I am not a bird but I am nesting. Nesting is what animals do when they are expecting a baby. It’s about preparing a warm, comfortable home that will help the new baby survive. Birds gather twigs and leaves. Cats and dogs pad around until they find somewhere soft and warm and then they work on smoothing it out. Rodents scurry about searching for a low, dry place to birth and humans? Humans spend money.
We have lived in our home for over three years. It’s in a nice street, in a nice neighbourhood. The layout is great and we have more than enough room. When we bought it we knew there were improvements to make here and there but we were happy enough to have stopped renting and got on with life.
Magazines are a passion of mine and home decorating ones are no exception. So I’d peruse them with sticky notes in hand, visualising what our home may look like one day when we ran into a truckload of cash. Well the truckload never materialised but I did become pregnant…
Now there are just seven weeks to go until our little girl makes her entrance and I have had:
- The entire house painted (including front door in a sexy deep blue)
- New doors and door handles installed
- Old wardrobes ripped out
- Carpets ripped out
- Floorboards sanded and varnished
- All the windows professionally cleaned
- New blinds installed
I have also bought new furniture, bedding and electricals and have a little list of items still to purchase once I’m on leave. On top of all this I am cleaning with gusto; mopping, soaking, wiping, disinfecting.
Thousands of years ago expectant women probably just swept out the cave with a broom made from animal hair. But not I. I often ask myself where these urges are coming from (nature or nurture?) because I know the newborn won’t come out admiring the white skirting boards and window frames. Nor will she notice that the books on the shelves are organised categorically or that her wardrobe has a double-hanging feature.
She may notice though that we don’t have any money left and we are living in a nest made of twigs and leaves…
Pregnant women get asked a lot of questions. Some of these questions are banal, polite ways of making conversation (“Is it your first?”), some are more daring (“Are you going to have a natural birth?”) and some are simply that’s-none-of-your-business-intrusive (“Are you massaging your perineum with avocado oil to avoid tearing?”). Peppered amongst these questions are the inevitable ones about weird pregnancy cravings.
Like the first time around I can’t say I’m having any really bizarre cravings. There is the small matter of becoming a carnivore again after 10 years of abstinence (had the BEST bacon and egg roll for breakfast at the Brighton beach kiosk, all crispy and oily the way bacon should be). But I’m big on listening to my body and it was demanding meat, not tofu.
But while I don’t have any weird pregnancy cravings I have developed some weird pregnancy behaviours, which are exactly the same as my first time around and involve a very keen sense of smell…
When pregnant with my first daughter I had to kick a nasty cigarette habit. Shortly after I noticed my sense of smell had become extra sharp with particular with regard to soap. Before I knew it I was finding excuses to wash my hands at every opportunity. And lathering my body in soap, rinsing and re-lathering over and over again. I bathed ritually every Friday and took long sniffs of the shampoo bottle. I just loved the smell so much that one day smelling was not enough and I took a lick of the bar in my hands. Just a small one. Deeply satisfying.
Second time around and the soap thing is back bigger and better and I know it’s got more to do with improved smell cause I haven’t smoked for years. Now I’m buying different kinds to get a different high. The chunky lavender and olive oil one I bought seven days ago is quickly disappearing. I have gone from sliding it all over my belly, breasts, shoulders and arms and taken it up to my throat and all over my face. I gingerly rub it over my nose, face and mouth and if some gets past my lips I don’t mind. I turn the water off begrudgingly and have final whiffs of the bar before getting out.
It’s not just soap that’s doing it for me either. Here are some other weird smelling behaviours I have developed recently, which may indicate a tendency for slight OCD:
- Repeatedly cleaning hands with Aqium gel just for the burning, alcohol smell
- Repeatedly painting fingers and toenails (see above)
- Repeatedly wiping down computer keyboard, mouse and phone with Chux disinfectant wipes
- Brushing teeth for far too long and with far too much paste
- Cleaning the shower and wiping down kitchen bench tops with far too much glee
- Sleeping with a lavender oil-soaked tissue right under my nose
- Keeping the bottle of lavender oil under my pillow so I can add more drops to my pillow throughout the night
Anyway, gotta go. Shower is calling!
What are some weird pregnancy cravings or behaviours you have experienced or heard about?