To D-day, that is. And now that we're approaching the 12 week mark, the nausea is finally starting to ease up and I'm so relieved I could cry. All the time.
Or maybe that's just because of the hormones.
Expecting baby number four is pretty interesting - very different from all of my other pregnancies thus far. In some ways, I'm a lot more relaxed and inclined to just let my body get on with the business of growing another one. But I also find myself feeling surprisingly nervous about it all. There isn't any one particular thing I can think of and say, "That's it. That's what I'm worried about." Which makes it kind of hard to explain. One day it's the pain of labour, with the last one still fresh in my memory. The next, it's the weird dreams I've been having about my husband screwing just about every other woman he encounters and then shrugging it off when I get upset about it, or laughing in my face as he casually admits to having an affair with his ex. Other days it's about whether or not to go the natural route again (I'm actually thinking I'll try a home birth this time, considering how well it went last time). And sometimes I freak out because I have 6 months in which to buy all the new baby stuff I need, to pay the midwife's deposit and, in the event we decide against the home birth, the hospital's as well and, to prepare the other three kids - and Jack in particular - for the changes that are going to occur in our home when the new one arrives.
I guess it's mainly because of the extent to which things are going to have to change in order to accommodate another baby, which makes me feel incredibly guilty. Like I'm being completely and utterly irresponsible. Like one of those people you read about in bizarre news stories, the ones who have like, 7 kids and live off welfare and are now expecting again. The ones you shake your head about and think, you know, with the education and resources at their disposal, they really should be clued up on birth control. (Thankfully, we are a long way yet from living off welfare.)
But there have been so many raised eyebrows from so many people upon hearing that I'm pregnant again and, while my instinct is to say, "Fuck 'em - who cares what they think anyway?", it's hard not to feel just a little bit like the judgement is not unfounded. Because, let's face it, having babies is a costly exercise.
On the other hand, I could think of way, way worse things than having another baby when money is tight. And you know what? It's because of this fucked up fixed idea that we can't have more money that there are so many people who hate their lives, when all it really comes down to is taking responsibility and deciding to do something about it, instead of going all apathetic about stuff.
At the top of the To Do list, of course, is cutting expenses and there are a couple of pretty big ones we've managed to cut as of this month, including school fees, as we are going to begin homeschooling from next month.
Yup, that's what I said. Homeschooling. And before you get all know-it-all on me, SHUDDUP.
All of this means that I'm going to have to get very seriously organised like, yesterday, which is no small challenge, but I have a feeling that something along these lines was pretty much on the cards anyway. Putting 4 kids through private school? On our current income? Not so much. Homeschooling is actually a very workable solution for larger families, considering the state of government schools and the cost of private ones in this country at the moment.
Sure I'm nervous. Are you kidding? I'm fucking terrified. But I'm also kind of looking forward to it. I think it'll be a great way for me to bond and develop better relationships with each of my kids. I think it'll force me to learn to manage my temper and organise my life better. Who knows, maybe there's a real, live earth mother type person underneath the foul-mouthed, short tempered, undomestic basket case I am on the surface...
Anything's possible, right?