Wednesday, 31 October 2007

It Brings Tears to my Eyes

I think I may be a little hormonal.

Someone on the rather over-crowded, worse than a sardine can, Waterloo and City line gave up their seat for me: cue prickles at the top of the nose and tears in the eyes because the world is full of such nice people.

Bored at work: cue prickles at the top of the nose and tears in the eyes because work is so meaningless.

Another one of those confusing conversations with RD: cue prickles at the top of the nose and tears in the eyes because this isn’t how it’s meant to be.

A lovely text, from a very dear friend: cue prickles at the top of the nose and tears in the eyes because I love my friends and they love me.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Rant about the NHS

I’m afraid I’m going to have a rant, and I’m not going to blame it hormones, I’m going to blame it on the NHS.

In the post yesterday morning I received what I believe should be called my notes. For some reason I had to wait until my Anomaly Scan to receive these notes, but due to new staff they weren’t ready for collection on Friday. So, I opened a big brown envelope containing a plastic folder, which is, apparently, meant to be my bible through my pregnancy. These notes simply contained the details I provided at my booking appointment; not the results of the Nuchal Scan and blood test I had at 12 weeks – the 1 in 8600 chance of Downs Syndrome wasn’t mentioned, only the 1 in 250 that is due to my age.

They did inform me that I wasn’t due to meet a member of my midwife team until 32 weeks! A member from another team conducted my booking-in appointment and as yet I have not seen a midwife, luckily I have a cool doctor who at 17 weeks indulged me and let me listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

I’m disappointed; I thought a midwife was meant to be there for support and to answer questions throughout this sometimes baffling experience. I know I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last to person to have a baby, but I am surprised by the little contact with the midwife team that there is, isn’t this the time to build the trust relationship that you want to have with someone who is, supposedly, meant to help guide you through one of the biggest events in your life?

(Yes, we’ve joined the NCT, but our classes don’t start until January; and yes, I am lucky to have an ex-midwife for an aunt, but so what? What’s the NHS for?)

Friday, 26 October 2007

Ahh

What a lovely evening, what a marvellous day. Good night, sleep tight.

Sugar and Spice...

and all things nice...

It’s a girl! Sorry, that should be she’s a girl!

Yes, this morning we had our anomaly scan and I must say it was amazing. Even from the opening shot of her spine and ribs (so detailed, so tiny, so perfect) through to the news 40 minutes later that 3 white lines and the absence of an appendage meant she’s a girl, it was fantastic to see that she is a proper-little-person, who could, apparently, fit into my cupped hands. Even RD was moved.

Even better still is that she is a fantastic little person who has all the bits in the right places, is the right size for her age (right word?). It’s fascinating what they can check: the way the blood flows through the valves in her heart, how her placenta is working, the circumference of her tummy and the size of her head, all these things and more; and she passed with flying colours. Once we could get her in the right position that is.

Something else we learnt this morning is that she is a little camera shy, and while incredibly active she definitely has a favourite position: head down facing my spine, with her feet using my liver as a hot-water bottle. After 40 minutes (double the normal time for the scan) we were sent for a walk and to have some chocolate to see if a sugar rush would alter her position, it did. We came back, the tests were completed and we finally saw her beautiful face (not that I’m biased).

So, no longer a smudgy little bean, more a proper little person who needs to grow a little more before this little bun is cooked. I must say, I can’t wait!

(I’m sure we would have been just as excited if it had been a boy, I think it’s the knowing that’s exciting.)

Now I’m off to meet RD to celebrate…

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

She Shall Have Music Where Ever She Goes...

RD bought me (and the baby) a little gift, a silver mayan ball. This is a little silver ball to be worn around my neck, and as it bumps against my bump it chimes. It’s a bit like the noise a Chinese medicine ball makes, although thankfully it isn’t as heavy, each one is individual and it is, supposedly, meant to be soothing for the baby. RD’s friend certainly believed the one she wore is part of the reason she has such a cool, chilled out little boy – she’s not biased, he is a cool kid.

And it is meant to warn off evil spirits – an all round winner.


I love it, and I’ll wear it every day.

Project Baby

I recently read an article (I can’t remember where, maybe The Guardian) that discussed the difficulties of being pregnant in the workplace. It talked about hiding your morning sickness, and having work colleagues who are indifferent to your impending joy, amongst other things.

I have been incredibly lucky, unable to hide my joy I told a couple of my closest work mates; equally unable to hide the fear of another miscarriage I told my very understanding (male) bosses. Everyone has been fantastic, especially considering that I am the lowest of the low, a contractor on a Finance IT project. The sight of me pale and nauseous after my morning commute was always greeted with a glass of water a few quiet moments, exactly what I needed.

Once I’d had my 12 week scan, and all was well, I was outed during a weekly team meeting and the response was fantastic: members of senior management hugged me (a big surprise from a career driven female boss) and my baby scan picture was stolen and copied and looks at me everyday from the project social notice board.

As a member of the dragon boat team I still took up my oar with pride and the team was urged by our captain not to capsize as a pregnant person was onboard! We were nearly disqualified for having 19 (including Bobbit) in our team but we went on to win! My only difficulty that day was stopping my lips turning blue when waiting for our next heat – everyone else had booze to keep them warm, but I was well looked after.

Basically I’ve been made to feel like this is a project baby, scheduled to arrive just after Detailed Common Design – perfect timing, not so sure if it will be on budget. Next is a sweepstake on the date and time of the birth, someone did suggest that the prize would be to name the baby. Hmm, I’m not so sure about that one.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

One Less Surprise

We are very excited RD and I, (well he is in his own special way,) because on Friday we have our next scan. I will be 21 weeks pregnant tomorrow and so this will be our 20 week Anomaly Scan. It’s not just the fact that we get to see our baby again, a flash of reality in a sea of surrealism, but because we will, hopefully, find out the gender of our baby.

I am nervous and I’m not sure why; I believe the baby is healthy, and that I have no preference as to whether I have a boy or a girl. Sometimes I think one would be best and other times the other. I don’t think RD has a preference either. So, why am I nervous – I have no idea?

I have been much surprised by the strength of reaction I have received to the fact we intend to find out the gender. The whole pregnancy has been a surprise, and I’m sure having the baby will be, even more of, a surprise, so we figured this surprise was one we could manage without. I have felt positively vilified for being so intrusive, a shock to me as in this day and age I thought nearly everybody found out! (I know some hospitals refuse to tell you because of the possible cultural repercussions of not receiving the news wanted, but I don’t think we fall into that camp.)

We have also promised not to discuss names with anyone anymore, not only because I don’t think you can name a baby until you see it, but also because every time we discuss names we loose one of our favourites: it’s always someone’s middle name or the name of their dead dog, it all kind of ruins it. I think the name will be a secret between he and me (if it happens to be one I’ve mentioned before, don’t be surprised!).

Monday, 22 October 2007

The Snake who Swallowed a Football

Last week I read a column in the Guardian, written by Zoe Williams. Zoe has just had a baby and while her column isn’t necessarily a take on that in particular, it’s more her take on the world, this particular one rang home; she was writing about, and celebrating the fact that Milla Jovovich piled on the pounds when pregnant. I never thought putting on weight in pregnancy would worry me, I definitely thought it was a time to blossom, eat healthily and not worry about my weight, but I’ve found the opposite is true. More than anything I am verging on , but not quite, neurotic about it.

As I’ve said before, it’s not like I was a skinny, figure proud, super-model before and maybe it’s the whole carb issue, but I weigh myself daily! And it’s not looking for signs that my beautiful baby is growing, it’s more about making sure I can get back in my jeans once Bobbit arrives. Sensibly, I know that I had some excess to spare before so I really don’t need to put on more than a stone or a stone and a half at most, and so far I have put on about four and a half pounds – not too bad for 21 weeks. It’s just that there is little carb tyre that I have acquired, which my mother says will dangle under my bump – that’s what I don’t want. It’s not that I want that celeb look of a snake that swallowed a football (as RD puts it), but I want to be proud of the fact that my bump is baby not pies! Don’t get me wrong I’m not dieting, I’ve always eaten healthily and I have been known to have an extra biscuit ‘for the baby’ of course, it’s just that I am super aware of my weight gain.

I don’t think it’s pressure from the press, and as for peer pressure, there is only one person I worry about being compared to, and I really shouldn’t because she isn’t that important or that special; and my little sister only put on a stone and she had a beautiful 7lb baby. I guess I don’t really know where it’s come from and I’m sure I’m not alone in my desire to have a beautiful pregnancy.

(Please don’t think RD has anything to do with this either, he really doesn’t seem to mind my bump at all; his ardour doesn’t seem to have waned. And he soon stopped calling me ‘Tubby’ and has moved onto ‘Preggers’.)

Maybe I should just chill, make a cup of tea, and have a biscuit - for the baby of course…

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Green or White?

This weekend presented an interesting sporting dilemma: what colour rugby shirt will Bobbit wear? (Yes, I know it’s early days but the question arose.) You see, RD is South African, a Saffa and me? Well, I’m English through and through.

Rather diplomatically, we thought, I watched the Rugby at my mothers (who I must say surprised me by knowing all the actions to Swing Low Sweet Chariot – yes the rude ones; unfortunately she wouldn’t do an encore so I couldn’t video it for Youtube). RD, predictably, watched at the pub. We all know the end result of the match, but credit to RD he hasn’t gloated at all.

Bobbit was very active during the game, obviously sensing my excitement and kicking harder and more frequently than Johnny (or is that Percy).

(The answer to the earlier question is probably both, although next time I’m sure the white one will be the winning one!)

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The Favourite Pregnancy Topic

No pregnancy diary would be complete without a discussion of Morning Sickness, so here is mine.

I think I was relatively lucky, actual incidences of vomiting were few and far between; for eight weeks or so I felt like I had a hangover – a bit of a shock as I had gone off booze before I discovered I was pregnant, in fact this was one of my clues. I felt light headed and nauseous, just like you do if you go running on an empty stomach. The only solution seemed to be to eat frequently and blandly, and my ideal supper became fish finger sandwiches and oven chips, quite a shock to a carb avoider, and RD who likes to cook more aesthetically pleasing suppers. (Everybody you meet will tell you to have ginger nut biscuits – yes this does work, but it isn’t what you fancy, oops sorry I’m pregnant, I mean CRAVE.)

This and my food aversions – mainly coffee, chocolate and alcohol – seemed to come to an end at around week 14 when I also started to feel more normal again, in fact so normal I sometimes wondered if I was really pregnant anymore (this is, apparently, normal). I do have one food funny now and that is apples; apples make sick, physically sick.

Oh, and there is always the heartburn…

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

My Cup Runneth Over

Literally. Since I found out I was pregnant my breasts have grown, and grown into a bountiful beautiful, yet still pert bosom. I love them so much if I was ever to have a boob job, this is how I'd have them. Every day I rub some Mama Mio Boob Tube into them to (hopefully) prevent stretch marks and keep them from heading south.

No complaints from RD, he's taken some arty boob pictures for posterity. (They are arty and I'm quite proud, but I will spare you.)

It's not all boob love though, large breasts have not been without their difficulties. In the early days of this pregnancy I decided that swimming would be a good way to keep fit. My lane in the pool proved very popular with the male swimmers, and they were very friendly and always smiled as they approached me. It took me a while to realise that this was because my healthy size 12 swimming costume could no longer contain my ample bosom; my cup was, literally, running over.

So, I’ve packed away that costume in favour of a Topshop maternity costume with ample cups.

Now underwire or not to underwire, that seems to be the big question for bras in pregnancy. The books seem to say ‘no’ to underwire as it is potentially damaging to developing milk ducts, but many blogs say, as long as they are fitted properly, underwire is fine. (My sister wore underwire all through her pregnancy and she breastfeeds like a pro.)You see, I struggle with maternity bras as I dislike having my F-cup boobs strapped flat to my chest or tucked under my armpits. I’m proud of my new-and-improved cleavage, and it distracts from my growing tummy.

My solution: I’ve splashed out on the one maternity bra that seems to flatten the least, a quite pricey nursing bra from Agent Provocateur. (I know, I know it’s not mumsy, but as a saucy bird I’ve always had a few sets of their undies in my arsenal and I’m not prepared to give that up yet.) Some days I wear these and on others, well, it has to be a good old fashioned balconette to provide that up-and-at-um cleavage. Everything in moderation, even underwire.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Sex

Yes please! For breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s true, I’m feeling saucier than a bottle of HP and woe betide anyone who tries to deny me!

Actually, I can’t complain, Reluctant Dad has never been a reluctant lover, let’s face it that’s how we came to be in this pleasant pickle, but even he is struggling to cope with my demands, and, I’m almost ashamed to say, molestations.

For some unreasonable reason he seems to think that at least once a day should be enough… I know, how dare he deny my hormones?!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Shopping

Now, most of my friends and famly will tell you that I can shop for Britain, and I thnk most would be equally surprised to know that I have not yet bought everythng this baby needs for the frst 3 years of it's life. But I have bought hardly anything.

I strolled merrily into Baby Gap to buy dresses for my nieces, I could have happily bought everything in the shop for them, but when it came to picking out something for Bobbit, well I couldn't. I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights: routed to the spot and unable to breathe.

So, all I have bought for Bobbit so far is this very cute vest:

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Wriggled and Jiggled and Tickled Inside Me

No I haven’t swallowed a fly, but I do have a baby in my tummy and, I can feel it moving! It’s such an amazing feeling. The first time it happened I was lying in bed and within the gentle dome (ok, bulge) of my tummy I felt a fluttering and a bubbling that wasn’t my dinner, and I was still enough to notice the difference; the books aren’t lying when they say it feels like butterflies.

Now I feel it in the most unlikely places. Bobbit obviously likes trains, I have finally found something on my morning commute that makes me smile (well, flirting opportunities dwindle somewhat when you are pregnant). The first time this happened I’d stood for 10 minutes then I finally got a seat at Clapham, and as I sat down the wriggling and jiggling and, I like to think, giggling started. I sat with my hands on my tummy smiling; such a silly smile that I’m sure people must have thought I was wearing battery powered knickers!

I knew from the first scan Bobbit could do rolly-pollies, but now I can feel them!


(yes I know it looks like a snail, but Mummy loves Bobbit)

Monday, 8 October 2007

More them than me.

I did do something very grown up today: I went to look at a nursery for Bobbit. It breaks my heart to think about it already, but I am self-employed and will need to return to work when Bobbit is still a wee babe. I have a mortgage to pay and no-one to pay it for me. (Well, RD will help, but he isn’t in a position to fully provide, not that I’m really sure I’d want him to right now.)

RD and I approached the nursery with some trepidation, neither us had a clue what we were meant to ask, it was like going out in your parents shoes when they are 5 sizes too big for you. How on earth did we end up being old enough to have a child?

I have read the OFSTED report, and at Teddies the babies seemed happy, the staff seemed organised, and what ever routine I manage will be followed by the nursery. But, I still wish my child didn’t have to spend more time there than with me.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday; I have celebrated it with high tea at Sketch and a lovely supper in Ma Cuisine, my lovely local French bistro. High tea was, of course, accompanied by a glass of champagne – just the one mind.

My party was Saturday, my first ever sober birthday party (first since I ever started drinking that is). It broke my heart to cover my glass as the waitress in Lounge Lover came round to top it up with yet more pink champagne. But, that meant there was more for my giggly friends who were smiling and chatting around the table. I did party, and after celebrating in style at the cocktail bar, we (all 14 of us) headed to 93 Feet East to dance, and dance, and dance. With my bump proudly clad in my lovely purple party frock I danced on the stage until 2, at which time I was glad to find my carriage awaiting to whisk me home to bed.