I’ve taken to squeezing my own orange juice in the mornings, then hungrily chewing out the pith, taking my time with the fibres and then taking even more time with the flossing. After my fresh OJ, I contemplate cooking, or seeking a massage, or finding another book. Time is a luxury I am wallowing in like a lazy hippo at present. And at eight days past my due date, I’m basking in the luxury with a bittersweet impatience like a contented sea lion lolling around on the ice bergs, thinking about catching itself some prey, but more likely thinking about how nice it is to loll around.
It’s a curious predicament. I’m aching to meet my baby and every day Ben and I wake with the same anticipation: we could become parents today. A pretty bloody monumental lifestyle change to be confronted with when you’re wondering why the curtains parted overnight and let some horrible sunlight in to spoil an otherwise wonderful morning. And then that night we go to bed again, still just a solitary couple, waiting for our much-anticipated kiddy to make us a family. At eight days over, I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever happen, but we assume that at some stage little Baby Potter will come along and shock us out of our complacency. Sometime soon I will not have time to milk the oranges for my breakfast.
I won’t go into detail about the efforts I’ve undertaken to attempt to bring the baby on, but I mention this because I’m sure readers are wondering if I’m just sitting back resting my ankles (which wonderfully have not swollen yet) or if I’ve attempted to speed up baby’s entrance to the world. I’ve tried most of the old wives’ tales, aside from the dreaded caster oil, and I will say with authority that my baby is decidedly disinterested in the effects of acupuncture, massage, nipple stimulation, pineapple, dates, raspberry leaf tea and sex. I just hope the child doesn’t grow up to be perpetually tardy.
Despite the obvious impatience, it’s been a blissful few weeks. I have read a host of Maeve Binchy classics, polished off Colleen McCullough’s epic The Thorn Birds and brought the garden to a lush state. I’ve finished entire crossword puzzles, read newspapers from cover to cover, crushed sudokus, had more strolls on the beach than I care to recall and the house is sparkling so cleanly I wonder if I have turned into a neat freak. And then there’s the cricket, I smiled like a kookaburra with a piece of stolen sausage when I realised a test match was beginning and I’d have five days of speculation about the WACA pitch. Alas, the bloody thing is nearly over, our batting has been disappointing and I still have no baby.
Of course, there’s still my tax to do, and I could do some more promotion for Ben’s business. But I have unparalleled skills in procrastination for tasks that have more meaning than crosswords. I have considered looking for a copy of War and Peace, because surely there’s enough time to knock that beauty over before I turn into a time-poor sleep-depraved breastmilk-spraying mother. Or maybe I should just get started on my first nap of the day. All of that orange squeezing is hard work and, you never know, maybe that will bring the baby on…