If I had a tenner for everyone over the last couple of weeks who has said something along the lines of “You’re nearly half-way there, isn’t that great?”, or “Half-way will make a big difference” then I would be able to finance my shoe habit for quite a while. And while I outwardly smiled and agreed with these people, on the inside I have been scoffing… What difference does it make? There is still ages to go. And, besides, it’s not even really half way… sure I wasn’t even physically pregnant until after week 2, and I only did the test on week 5. (Isn’t it strange the way the weeks are counted? 2 weeks pregnant before you’ve even done the deed, so confusing.) So 20/40 is not really a milestone at all. Well, that was my approach until this week finally arrived. Now that I have actually turned 20 weeks, I have been proudly announcing to all and sundry that I am half way there, and isn’t that great! Fickle, aren’t I? Don’t ask me why, but it feels like an achievement to be 20 weeks – as if I have accomplished something significant.
And speaking of significant milestones, my husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary too – so double the reason to feel proud. This time 3 years ago, I was running around with a list, shouting instructions and terrorising all who know me. It worked though, ‘cos here we are today. To mark the occasion, we are heading for a weekend away, to a nice hotel and spa in the West. And by gum, are we looking forward to it – No toddler singing in her cot at 6am (yes it’s cute, yes we love her, but 6am… 7 days a week…) no chasing around after her with a hairbrush/ toothbrush or washing mashed banana off the sofa… Just newspapers, and nice meals being handed to us, and precious, precious sleep… Ah the luxury. And the spa stuff of course – you see, I keep promising myself that I’ll get myself down to the local leisure centre for a swim, but it never happens… I like swimming, I just don’t like the whole palaver of getting dressed afterwards. When I am in a swish hotel, I can swan around in a robe for ages afterwards, so there is no horrible sensation of jeans being pulled on over damp legs, or socks being yanked on to imperfectly dried feet … (Don’t tell me I could dry myself properly, I do try, but my towel ends up damp before I even get properly started – I know there must be some technique, but in 30 odd years of visiting pools, I have never cracked it.)
The downside to all of this, wonderful as it will be, is that it highlights all the stuff I can’t do. No Jacuzzi, no massage (hate them, but still), no sauna, no steam-room, no pate, no seafood (intend to ignore that one as we’ll be on the coast and watching husband eat a feast of seafood in front of me might be more than I can bear), no pre- or post-prandial drinks (I don’t count ballygowan), no nice cheese, no port with the nice cheese. It’s a long list, and I know there are others that I have forgotten… And the more things I can’t do, the more I want to do them. Even massage! I wish pregnancy was a bit like Lent was when I was a child, when Paddy’s Day came in the middle, you were allowed to eat Wham bars and Maltesers to your heart’s content – then next day it would be business as usual with fasting. After all, there are half-time breaks at matches, intervals in the theatre, mid-term breaks in schools…. surely a half-time break from pregnancy, where you could slip into your normal jeans and eat prawn pate to your heart’s content, would make it perfect? Until the powers that be can arrange it, though, I’ll do my best to enjoy this half-time in pregnancy with lie-ins, a trashy novel and a hotel robe.