Readiness and Seeing Red

I'm sure that even if everything were completely perfect and ready for a new baby we'd still be rushing around inventing endless tasks we need to get completed "before the big day". As it is, I have left myself a fair amount of renovations work that I really do have to get done in the next couple of weeks - not just because it will be necessary for a new baby, but because having torn the bathroom apart, living here is really inconvenient until I put it back together again.
I've spent much of the weekend sanding, detailing, plumbing, and fitting an in-window air conditioner to the main bedroom, so that C has an "emergency out" if she goes into labour when it is ridiculously hot. After months of prevarication, I have also wired up the amplifier and a couple of speakers, and bought (but not yet used!) a lawnmower. We also picked up a tumble dryer, having learned the hard way a couple of weeks ago that when living in a rainforest, it is very unwise to rely on the weather to dry one's clothes.
In short, this was the week when we gave up looking for bargains, "finding the right model", and hunting around for exactly what we need, and decided to grit our teeth and get the rest of the stuff that we need to at least keep the household running when the third person arrives.
Doing a few hours of renovations work two days running has been good for me - I am still so unfit that 20 minutes of moderate exercise leaves me out of breath, and also so unused to practical work (as opposed to abstract computer based work) that extremely simple sequences of events, such as sand, fill, sand again, prime, and paint require almost painful planning and thought before I can begin. Whilst two days is not enough to increase my fitness at all, I have noticed that it is enough time to improve my ability to think through a series of real world steps - which is a healthy, if basic, ability to have.
Our major news this week was that due to legal problems our midwife will no longer be able to attend for our home birth. It's probably boring to read, but it's going to make me feel better to vent how annoyed I am at this turn of events:
- We have wasted hundreds of dollars in ante-natal classes (hospital ante-natal classes are free) and almost everything we learnt is relevant only to home births, as the knowledge and learning that the classes had in common with a hospital birth is contained in pamphlets and videos which we would have had access to any way for free.
- There is also the time and effort that I have put over the last few weeks in order to attend a Monday evening class in Nimbin, whilst working Tuesday to Thursday in Brisbane - I was jumping in the car when the class ended at 9.00pm, driving till after midnight, getting to sleep at 1.00 AM and then getting up to be at my desk for 7:30 the next day. For six weeks.
- Then there is the matter of the timing: Our midwife has known about her legal problems for at least six weeks, but has only now (with C 36 weeks pregnant) told us that she cannot provide the home birth service that we had agreed on from the start.
Now, having put ourselves through all that, given that there are no other midwives in the area who provide a home birth service, we are still faced with everything that we have put in all that lost sleep and cash to avoid - the birth will be attended by midwives whom C has never met, they will be rostered on and off through her labor, and obstetricians rather than midwives will be in charge.
While the the maternity ward at the local hospital is very nice (especially compared to the NHS wards in London) the contrast between the hoped-for birth situation in the rain forest with the reality of a hospital ward literally next-door to a building site where they are jackhammering up the cement to build a new psychiatric wing is fairly extreme.
The best laid plans, and all that. We will make the best of it, and I'm sure everything will go well.

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