It’s the day that says you’re reaching the end of pregnancy, it’s the day that says you’ll be welcoming a new personality into your home soon. It’s a big day in any soon-to-be-mum’s life, yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s the day that you visit Ikea for the last time before the baby is born.
There’s something so illogically reassuring about arriving home from IKEA with bags of napkins, candles, cushions and storage boxes that in crazy twist of the female psyche, prepares us for childbirth. Only those that have lived in Doha with young children, without an IKEA, can truly appreciate what it adds.
Nesting is a very real part of pregnancy and for those that poo poo it, I would ask, if there is no such thing as nesting, they how can you justify a heavily pregnancy woman who is carry about three extra stone around, standing on a chair, reaching up to the top kitchen units, to try and sort stuff out before the baby arrives, does it make any sense?, not overly, does having the casserole dishes sorted and all saucepans and their respective lids in order make a better home for a baby?, hardly, will anything happen the baby if the hot-press is not cleared out probably in the weeks before his/her arrival?, no, the babies health and well-being is not dependent on the state of the hot-press. So why the need for the incessant nesting.
Well, it’s a natural instinct to feather the nest for the young and the fear that after the baby arrives you won’t be able or have time to do such chores means that mothers try to get as much done as possible to have the house as ready as possible in advance of the arrival.
But here in Doha, there is a vast difference in preparations to those at home. Firstly and most importantly, the school run has to be organised for a couple of weeks. Without a granny, grandad, brother, sister, willing neighbour or interested party, the only option is to schedule a taxi. Should you have high blood pressure at this stage of the pregnancy I would advise against organising this arrangement over the phone to a non-English speaking Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi driver, when the parking at the school is already a problem area and the instruction, ‘try to get parking at the end of the lane on the sandy side or beside the small roundabout at the end opposite the Iranian school’ could be considered a confusing instruction. However, service being excellent here not only is a taxi a fairly cost effective solution it also alleviates the issue of owing a favour – the last thing you want to do is end up owing a bunch of favours
Next task is to get the A/C units throughout the house serviced. While mums at home are making sure that the gas and oil supply is topped up, here in Doha, we’re making sure that all the ac units are working to optimum levels, unlike home where heat is paramount, cool is paramount here.
Cleaning the fridge, power-hosing the paths and cleaning the grout in the bathroom are all chores that are on the list, but here in Doha, all you have to do is ring Qatar Maid Service and from the comfort of your perfectly air-conditioned living area ,politely point to the areas that need attention.
But the one things that remains the same throughout the world, is the trip to IKEA. Hours dawdling over changing tables, storage boxes and plastic food containers, all seems just as necessary as any gynae visit and as therapeutic as any post-natal class. Of course in your heart of hearts you know you’ll never use the cloth nappy holder or cute wooden coat hanger but Ikea casts a spell on all nesting mothers, making it a compulsion to take home all the scatter cushions and wall stencils on offer.
So much so that when I attended the very last gynae visit before baby arrives, I felt completely relaxed, after all, I had just been to Ikea and had finished the changing station unit by purchasing an inflatable changing mat with a few changeable covers, I felt smug and prepared for everything. It was when the doctor said, so Ma’am your baby is rather large and breech, we may have to make a plan, panic set it, I didn’t see anything in IKEA for this!