I have been Blessed by the Murkel of Life.
The Gingerbread Man and I are going to have a gingerbread ... um, cookie. Actually, I'll be doing all the actual having, he's accepting the congratulations and looking pleased with himself (well, he is now. He had a facial expression of frozen shock for about a fortnight.) The, eh, Gingerbread Child is due in September and so far, I've had a very easy time of it - no nausea or other nasty symptoms, I simply have to be fed every four hours or I turn rabid. I storm the kitchen and open cupboards and the fridge, whinging, "I'm staaaaaaaaarving! I'm staaaaaaaarving!"
No, actually, that's not really a pregnancy symptom, because I was like that beforehand, too.
I have been negotiating the maze of information available to pregnant women, though. During the first few weeks of my impending motherhood, I actually made attempts to procure and read books about my Delicate Condition, but then I realised that I wasn't reassured by the blow by blow accounts of foetal development, on the contrary, I found it a bit icky. I feel faint at the sight of blood, so clearly this kind of thing is not for me. I decided to draw a veil over it - ignorance is bliss, after all.
What I have discovered, though, is that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are a veritable minefield of judgement and condemnation. Through my perusal of online forums (populated primarily by opinionated pieces of baggage that seem to spend more time online telling other people how to look after their children than offline looking after their own), I have found out that there is a whole checklist of things that you have to do "right" and if you don't do them "right" - well, then, you're Just Plain Evil. Any misstep - any decision to do the wrong thing - is laden with nose-wrinkling censure:
- homebirth with doula (good) vs hospital birth with doctor (Evil)
- breastfeeding (good) vs bottle-feeding (Evil)
- breastfeeding for 24 months (good) vs weaning at 8-12 months (Evil)
- cloth diapers/nappies (good) vs disposable nappies (Evil)
- puréed organic vegetables (good) vs packaged baby food (Evil)
- stay at home mother (good) vs working mother + daycare (Evil)
- extra-special madey-uppy name like Tygretta or Säyrit (good) vs boring ol' traditional name like John or Ann (Evil)
I'm also trying to make some crochet hats for a local photographer, who wants baby hats in different styles. Alas, my knowledge of babies' heads remains (still) theoretical and I find it hard to judge head-sizes, even with helpful sizing charts. I've modelled the hats on Galia melons, upside-down bowls and big apples, but they are no substitute for a real head: