I was feeling all of my 31 and a half weeks of pregnancy with Claudia that morning as I, the lone parental figure, made the usual breakfast bargains and negotiations with my two daughters just to get a piece of toast eaten. School lunches, recesses, snacks and drinks all lay waiting on the counter and stayed defiantly unpacked until the 30th reminder.
Lugging my swollen body and glorious fluidly cankles around the house, I rummage around looking for some mythical piece of clothing that makes me feel ethereal, blessed and carefree. Finding nothing to fit the criteria I settle for a dress that doesn’t smell and a pair of undies that although freshly clean, had given up long ago.
We’ve been up since way too early, but all the rushing occurs in the last five minutes before the school run. Teeth? toilet? hair? homework?
“Schoolbags?”, reminding them as I lock the door.
One forgets her schoolbag,
“You need your schoolbag”
Finally we’re in the car, My brain has a mild panic. Have I remembered to put some shoes on? Ah, thank you universe. I feel greatly relieved. I can’t see over my belly these days and I must have auto piloted some sandals on. I laugh at myself because I can’t see my feet anyway, the kids laugh at me too.
“Did you remember your shoes?” They nod, they’re not forgetful like Mum.
I drive two minutes to school, unload everyone and groan as the school gates appear. Now we have to negotiate the long driveway with its relentless upwards incline. My youngest has declared her bag too heavy so I’ve inherited it for the journey, the weight on my back might just even out the weight in front. I tell my eldest to get behind me and push me up the hill.
Off we trudge, the unforgiving school sprinklers are waiting and are carelessly evacuating hells wastewater everywhere. The kids try to dodge the 20 foot blasts but I can’t move in any direction with speed, so resign myself to getting sprayed.
The kids laugh at me, I laugh at me, I shrug my shoulders.
We reach the end of the never-ending driveway; my reward? some stairs.
I look at them, they look at me, I sigh put my hand on my belly to touch Claudia as she happily rolls around.
“Come on legs”, Left, Right, up we go.
A school mum breezes past, she remakes in jest that I look tired, I agree, saying ” I’m just about over it, she’s nice and big and healthy. I’m done” we sigh together, smiles locked for a passing moment, an in-joke- third trimester style. We move forward each to our own destination.
Three days later Claudia is 32 weeks. This is the day I am going to get her room ready for her, instead I’m in the hospital birthing suite with an ultrasound running over my stomach, showing nothing but flat lines
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