I have a huge curiosity for what Blobette will look like at full term. You have to bear in mind that pregnant women get inundated with unflattering images of growing in-utero babies with swollen heads and teeny arms, and all the proportional grace of a T-rex without the claws and the sharp teeth. It takes a while to get used to the fact that eventually, out pops an actual baby. Who will hopefully look like the best version of both of you because – let’s face it – we are all secretly rather vain creatures.
I must be mulling over this more on some subconscious level, because I’m finally starting to see her in my dreams. Usually in semi-nightmarish situations. For instance, there was that time I dreamt I could not breastfeed.
Here I was with the newborn, first day back in the house, and… nothing. I plop her on, and she’s looking at me accusingly as if to say, “Is this a joke? You know I’m not falling for that again.” And then… nothing.
And because my perfect newborn baby girl is a mutant with a brain of epic proportions, I’m asking her for feedback. “How about if I do this?” I ask. “Or this?” And she’s looking up at me and shaking her head. Nup, she telepaths because she can. It’s not working, man. Let it go.
Or how about the other dream where I’m giving birth. Except I’m still in the house in the main bathroom with the tub, and there’s two midwives with showercaps on, who insist on getting into the tub (fully-clothed, thank heavens) with me. Of course, there isn’t enough space for the actual birthing mother to stay in the tub, so I step out… only to turn around and face my newborn, sitting on the counter next to the sink, ensconced in the corner between my Clarins Younger Longer moisturiser and the tissue box.
Except she’s HUGE. One moment, she looks like she’s 4 months old, and then she looks like she’s actually 4. And she’s also fully clothed and clean and kinda looking expectantly at me.
And I, too, wait. Any moment now, I think. I’m gonna feel this rush of maternal love and goodness wash over me and I will be overjoyed. Except nothing happens. She’s sitting there like a lump, and I’m standing there, looking at her and willing myself to love her. It’s the most dreadful feeling. Meanwhile, I’m wondering why her hair is black and coarse and spiralling like tight corkscrews, and why her mouth looks a little like Tony’s mouth – except fixed on upside down. And wait… hang on… she looks like a cross between two very Chinese classmates from primary school.
And looks nothing like either Tony or me.
And I wake up both times with a HUGE inadequacy complex. I cannot give birth, cannot breastfeed, and cannot love my child because I am a shallow, shallow woman. I am going to be a stinky mother. STINKY!
Guilt has already set in.