Sunday, 30 December 2007

Who's Snoring?

It's not raining, it's not pouring, and it certainly isn't the old man that's snoring - it's me!

I've never snored before, maybe the odd soft grunt when I have a cold, but never anything that could be described as snoring. Now I gently rumble my way through the night, not loud-keep-the-neighbours awake wood chopping (as RD would put it) but definitely snoring. I even snore on the settee when taking a nap! All made worse by the fact that since RD has given up smoking he hardly snores at all*.

I would have been mortified in my previous life, but now, well hey, it's just one of those pregnancy things...

*I know he's meaning to give up for ages, and the baby was just another reason, but aside from the fact that he is still a serious-social-smoker, and in his head I think he will aways be a cool rollie smoker, I'm really proud of the fact he gave up the evil-weed months ago. What bigger gift can he give his daughter?

Thursday, 27 December 2007

It's all over

The turkey has been eaten; the presents unwrapped and seasons greetings exchanged - Christmas is now well and truely over.

My Christmas was filled with love from my family, mostly provided by my four year old neice Hayley; I don't think I've ever had so many cuddles or had someone look forward to doing painting with me so much that it's the last thing on their mind at bedtime and the first, first thing in the morning.

I spoke to my Daddy for the first time in years, I saw my Grandparents, Auntie Cherry and Uncle Bob and my cousins, including Alfie who I'm ashamed to say I hadn't met before and he is now 18 months old! And I saw my best friend Jenny and her lovely family too.

Bobette was loved too, pats and rubs from her Grandma and presents! Even I bought her a present: a lovely edition of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

A real family christmas filled with lots of love - isn't that what it's all about? (Oh, that and the presents too.)

As I type this RD is enjoying a pint (or 7) with with his mate to recover from all this family business and I'm drinking Gaviscon from the bottle to calm serious indigestion. Who knew all this love could be so uncomfortable.

You could call it a hunch, but I'm guessing next Christmas will be very different for us - we'll be parents!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Say Cheese

I swore I wouldn't; I was adamant I had far better things to spend money on for the baby; RD wasn't overly fussed - said it always looked like they had been stuffed into a pint glass. But, we did it anyway.
We went for a 3D scan (4D if you count movement). And as excited as we were to see our baby girl again, RD was right, it does look a little bit like she has been stuffed in a pint glass...

(The reason you never see her forehead is that it's nestled deep in my pelvis, and she is snuggling up to the placenta, using it as a pillow.)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Does my Bum Look Big in This?

I know, I know, it’s not the right question to ask a boy, but as I am now the heaviest I have ever been it was inevitable I would start to panic.

Yesterday morning it was the sight of my backside in a green woollen dress that caused me angst, and I just had to ask RD the dreaded question: ‘No’ was the response I got as he continued to stare blankly at his laptop.
‘You didn’t look,’ I protested
‘I didn’t need to, I know what your bottom looks like,’ came the reply.
‘But I think it’s grown, look now,’ I said, predictably.

Of course he said no it hasn’t, but he has to say that doesn’t he? And I’m sure my knickers are getting a little snug.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

T'is the Season to be Jolly...

And I’m certainly round enough to say ho, ho, ho.

I love Christmas, I really do. My tree goes up on the first of December, I was 2 days late this year and I think the street thought Christmas was cancelled.

This year I’m not feeling quite so festive: I normally wrap my presents sitting in front of the fire, with a good old Christmas movie on the tele and a Whisky Mac in my hand. This year it was a hot Ribena but it wasn’t the same, even wrapping presents sitting on the floor proved tricky, although my bump did prove to be a handy place to keep the sticky tape. I’ve been so disorganised I haven’t written any Christmas Cards.

And worst of all, I haven’t been to any, yep not ANY, Christmas parties. My two most festive moments so far are the festive lunch I held at mine, complete with candles, crackers and board games, and my favourite busker playing Silent Night on his acoustic guitar. (Oh, and I may have slightly over indulged in Quality Street at work on Monday – does that count as festive?)

RD is a reluctant season jollier and is determined to make the most of the last Christmas he can Bah humbug his way through, that is before he has to enjoy the festivities for the sake of our daughter. I’m sure Christmas will once again be magical when seen through a child’s eyes. Will we really be parents this time next year?!

Now where did I put my Father Christmas beard?

Monday, 17 December 2007

1, 2, 3 ...

Yesterday I forgot how to count.

Well, that’s not exactly true, sitting here I could merrily count my way into the millions (okay, I may not be so merry in the end, in fact I’d probably be asleep by the time I got 500), but my numerical skills definitely failed me. Not good for someone who is allegedly a qualified accountant.

I cooked lunch for 9 and found it challenging to multiply the ingredients of 6 person recipes by 1.5; it took a lot of concentration (I think I even had to stick my tongue out at one point) and in the end there was a query as to whether I’d got the amount of chilli in the chocolate pudding right!

But the most humiliating thing of all was the struggle with which I laid the table: first I counted the place settings, then I wasn’t sure I’d counted that right so, I counted the wine glasses. When dishing out pudding I also kept loosing my place, but luckily my willing assistant Gary managed to count to 9 without using his fingers.

But I didn’t forget to enjoy myself (and it wasn’t just because my team won Articulate).

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Orange Fizz

As an old bird at 35, I have had to have a couple of extra tests, the combined Nuchal test for Downs syndrome (showing a 1:3600 chance which was cool) and now a glucose tolerance test. Apparently, as I have just turned 35, I am more at risk of developing gestational diabetes, which could have many implications including a very large baby.

So, Friday I went for my GTT. According to many mumsnetters, this test can take many forms but all ending in the drinking of lucozade. My test didn’t involve fasting, or restricting sugar. I simply had to drink 250 mls of Original Lucozade an hour before my appointment. They said they could provide the Lucozade but then I’d have to wait an hour, so I though best to get my own.

It had to be the original bright orange drink you were force fed as a child at any hint of poorlyness. I think I’d forgotten about the taste and only remembered the duvet-on-the-sofa cosy feel that accompanied being poorly as a child. The Lucozade was foul; I was pleased to leave the remaining 100mls in the bottle.

Then came my second disappointment: I was quite excited to be meeting a midwife from ‘my team’ for the first-time, as I have said before I thought your midwife was meant to be your best friend throughout this journey. This midwife was nice enough, she was efficient but showed no interest in really discussing anything beyond doing my blood tests, blood pressure, feel baby etc. I tried to ask some birth questions about birthing pools but she really didn’t want to chat, so I left with an odd shaped bruise from the blood test and no reassurance at all about the care I’ll get in labour. Oh, she did tell me I was too early for the birthing centre they are opening in April! Time to accept that it’s not how I thought it would be…

On the plus side, since being pregnant, my blood pressure has been the healthiest it has ever been; RD says this isn’t an excuse to stay pregnant forever.

Friday, 14 December 2007

I Heart my Mini

I may have said good bye to my toes but I will not, I repeat, NOT, bid farewell to my Mini!

It's true, I started a love affair on Valentines day 2004 and it's still going strong. I fell in love with my Mini; it was built to my specification, even down to the target on the roof, and paid for with my cash. And it still makes me smile.

I don't need a people carrier (thank you Chris), nor a stretch hatch (estate), I just need my Mini and a pram that folds up small.

After a Christmas shopping trip when we found that my niece's fairy toadstool wouldn't fit in the boot, even RD has started on the we-need-a-more-sensible-car bandwagon. If he wants a bigger car, let him buy one!

Many things in my life are about to change, just not my car!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Dawn Chorus Line

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a wake I feel her, or that I’m awake because of her, but at 5am it often feels like I have the whole chorus line from the Moulin Rouge in my tummy. There is kicking, and spinning and every now and then there is even a Fame style leap, well that’s what it feels like to me. Perhaps I should buy her some leg-warmers…

RD just laughs and moves his hand away in case it’s him she’s being cross at. I have pointed out that I think she just wants to play, especially as we have discovered that if you slightly jiggle my bump she kicks back. I think she’s inherited her father’s shake-your-bum-on-stage gene (he does do it so well), she is a little performer.

Monday, 10 December 2007

It's all Educational

Having devoured books, I’ve switched to slightly cheaper ways of fuelling my pregnancy information addiction. I read (and occasionally comment on) Alpha Mummy in The Times on line; I’m trying to join in with a virtual ante-natal group on Mumsnet; Babycentre is a mine of information and I love getting my weekly updates on what is happening inside my tummy. Away from the net, beside my loo, my saucy magazines have been replaced with Pregnancy and Birth. And then there are all the blogs…

I must say it’s all quite an education, but not always a happy one. I’ve been terrified about labour (I’m over it now – I just choose to not think about it yet); enlightened about Placenta Previa; and many other pregnancy complications. Generally though it’s nice to hear other people’s experiences and to know where to go if you have a slightly odd question to ask – it’s amazing how easy it is to get personal in the virtual world! On the plus side I’d not heard of Group B Strep until I read about it in P&B, and now I’m adamant I want to be tested for it. It’s a virus that a mother can have, without realising it, and pass on to her baby and it can be fatal for the baby, but they can do something about it, they just don’t routinely test for it so surely that’s money well spent even if I have to go private for the test?

Generally, I must say, without wishing to be smug (but obviously sounding smug anyway), I feel pretty lucky to be enjoying the pregnancy as I am with only a few minor aches and pains.

My Baby takes the Morning Train...

Everyday I commute into the city for work, it’s not a pleasant experience but it’s not the worst commute in the world. Generally I head for a slow train so I am guaranteed a seat, if I’m in a rush and end up on a fast train it can be hit or miss as to whether I get a seat or just get studiously ignored. Then at Waterloo, I change for the Waterloo and City Line, or the ‘Drain’ as it is affectionately called; this can involve up to twenty minutes queuing (well standing in an enormous crowded being shuffled around) to get on the platform and then a mad crush to get on the tube. The tube only takes 6 minutes and I’m actually more likely to be offered as eat on this crammed sardine-can of a train than on my over-ground journey.

This morning my journey to work started badly: I missed my slow train by 30 seconds (because my hold-ups decided to fail me on the way), so I waited for a fast train (with a look a kin to a fat Nora Batty); this was slightly delayed and already jam packed. The doors opened and I was shoved in from behind. For the first time ever, I turned around and in a very loud voice said ‘Do you mind not pushing as I am seven months pregnant and do not appreciate having my bump used as a battering ram.’ There were a few blushes, and even more ‘it wasn’t me’s it was behind me’s’. I had now made the decision to get off the train at Richmond and catch the slower underground to Monument. This was just as well, because despite being vindicated by the guard on the train, I was embarrassed to have turned into a nasty shouty Monday morning commuter.

Such a great start to the week, I'm counting down the commutes - less than 30 to go.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


I have recently said goodbye to my toes, and therefore other more personal areas are certainly out of view from above. As I’m normally quite meticulous in my maintenance of these areas I thought I would overcome the various logistical difficulties and hand over the tending of my lady-garden to the professionals. I left my pruning for a week or so in preparation.

I’ve been waxed and had laser treatment before and, other than a sensation I would rate above discomfort, all has been well. The beautician warned me that it can be ‘more sensitive’ than normal when you are pregnant, and proceeded to inflict the most pain I think I have ever had in my life. In the end she had to say ‘I think this is all you can take’; my wincing, flinching and tears in my eyes had given me away. My thorough waxing left me feeling smooth but slightly nauseous for some hours afterwards.

I think I may have to become like Mary, Mary, quite Contrary and leave my garden to grow with ‘silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row’.

I Forgot

On Monday I forgot my house keys; on Tuesday I did the same, but when I left work early to get home before RD went out I forgot my shopping. I went back to office to get it, and I think they thought I forgot to go home.

I forgot my friend’s son’s birthday, which is indeed a terrible sin.

But worse of all, this morning I forgot my jingly Mayan Ball; I feel naked.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Don't drink, don't smoke. What do you do?

Some days I do feel like I’m glowing with being pregnant. I marvel at how my body can not only support me and my daily routines, but can grow a whole other little person too. On these days I’m proud of my bump, I can flaunt my cleavage with glee and I can smile confidently at the world and the world smiles back. Guys on trains even offer their seats to the ‘pretty pregnant lady’, and then I definitely glow.

Other days I feel like a big fat Buddha who has lost his ability to bring luck. I’m lumpy, bumpy and round. I’m no longer the last to leave but I look forward to my bed; I don’t get silly tipsy and stay in the pub talking rubbish to the wee small hours; I’m dull and boring and can only talk about being pregnant.

I wonder where I’ve gone and is this a taste of things to come?

Monday, 3 December 2007

The Other D Word

Darling Daddy has been doing DIY for his, undoubtedly, delightful daughter. Yes, the other D word is DIY, and RD is becoming a pro. Armed with an electric screwdriver, a scarily large drill borrowed from next door and the right drill bit, he can tackle anything. The wrong drill bit led to much swearing and questioning as to ‘Why I am doing this?’; I’m not sure my response of ‘because I’m nesting’ was quite the right one, but he couldn’t really argue with it!

The tally so far is: 3 bookcases; 4 curtain poles and 3 blinds. Now what else needs doing….

Sunday, 2 December 2007

This Little Pig...

Like the little pig I seem to be going ‘wee, wee, wee, all the way home’.

Now, I know getting on and off the scales is not the best form of exercise, but surely running up and down the stairs 5 times an hour to go to the loo must make me a fitter mum-to-be?

I’ve tried the rocking to move the baby off the bladder trick and I still need to go. I’m sure she is sitting on it like Little Miss Muffet on her tuffet and nothing will make her get off it.

A Culture Rich Day?

Saturday Bobette went to her first Springboks rugby game (I obviously went too).

It was in fact very much a day of mixed culture (in the loosest sense of the word). We started the day by cooking Boere (BoereworsSaffa sausage that they are very proud of) on the Braai (barbecue to the rest of the world that isn’t from SA) for RD’s Uni friends. Then we headed to Twickenham to watch the world-cup-winning Springboks loose magnificently to the Barbas. (Bryan Habana played but, disappointingly, didn’t run and the less said about the score line the better as far as RD is concerned.)

We had fabulous seats on the half-way line, not that Bobette could see much, but the English side of the day begun in the second half when the clear blue sky yielded rain! From the rain onwards it was English traditions all the way: Off to the pub for a pint (of water for me); over the road for a curry; then to our local bar for another pint where I succumbed to half a pint of Fruili.

My daughter may be being raised in England, with English manners and an English education, but she will also know about where her father is from. SA may be a mess politically and RD may be happy here but SA is still his home, and I hope we will take Bobette to see it many times as she grows up so she can get to know her South African relatives and heritage too. (Yes, and I quite fancy a trip too!)

But, she will probably learn French or Spanish not Afrikaans; and she will say ‘Yes’ not ‘Yah’!