I am most pleased to report that in the banisters vs. baby race, the banisters have crossed the finishing line first. Well, technically not quite – there are some final details that remain to be done, but nothing that can’t wait until an appropriately opportune time. The banisters are up and fully stabilised to the point where our staircase and upstairs hall are once more fit for infant habitation, and it has been completed with the baby still on the inside. There were times when it looked like a close-run thing; specifically, at twenty to two on Friday morning while I held pieces of handrail together for Barry to screw into position and grimly (and unsuccessfully) tried to ignore both the fact that the crampy pains in my lower abdomen seemed to be increasing noticeably in intensity and the knowledge that when I made a similar observation in my last pregnancy, I had a baby not all that many hours later. I thought ruefully of all the pregnant women out there longing to go into labour; women who are days or weeks overdue, women desperate to meet their babies, women desperate to avoid induction, women desperate just to get the whole huge-as-a-house stage and its attendant discomforts behind them. Surf pregnancy forums on the Internet and you’ll find them in their dozens. I’m not even full-term yet, for crying out loud. Could the Labour Fairy really not find a better place to visit that night than our chaotically semi-banistered house?
Apparently so. The cramps didn’t materialise into anything more definite and settled down with a night’s sleep to intermittent only, Barry got the handrail fixed in place and then the final hour or so of work stabilising the banisters done at a more opportune hour of Friday, and we now have a new set of banisters. And most fine they look too. I didn’t think to take a ‘before’ picture of them for comparison purposes (whom am I trying to kid; it’s not like I’d ever have got around to posting it anyway), but picture cheap white Sixties-style banisters with planks running parallel to the handrails but spaced widely enough apart for a crawling infant to wriggle through, and you’ll have the idea. (I just tried to find a photo of the style in question on the Internet but didn’t succeed on the first attempt and can’t be bothered to keep looking, so hopefully you know what I mean.) The new ones are the Colonial style from B&Q, tinted a pleasing reddish-brown shade that warms our halls nicely, and – most importantly – spaced too closely together for a baby’s head to pass. (I do hope this does not prove to be a bad omen.) While I’d still prefer the baby to wait a little longer (I’ve got at least three blog posts pending, and the car seat still hasn’t had the cobwebs cleaned off it…), if I go into labour now it will not be a huge problem.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning I met up with Moira at the local breastfeeding group (having an obviously pending baby is considered enough reason for you to gain admission), and had a very nice time catching up with her and eating some most delicious biscuits, while Jamie had an equally nice time playing with the toys there. Unfortunately we had to leave earlier than I’d have liked as I had my 38 week antenatal appointment, but it’s a weekly thing so I shall try to get back next week unless any labour-related incidents so prevent. With regard to the antenatal appointment, everything seems fine, although there was a briefly worrying moment when the midwife declared it to be her belief that the baby was breech and left the room in search of a second opinion while I lay there trying to remember everything I knew about external cephalic version and how to deal with caesarean sections. However, the second midwife was firmly of the opinion that the baby was head down and the first midwife then had another feel and decided that, actually, she now felt it was head down as well, so they decided to leave it at that and simply call me back for another appointment in two weeks’ time. Since this is booked for the day after my due date, there is a reasonable chance that I may in fact have had my last ever antenatal appointment and that I’ll see them next when I turn up in labour. We can hope.
My mother has been visiting for the past two days, and tomorrow (today – it’s well after midnight) we have Barry’s family arriving ready to stay the night in preparation for Jamie’s birthday party on the Sunday, so if the baby does stay in for another few days then I can enjoy getting things done while other people are around to watch Jamie. (And, of course, if the baby does choose to make it’s appearance in that time then I’ll be even more glad of having other people around to watch Jamie.) I shall head up to bed now and get some sleep in readiness for all this.