Written by Jess Fostekew

Voices

Unwanted advice for a lady in waiting

The baby arriving bit of being pregnant will be coming any day for Jessica Fostekew, who just LOVES collecting as many two-penneths as she can. No, really.

On the starting line

Illustration by Harriet Carmichael.

Is the fact that my pregnancy is going on past my due date boring you? Or making you feel disappointed?

Perhaps it’s just making you incredulous that a pregnancy could last so long? It’s a week late now is it? Ugh. Poor you.

I tell you what, why don’t you make sure I know that’s how you feel? That’ll probably make me feel nice and like there’s surely something I can do.

But you hardly know me? Doesn’t matter, does it? I’m on social media doing jokes so, quite right, it’s definitely fair game. After all, there’s no way going to be enough pressure on me already from all the expectations and excitement of all my family and dearest friends. Whack a bit more on.

You’ve probably got some brilliant ideas that I definitely won’t have tried already, to bring labour on. Why don’t you message me to say, “Have you tried walking, Jess?”

“Every time I was meant to be Googling ‘what’s it like having a baby?’ I’ve been typing ‘what’s it like on a holiday?’ SHIT.”

Chances are I haven’t. Not walking. Because as we all know, most days I get around by slithering. I go for a nice long slither round the park or to the shops. That’s if I’m not riding a dog or a hands-free Segway. That’s so me. LOL.

Also, could you let me know if I’m not keeping busy enough, or I’m keeping too busy? It’s all too easy to get the wrong balance. Cheers.

Perhaps you’ve naively assumed I’ve already read a bit and listened to people and have tried all the things that might move things along? But hang on, what? You’re a parent? Or you’ve seen a parent (what’s the difference) and want to make sure I know these are the last days I will ever sleep again? Thank you.

Jess at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. Photo by Karla Gowlett.

Jess at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Photo by Karla Gowlett.

While you’re there, could you do me a massive one and remind me I’ll never have any personal space, time to myself or social life anymore? Thank you SO much. I’ve been moronically unprepared.

Every time I was meant to be Googling ‘what’s it like having a baby?’ I’ve been typing ‘what’s it like on a holiday?’ SHIT.

What’s that? You don’t think it’s your place to imply or opine on any of that? Oh, that’s a shame. Perhaps you could at least suggest I’m not taking nearly long enough time off work?

That’d be great because it’s unlikely I will have thought it through and have a potentially workable but totally flexible plan, and obviously you know what my financial situation is. I don’t see why you don’t tuck in and just say it.

“As we all know most days I get around by slithering. I go for a nice long slither round the park or to the shops. That’s if I’m not riding a dog or a hands-free Segway.”

Oh. Hang on. You’re just excited for me and on tenterhooks? You want me to know that you’re thinking of me and you’d just like to tell me that?

You can see that I’ve been trying to keep people updated in a hopefully amusing way so, perhaps, I’m not bombarded with personal questions? You can tell that it must be a really weird and hard time waiting for my body to do the most terrifying and exciting thing it’s ever done, but that I’ve got no control over it at all?

You’ve read about how you don’t really sleep well when you’re very pregnant, too? You have thought about it and can imagine it’s like waiting on a start line, but with no idea when the race will start, how long it’ll be for, or what the starting gun will even sound like; just crouching there waiting, trying to keep a reserve of happiness and energy ready so that it’s good to go the second I end up needing it – for weeks?

You’ve got no opinion on how huge I must be now? You just want to see how I am? Actually thinking about it, any of this last one would be really nice. Just that. Or nothing at all. Ta.

@jessicafostekew

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Written by Jess Fostekew

Jessica Fostekew is a writer, comedian, actor, law degree-waster, sister, daughter and beard-fan with an unabashed food infatuation.