‘You take a look. I can’t…’
There was silence as DH removed the object from my hand and checked it. Then there was more silence, followed by a stifled, rather pathetic whimper.
‘Oh God! It’s positive – isn’t it,’ I gasped, grabbing the nearest kitchen chair and lowering myself into it.
‘Yep,’ he confirmed hoarsely, bravely clearing his throat. ‘It’s positive alright.’
I’d known all along that it would be. After all, you don’t feel as though you’ve got a combination of swine flu and ME for weeks on end without having a little inkling that something very major might be up. And then there was the appetite, which probably gave it away more to DH than anything else.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ he’d grumbled a couple of weeks previously, as I’d munched my way through an entire loaf of white bread toast (I never eat the stuff) slathered in Marmite.
‘I don’t know!’ I moaned and then promptly fell asleep at the kitchen table. It was 10.30am.
Denial. That’s what I was in, for oh – around three months. After all, if you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know exactly how hopeless we are at parenting (really quite rubbish) and the very LAST thing we needed was another child to run rings around us.
‘Don’t worry,’ DH patted my back bravely. ‘We might have a girl this time. That would be nice – right?’
‘But what if we don’t?’ I cried. Silence descended once again – until it was disrupted by screams from the other room as our sons started playing a jolly rollicking game of ‘got the last slap in’.
My child-free sister was more upbeat about it. ‘You’ll be grand!’ she said. ‘Everyone reckons the third one just slots right in. And anyway – it’s just SO fashionable to have a baby bump right now. Think about it. Anyone who’s anyone has three kids plus these days. There’s Ben and Jen, David and Victoria, Ange and Brad – and erm, Madonna.’ She knew she was clutching at straws at this point, but soldiered on bravely nevertheless. ‘And – well, abs are very last season…’
I thought about my two past pregnant selves. Morning sickness until week 20, weight gain of an average 2.5 plus stone, ankles to tankles by month six, and then 12 months after both births spent literally exercising my (huge) butt off in an attempt to return to normality. I thought about stretch marks forming on top of my stretch marks – of at least six months worth of breastfeeding, or worse – expressing – because that’s what working mothers have to do. I thought about cracked nipples and the endless months of sleepless nights…. Oh God! The solution was to promptly lie face down on the kitchen floor.
DH came at it from another angle. ‘School fees,’ he kept muttering manically. ‘Three sets of em. Every term… Three terms a year…’ Then this changed to a slightly more immediate matter. ‘The car… We’ll need a new car… Can’t fit three safety seats across the back…’And finally, there was a roar of absolute horror, as he checked through our paperwork and discovered our health insurance did not cover me for maternity. ‘GAHHHH!’
Yes. It’s fair to say that our third pregnancy is still something we’re coming to terms with…
BUT, I’m a great believer in there being a silver lining to every cloud. For one thing, we now have to get a new car – which is wonderful, because quite frankly, I HATE our car. We bought it off some annoying cheeky chappie in Mirdif when oldest son was a baby. He assured us that it was well maintained, and, because we try to be sensible over things like that, we borrowed it for a couple of days and popped it into a garage un-aptly called AAA for an assessment. The said assessment came back claiming the vehicle was ‘sound as a pound’, so we parted happily with our hard-earned cash and off we went. Less than a week later, it stopped working. Completely. We then took it to the dealership who declared it a complete ‘lemon’ and we’ve been pouring cash into the sodding thing ever since.
Currently, the dashboard shorts out, so you can be hurtling along Emirates road and suddenly have absolutely no idea how fast you are going, how much fuel is left in the tank, or if the engine is overheating. The boot door struts have also gone, so stacking shopping in the back can only be a two-handed job if you hold the door open with your head… Yes! That’s me! I’m the red-faced pregnant woman in the shopping mall car park with a trolley full of shopping, two screaming kids and a boot door balanced on her head!
But that’s not all. There’s the sticky back seat belt, which is especially stubborn when the weather is cold (an absolute bastard if, like me, you’re perpetually late on the school run). The central locking has gone completely, and finally, electric windows are rather like our maid Agatha – they only work when they feel like it – certainly not when you tell them too.
Yes – I really won’t be sorry to see the back of that car – and if it’s taken a third pregnancy to finally persuade DH to part with it, then actually – perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.
The other bonus is that as soon as we told Agatha our news, she promptly quit. We were rather relieved, because neither of us would ever have had the guts to fire her – and if this hadn’t happened, we’d probably have been stuck with her for at least another decade.
So, despite the imminent exhaustion, monster-size bras, back ache, sleep deprivation and cellulite, there are a couple of things to look forward to. Firstly, I really can’t wait to get a new car. Secondly, I get to hire a new maid – and this time, it will be someone who knows how to say ‘yes!’ and smile simultaneously.
And thirdly, well, let’s face it – DH could easily be right. I might actually be able to shop for pink things next Christmas. Now that’s really something to look forward to!