy and force myself to rise above it.
I can’t wait to have Little Surycz because I am tired of talking about babies. At every event or social gathering, people ask the same questions, ‘Have you chosen a name?’ ‘Is it a boy or girl?’ ‘Will you have a natural birth or a caesarean?’ People wax on and on about my pregnancy and I feel shy hogging the conversation. I often want to say, ‘You’re sweet for showing an interest but do you really give a toss whether I’m going to have an epidural or not?’
The strange thing is that I think people, particularly other women, genuinely are interested and I have realised that baby topics are a wonderful form of small talk and a refreshing alternative to jabbering on about the weather when conversations lag or need a kick-start.
With the birds in my tummy, growing a watermelon around my waist and little men in my head, there’s a lot of activity in my body at the moment. Once the baby arrives and the pregnancy is over with, I am sure my appetite will return to normal, I will feel less heavy and therefore tired and my job will be a distant memory so I will lose the fluff and stickiness in my brain. Then, I am sure I will have plenty of time for writing more blogs.