Week Thirty Six: Houston, we are engaged and ready for launch

This week began by a trip to the hospital. Jess’ hands and feet had swelled so much her toes looked like they warranted their own biceps, and as well as this she was feeling really ill. I rang the local hospital for advice, and they told us to go down to get it checked out, and so we did.

Fifteen minutes later we were in the labour ward, Jess hooked up to a machine where we could hear the hoofbeat sounds of our baby’s heartbeat as the corridors echoed with the faint wails and beastly screams of women in labour, punctuated by the squeaky cry of a newborn. Fortunately, everything’s fine, and after twenty minutes of lying around as woman after sweaty, flushed woman was wheeled past proudly clutching a baby, we were allowed to go.

"I should not have worn makeup..."

She has been having contractions now and then, though; only short ones, and they fade away after a few minutes, but it seems now that the arrival of our boy won’t be far away. He’s five-fifths engaged, which is pretty much the most engaged one baby can be, so any day now I’m expecting a text or phone call informing me of a bloody show – which has nothing to do with expressing disgust at a poor performance of Cats. I’m not really excited, but I don’t mean that in a bad way; at the moment I’m more nervous. The excitement and erratic whooping will come once I know that both mum and baby are safe and sound. Until then, I’ll just keep clenching the ol’ pelvic floors and hope that I don’t wet myself with anxious pee.

Your foetus (probably not the most affectionate term, but we’ll roll with it) has now put on a few pounds, and is beginning to sport a pair of chubby face cheeks that will get pinched incessantly shortly after birth by a stereotypical plump relative that you undoubtedly have. The bones in its skull have now fully formed, but have not joined together. Instead, they move and flex to allow for an easier birth. I wish I was the one adult whose skull bones never fused. I’d freak old people out by squeezing my head through their letterbox.

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