I didn't think it would ever end, pregnancy. I just couldn't imagine that I wouldn't be that way forever. 'But you won't be' she said, matter of factly. It didn't comfort me but I'm not sure it was meant to. I was a week away from the date I was due to be induced but it might as well have been a decade, for how impossible it seemed. I didn't believe it was going to end, didn't believe I would ever be comfortable, ever sleep, ever not be in pain, ever meet the babies that were causing it. You know when people say 'it feels like it's never going to end'? It wasn't that I felt like it would never end, I believed it would never end. There was no conceivable way that I was ever not going to be pregnant.
Sleep deprivation will do some crazy shit to your brain.
(For weeks my sleep cycle had gone: squirm for 20 minutes, sleep for 10, wake in agony with stomach muscles threatening to rip, turn over, feel severe pressure on left kidney which appears to be infected, get up, cry, pace house for 20 minutes trying to relieve pain, pee, eat something, pee again, go back to bed. Repeat. All night. Alternating between the bed and the floor.
Nobody tells you that the night after you have twins (even if the midwife wakens you with a flashlight every three hours to feed your baby who like you, just wants to sleep) will be the best night's sleep of your life. You will get THREE HOURS OF CONTINUOUS SLEEP, and you don't even need to pee once (because you have a catheter, but whatever). )
Every day was the longest, most uncomfortable of my life. There is just no way to describe the feeling of two 6lb babies plus 20something lbs of fluid and placenta hanging on the muscles that sit at the top of your stomach. Not that that stopped me trying, through my tears, all day every day. (God that man is patient.) Maybe you don't need me to describe it, to talk of bowling balls and stomach muscles stretched to schnitzel and the fact that the body really isn't designed for two babies at once, maybe just have a look at these pictures of Rebecca's 35 week stomach, that aught to do it.
I was due to be induced at 38 weeks but from the beginning I was told that there was very little chance that I would get that far, that hardly anyone does and that I would most likely go into labour myself, sometime before then. By 37 weeks (a year ago today) I knew that just wasn't going to happen and I was so fucked off about it. I didn't want to be induced, didn't want to wait another week, didn't want to be pregnant FOREVER. And so the days dragged on. I cried and moaned while Nye tried to make the house habitable. "Oh isn't it funny how people find all these DIY jobs to do just before they have a baby?" the nurse asked. I wanted to punch her, it wasn't DIY, it was building. Proper, serious, WE DON'T HAVE SOMEWHERE TO PUT THE BABIES building.
And then it was the day before. You know, the day when the mother relaxes, practices her breathing (because sometimes you forget to do that. Breath.), maybe has a massage and a long bath, makes sure that her bags are packed and serenely admires the nest that she has feathered for her baby(s). The day when the guy who is noisily and messily sanding the living room floors turns up three hours late, spends a hour telling her about how the government is using budget airlines to spray the nation with secret chemicals (see those vapour trails? Not vapour, chemicals. Apparently.) and that she had better not let the midwives vaccinate the babies because vaccinations are a plot to dumb down the population. The day when her husband who was sent out to buy cereal bars comes home with a three legged dog that he found in the garden, a dog who like all dogs she's been left alone with before lies at the door pining whenever he leaves the room, making her distinctly anxious that the babies will do the same. The day when to escape the noise and the dust and the crazy whacked out weirdo in her living room she goes to visit her friend, the one whose flatmate is training to be an ob/gyn, the one whose flatmate has left her highly illustrated ob/gyn textbooks lying on the coffee table, the textbooks with the photographs of prolapses and episiotomies and stillborn babies that are completely and utterly gripping and horrifying. It was that day.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT'S NOT HOW YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SPEND THE DAY BEFORE YOU GIVE BIRTH?
And then it was the night before. And the floor was sanded and the cereal bars were bought and the owner of the three legged dog had been found and it was just us, Nye and I alone, together, on a mattress on the floor, hands on my stomach feeling the babies who we were soon to meet squirming and kicking and wrestling inside. I get up to pee and start my nighttime routine for the last time.