Dispatch from Mommyland

Yesterday, my midwife grabbed and wiggled Cricket’s head from outside of my belly.

That’s all I’m going to say about that moment, because it is impossible to describe how bizarre it felt.

Other than occasional freakshow incidents such as that, and thrilling near-death experiences such as this:

it is safe to say we’re officially entering the boring part of our expat adventure. We knew it was coming – you have to slow down and sleep while you can before a baby comes or you’ll hate yourself once he gets here – but it doesn’t make for very interesting blog content. We obviously are not traveling for a while, and even local explorations are low-key or paused either because I’m sore and knackered, or because it’s been grey and rainy and when it’s like that, it’s more fun to snuggle up with Dex and enjoy these last few weeks together before Cricket invades. 

Our latest purchase – a rocking chair. I never had a rocker or glider with Dexter – we had a squishy armchair and it served us fine, even though my sister was horrified to learn we were using a diaper box as an ottoman and bought us a yellow one that I regret not somehow finding room to bring with us. Anyway, it was fine until I nursed Dex in a rocker for the first time and was like WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE, so we invested this time around. Dexter and Fake Baby Brother approve.

Lots of rest, lots of aches and pains, lots of nesting. I think we’ve purchased all of the furniture for our home that we’re going to purchase for the forseeable future, including a sofabed that is shockingly comfortable, so you’re welcome, future guests! The house still isn’t completely complete, though. Matt is working on organizing the guest space because it’s also his office. We’re going to install a neat curtain divider system for when we actually have people over. Our nice friends in Orlando also sent us a bunch of our unframed art, when we realized while moving we were out of room and out of time to deal with it. We can’t afford to frame everything at once so I’m shopping and making lists of what we need to deck the walls.

We’re a few days away from six months since we’ve arrived in the UK. At first I felt a little embarrassed that it’s been that long and we’re still working on the maisonette, but then I remembered that we came here with practically nothing and couldn’t afford a house full of furniture right up front, so yeah, it takes a while to spread out that expense.

Yes, things are quiet. The most dramatic conflict right now is between me and my brain. I’m struggling to let myself take it easy in these last few weeks of pregnancy. With Dex, I kept working up until the moment I went into labor, so my routine didn’t change too much. This time, it is physically harder. My belly is clearly bigger than last time and the painful effects of that keep stacking up. I have achy hips and knees, I’m just generally uncomfortable, and I’m not sleeping well, so I’m constantly tired, too.

And I feel really guilty about it. Matt works all day and then has to come home and do a bunch of chores because I didn’t feel well enough to make it happen. Or rather than playing with Dexter, as usual, I chat with him from my spot on the sofa (the only spot that is reliably comfortable, which will surely have a Jamie-shaped dent in it by the time Cricket gets here) and halfass play, or encourage him to bring me books to read to him (less bad) or put in a movie (more bad, but Dex calls them “moomies” so that helps). I had a cold last week and told Matt we need to hang a sign that says, “HEY JAMIE, IT’S OKAY TO BE LAZY AND WATCH A MOVIE WITH YOUR KID IF YOU’RE 8 MONTHS PREGNANT AND YOU HAVE A COLD.”

Did I mention how uncomfortable I am? So much worse than last time. So unrelenting. Matt got the info on our private health insurance yesterday and as we were looking at it last night, I actually said out loud, “Is there anything in there that can get me a massage? Because I think I would punch your mom in the face for a massage right now.”


At least Matt has been a good sport, stepping up on home tasks and telling me I’m not a shitty mom if I don’t interact perfectly and enthusiastically with Dexter all day long. Dex is obsessed with books right now and loves moomies, so it’s not like I’m scarring him.

I’m 35 weeks this week. Dex was born at 38 exactly.

We can hang in there for a bit more.

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    1. I did an embarrassing amount of shopping for just the right one, so I’m pretty stoked that Dex likes it so much. And thank you!

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