20 weeks – and cleaning!

20 weeks – and cleaning!

The Hatchling posing at 20 weeks!

All clear at the 20 week anomaly scan! Yay! It was a really special experience for Nick and I. It was amazing watching the technician point out the kidneys, the tiny 4 chambered heart beating away like crazy, the individual vertebrae  of the spine snaking down the Hatchling’s back, and the legs waving around. At one point it headbutted me in the bladder and I could see and feel the movement at the same time – that was mind blowing; and when the tiny mouth yawned I thought I was going to cry.

And everything was fine. Again, I think I was waiting for something awful to be wrong – to hear that I had done something I shouldn’t, or that my body had not been cooperative. I was expecting bad news. But everything was perfect – bang in the middle of the weight it should be at this point, all organs in working order, feet pointing the right way, long legs and defined lips and nose. We are all good. And on track for a healthy, happy new team member.

I don’t think that I’ll stop worrying. This is me, after all. But it does calm me down for a bit at least.

So now the house is slowly preparing to welcome a new baby. We have to move the playroom into our spare room in the loft and then create a nursery in the playroom. I’ve decided I want the furniture all sorted by October half term – I think this may be a completely arbitrary deadline, but it feels better to have some date in my head. And to have begun to make some progress.

It appears the nesting has started. Yesterday I cleaned our living room window – inside and out – because it was annoying me. I haven’t cleaned the windows in years (yes, I know I am a terrible slob of a person!). Then I moved onto cleaning all the doors, and had to stop myself from doing the skirting boards as I was getting weary. I’m getting urges to rush up to the loft and just throw everything out…I’m not sure how many belongings are going to survive this pregnancy! The house is annoying me. It isn’t too small – for crying out loud I grew up with 6 people in a 2 bed! But we have A LOT of stuff. And we’re not very good at culling (apart form, it seems, when I am pregnant. So maybe I should take advantage of this newfound urge to purge and have a massive clearout…)

Life constantly changes, and we change with it. I think that when you do something momentous (such as adding a new person to your life) there comes along with that an opportunity to reflect and look anew at what your life currently contains. A bit like when you move in with a new partner, adding a baby makes you consider how your belongings and your environment facilitate the way your family works, and the person you are. It’s a break in the day to day – an opportunity to ditch things that you’ve been holding onto, but don’t serve a purpose anymore.

When Mark died I left his clothes in his side of the wardrobe. I didn’t open the doors, or sit amongst the shirts and cry, I just couldn’t move them. I think it was when I started back at work that I decided that they couldn’t stay there any longer, but that I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them. Predictably, out came the vacuum pack bags, and everything was put away in the loft until I could contemplate going back to them. It took a long time, the hand holding of Mark’s brother Daniel and his husband, and a LOT of gin to get through that day when it finally arrived.

When Nick moved in with us it was into a space that Ethan and I had worked hard to make our own. But there were still changes to be made, someone else’s belongings to fit in, and decisions to consider about which keepsakes and photos still belonged on display. We didn’t move the house on from Mark, we didn’t make it less ours, we simply made room for another person’s significance and presence.  And, again, this gave me an opportunity to think about what was still me and what wasn’t. Did I really still need to resist having a sofa in the dining room now that I could workout in the living room? Was the best place for the washing basket still in the corner of the bedroom, or had I just kept it that way because Mark had put it there? Was a study still necessary, when a playroom would consolidate the ridiculous number of toys strewn around the house? Stupid little things that just gave life a bit more flow.

Now that the Hatchling’s arrival is zooming closer I find myself regarding everything in my house with a more critical eye. I’m not thinking about baby-proofing yet (although that will be a shock to all of us, relaxed as we’ve become with sensible Ethan!), but there will need to be space for the day bed downstairs, and a playmat. We’ll need to rearrange our bedroom to fit in a crib for the first 6 months (although to be honest it’ll be more like the first 3 if Ethan was anything to go by!). The buggy will need to go somewhere as we’ve filled the space where it used to live with a large shelving unit where we keep our shoes and keys…(this is my current unsolvable problem; it can’t go in the dining room as I refuse to stare at muddy wheels whilst eating my tea, and it can’t really go in the hallway as Ethan (and Nick) will knock it over every time they walk past. Answers on a postcard please as I’m this close to building a lean-to on the patio for it to live in) The playroom and the guest bedroom (which seems to be full pretty much every other week and will probably be busier with a new baby) have to be consolidated into one space – a space which also includes my ridiculous collection of books, all the toys the Hatchling has yet to grow into, and the usual Christmas decorations, camping gear, winter/summer clothes (depending on the time of year) and everything else the normal family has in their loft. I am going slightly bonkers thinking about it.

If you don’t hear from me in a while, it’s because I’ve been buried under a pile of baby clothes and youth work text books…send help!

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