The final month
With the due date looming, dad-to-be Richard tries to get his head back in the game.
It’s just over four weeks and counting to the new arrival.

We seem to have lived the past 2 months in a vacuum from the baby world. Up until last week, we were still in denial that anything was happening around the 18th of October - there was very definitely a sense of detachment from upcoming events.

This last week, however, has seen has thrown in to a sudden frenzy of preparedness. My last weekend was spent diligently scraping varnish off and sanding down an old chest of drawers that we are turning into a compactum.

It’s my first real sense that something big is about to happen as we start to prepare the nursery and finally start to settle on names (male and female) and begin to get our head around the fact that a new Hardiman is about to arrive.

It’s not that we been fully idle, I have recently started a new business and Monique has been working right up until last Friday. There just doesn’t seem to have been time to think about a new child; the current one takes up enough of our love and energy to even begin to think that we are adding to this carefully managed mayhem we ‘term life at home’. 

The excitement is certainly starting to kick in now though. We’ve been booking hospital rooms and having weekly gynae check ups - and Monique’s tummy looking more and more prominent.

I feel incredibly sorry for her at the moment. She is tired. Being a mother already, her energy has been thrown and directed at our son and now that energy is been sapped by a pregnant body that is demanding her every ounce of reserve.

She is struggling to keep up with our 2-year old. Not being able to lift him means finding creative ways to get him in and out of the bath, dressed and nappy changing now comes with its own rather unique routine. As a man you forget that not being able to sleep on your stomach for the last 8 months might actually begin to get to you eventually!

Big brother-to-be

Nicholas is obviously aware to the fact that changes are in the air. As much as we can, we try and involve him in everything baby-related. I recently got home from work with a delighted son telling me how he saw ‘the baby’ on TV! This was post a gynae visit that Monique had taken him to.

I am still wary of his reactions to a new life that is about to hit him, though. As an adult I’m trying to envisage the changes and failing miserably, so I can only hope that his ability to adapt to change as a child kicks in and sees him through safely and surely.

What was on your mind a month before your baby’s birth?

I comfort myself with the thought that as the oldest child I managed to navigate two sibling arrivals and seemed to turn out okay. It’s still a scary thought as a parent though - I am almost protective over my first born from his as yet unborn sibling - it just doesn’t sound right!

Either way I finally feel that we are getting our head around the fact that we will soon be a household of four. Our nights of sleeping through will be changing radically very soon.

But - quite possibly because we have been around the block before - it’s not looking after the second arrival that worries me but rather managing the new with the older.

Read more by Richard Hardiman

How did you deal with the last month of pregnancy?

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