Just a few weeks ago we were in a pre-BUB.3 decorating frenzy, complete with new boiler, new radiators, new plug sockets. It wasn’t a house of horrors but we were camped out, during the day, in one room with boxes piled high at one side.
Both BUBs had a coughing lurgy which had kept them off school for almost a week each. At the end of week one, during a laundry-related rage, I pulled a muscle in my groin that caused great discomfort and week two saw me crippled with unearthly late-pregnancy fatigue.
We were going out of our minds.
I had just watched The Fly episode of Breaking Bad, which the show’s creator Vince Gilligan referred to as a ‘bottle episode’. A bottle episode is the name given to an episode of a TV series involving minimal characters and locations to reduce budget and often increase suspense.
The Fly’s action predominately happens in the laboratory where Walter and Jesse cook their crystal blue meth. Gilligan notes that the limited setting and cast allowed for a slower pace and deeper exploration of character traits and motives. He says:
“Even if financial realities didn’t enter into it, I feel as a showrunner that there should be a certain shape and pace to each season, and the really high highs that you try to get to at the end of a season — the big dramatic moments of action and violence, the big operatic moments you’re striving for — I don’t think would land as hard if you didn’t have the moments of quiet that came before them. The quiet episodes make the tenser, more dramatic episodes pop even more than they usually would just by their contrast.”
In those weeks leading up to the birth of BUB.3, I felt my existence had been reduced to a bottle episode. A reduced cast, a solitary set and tension turned up to ten. And endless cups of tea. I guessed that our operatic moment would come when BUB.3 arrived and this waiting game was over.
I guessed right. She arrived four weeks ago and she is wonderful. It was tense, it was dramatic and the angels did sing when she popped into our world.
But already we have had our fair share of ‘bottle episodes’ since her arrival. Waiting for the rain to stop, waiting for the floods to subside, waiting for my c-section wound to heal, waiting for tummy bugs to pass, waiting for the baby to put on weight. Right now it feels like an operatic moment will be just leaving the house and climbing into my car.
We are going out of our minds.
But the angels are still singing quietly in the background, every day. She is here. She is HERE.