x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Expecting a baby and deflecting anxiety

The past week has been a bit of a roller coaster; not in the grand scheme of things, you understand, but in the context of one rather pregnant and extremely hormonal woman.

The past week has been a bit of a roller coaster; not in the grand scheme of things, you understand, but in the context of one rather pregnant and extremely hormonal woman.

Tears have been shed over unbelievably insignificant things; like, for instance, the man who was meant to be coming to fit our tumble dryer but failed to turn up when he said he would. Poor him. I doubt he expected such an unfettered torrent of emotion before he'd had his morning coffee. I may have even stamped my feet. Not, you will agree, my finest hour.

Then there have been the endless phone calls to Ikea about stuff that is too boring to even explain, but which have enraged me beyond all proportion. I hope the sofa department don't have caller ID, otherwise they must all by now be avoiding the demented woman who has become known as "the first person on Earth to cry over the Kivik sofa cover".

It's so annoying. I thought I was being a good pregnant person. My husband kept rather charitably remarking how calm and "normal" I still seemed to be (I had briefed him at the beginning about the possibility of me turning into a complete loon over the next few months).

And now, less than four weeks before D-Day, I seem to be unravelling in a quite spectacular way. It's so pathetic, especially when I think of the situations some of my pregnant friends have found themselves in. One, who gave birth a couple of weeks ago, didn't even have a house in which to put a flipping tumble dryer. And did she complain? No (not to me, anyway).

I have watched enough episodes of Frasier to attempt a self-diagnosis. And I'm going to call it deflected anxiety. Because surely it can't really be unfitted electrical appliances and out-of-stock sofa covers that are sending me into such a spin. Perhaps it's all a smoke screen, beneath which lies a rather bigger worry: whisper it - birth?

Up until recently, I had hardly thought about it. The baby has to come out one way or another, so I may as well get on with it. Then again, I do keep getting occasional flashbacks of the grainy videos we have been watching in our ante-natal classes, in which be-scrunchied women from the early 1990s give birth in various unpleasant-looking ways. In fact, that does seem to coincide with when all this madness started...

So what to do now, Dr Boucher, lest my husband loses his last shred of patience? I need distractions - and lots of them. Books, box-sets, origami? Ikea, it is in your very best interests to provide them.