Friday, 29 February 2008

Define Imminent Please

What a funny week. Since Tuesday labour has, allegedly, been imminent.

Tuesday it was the mid-wife with her scan, and monitoring of my contractions followed by an exploration of her well gloved finger that predicted 'imminent' labour. Oh, of course this was coupled with the knickers full of cervix-dilation-evidence-egg-white - 'the show'. The rest of the day was spent with baited breath waiting for the contractions to get stronger - they didn't.

Wednesday: Body getting rid of waste (lots of long sit-downs on the loo) and lots more egg-white in the knickers (so cervix still diating). A reflexology treatment, after which I was sent straight home - do not pass go, do not collect £200, because... yes, you guessed it 'labour is imminent'.

Yesterday, baby's head nice and low, nice and low for labour that is, not so comfy for walking. Then in the evening, BANG, a sudden double-you-over-make-you-want-to-vomit-with-pain contraction. It passed a minute or so later and was never to be seen again.

In between times I have had 2 spicy curries, walked a lot and RD has been merrily doing his bit.

I don't mind waiting, honestly, I don't. But this teasing is a bit of a head f.ck.

Right, off for another looong walk...

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Last Man Standing

I've just had my NCT weekly lunch, funnily enough there were only three of us.

It was great to know that I'm not only one getting more impatient to join the Mummy-gang with each baby that pops!

We are wondering if anyone will be available for lunch next week, or will the domino effect continue...

Then There Were Three...

Our NCT group has now produced 3 boys!

Jasper now has 2 Laurences to play with; Laurence Gallagher born to Grace in the wee hours yesterday and he was followed (rapidly) in the wee hours this morning by Nia's boy.

Congratulations Grace and Nia! Mummies in time for Mothers day. xx


That just leaves us March Mums...

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

...Still No Cometh the Girl

Contractions have eased to a virtual halt overnight, so I'm wondering if she is teasing again.

Mad Val (midwife) in her rubber-gloves did say it could be 48 hours, so who knows? Certainly not me!

Back to sex and spicy food...

as RD has gone to work perhaps a long stroll and pineapple will have to do!


(She does have another week officially, so I suppose there is no hurry; but I can't wait, I'm too excited)

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

No Prizes For Guessing...

what colour eyes she'll have...



Green!

When she gets here that is.

I Haven't Done Everything...

I promised myself I would start to fill this gorgeous baby scrapbook before she came...



And I haven't.

Cometh the Hour...

Ok, news flash....

it looks like I'm in the very early stages of LABOUR!! (and it's a little bizarre.)

I have had a show, been checked after my GP thought she might be breach, and am now having contractions.

It's all a little odd, part of me doesn't really belive this can really be it after all those practice contractions, but at the same time I think it might be it.

I feel a little odd: nervous - a bit; excited - yes that too; kind of dazed really.

I haven't asked RD to come home, although I think he is a little excited; I just don't want this to be a false alarm...


In between all of this I have managed to see little Jasper - he is very little and very adorable. And in a very un-NCT like way Leela says go for the drugs!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Nine Months Pregnant

Apparently I am now officially nine months pregnant. When anyone asks when the baby is due and I answer anytime about now, I swear I can see them mentally getting out a catchers mitt just in case.

So, I'm nine months pregnant and I'm a little uncomfortable:

Despite not having put any weight on for a few weeks the baby has grown. I'm sure my skin must be stretched to it's limits and whenever she sticks out her bottom, foot or hand my bump takes on some very peculiar shapes. (Still no stretch-marks though.)

I sometimes get stuck on my back on our bed, it's a bit like a tortoise who has rolled over; I get stuck and that makes me giggle, the more I giggle the more difficult it is, until eventually I roll on my side and find the edge of the bed. I think RD finds this quite amusing.

I always disappointed when I wee; I feel desperate to go and am rewarded with a thimble full, and a need to return five minutes later.

Bending over is getting trickier and always induces yet another trip to the loo! I even succumbed and asked RD to do my shoelaces up yesterday, a bit of let down for someone who has maintained her own pedicure all the way through (yes my nails are still always rosy-red).

But you know what; I wouldn't swap this for the world. I know it's going to be worth it and very, very soon my world is going to be turned upside down, in the best possible way!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Welcome to the World

Had a text from L, 'Wow labour is weird. I had an epidural and very happy about it.'

She's our NCT trailblazer...

Welcome to this wonderful world Jasper. And just as importantly, well done L, you're a Mummy now - let the fun begin...

x

Presents

Last night RD gave me a present for 'popping out his daughter', yes I know I haven't popped yet but he couldn't wait.

It came in one of these famous turquoise boxes...


It's a cool silver ring...

I never had anything from Tiffany's before; I've not even been there for breakfast.

Thank you RD, I'm looking forward to sharing a daughter with you xxx

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Spiritual Me and My Friend Kway Yin

I have spent a very peaceful day and a half indulging the more spiritual me.
And I made a new friend: Kway Yin.


Kway Yin, as well as being beautiful, is known as the Goddess of Mercy. But she is more than that, she is also the patroness of women and of birth (and a Bodhivista to boot).

I'm hoping she'll add her healing hands to my ease my labour (I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get!) and I wanted to introduce her to anyone else expecting or trying for a baby.

Friday, 22 February 2008

The Stork is Coming to Town




I was planning on writing about the euphoric kind of panic that rippled through our NCT girlies lunch yesterday; 3 great hours of discussing the fact that in a matter of days we will meeting our babies (euphoria) and that to do so we will have to give birth (mild panic, tempered with the knowledge that it's just one day).

We have made arrangements for coffees on due dates to provide support and distraction...

But, the stork is doing his rounds, and at 39 weeks L's little one is on his way, waters broke at 5 am... so sending all the happy healing vibes your way L. (L is in the middle on the right)

I'm so excited to know that it will be my turn soon I'm kind of looking forward to going into labour. (Although, there are 2 more babies due before mine.)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Blissed Out Domestic Goddess (even if I do say so myself)

Ah bliss, I’ve had a heavenly Domestic Goddess kind of day.

I had a gentle start to day with tea and toasted bun in bed.

An hour one-to-one Pilates with Chris from Pilates on the Green followed by a heavenly massage at the Spa has left me feeling like a blissed out Goddess.

So I’ve done a spot of light baking to share the joy, Carrot Cake – one of RD’s favourites.



Now all I need is RD himself and a kiss.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Being Pregnant is a Lot Like...

reading a good book:

As you approach the end you almost rush the last few pages, desperate to devour the whole story; but when you get to the end you wish it wasn't over.

Letting It All Hang Out Poolside

Since finishing work one of the things I've really enjoyed is going swimming. I do my 20 minutes of lengths in the big pool and then retire to the Relaxation Pool in the Spa.

The reason I enjoy this isn't the weightlessness, although that is nice; it's not just that it is good for the baby, although that is good too.

Actually, it's because for the first time in my life no matter how lythe the twenty-one year olds in bikinis are, I don't have to hold my tummy in.


(All this swimming has, however, doubled my desire to have a waterbirth - I promise I only practice squatting when no-one else is in the pool.)

Monday, 18 February 2008

Mini Me

Yesterday I had a phone call from my four year old neice, nothing too unusual in that, she often rings me to tell me what's happening in her little world.

But this call was special; having spent Saturday with me at a family wedding, Hayley was calling to say that she had spent Sunday being me. She had even rung Grandma insisting that she was Auntie Oe today (completely confusing everyone I think).

Being me, apparently, consists of having a baby in your tummy (although I think she gave birth to her baby a little quicker than I will), and driving around in a red car.

I think that about sums me up right now!

(I don't have a picture of Hayley being me, but here she is helping Grandpa mow the lawn.)

Thank You Tolstoy

In my more literary moments I am enjoying Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, a book he describes as a novel, a title that, funnily enough, he doesn't give to War and Peace. It's a fabulous read, it just proved a little heavy to carry about.

Anyway, one of the characters, Kitty, is in her confinement stage of pregnancy and it's taking longer than everyone expected; Tolstoy writes:

She was now clearly aware of the new feelings of love being born in her for her future child who, for her, was already partly present, and she delighted in tending to this feeling. It was no longer wholly a part of her now, but sometimes lived it's own life independent of her. It often caused her pain, but at the same time made her want to laugh with a strange new joy.

When Kitty is asked if she thinks the baby is coming soon, she replies:

'I've thought it so many times that now I don't think or know anything.'


I couldn't say it better myself; this is why he is a great author and I merely a blogger.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Moses and Me

Moses and I have something in common: we both slept in a basket. While I doubt that his was named after me, it is just as unlikely that mine floated down any rivers.

My moses basket was slept in by cousins before me, my brother and sister after me, and most recently has been occupied by my lovely nieces.

And now look, my clever Mummy has redressed it and delivered it to Twickers ready for her new Grandaughter. What a lovely Grandma is she?! x


Next Please...

I've been quiet for a few days. To be perfectly frank I've been feeling a little bored of being pregnant, so I thought you must bored of hearing about it too.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's amazing that for nine months I get to grow a whole other person inside me, but, right now I'd really just like to meet her. I love being pregnant, but I'm as ready as I'll ever be for the next bit.

(I think this has been brought on by Thursday Evenings rather painful Braxton Hicks; at 3am I was only 75% sure they weren't for real - they really, really hurt. I know they say 'No pain, no gain', but I don't have a lot to show for them.)

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is the 2nd March - will I be a mother by then?

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Arts and Crafts

I have for the past couple of years kept a pot of chalk by the back door so little guests (and tipsy taller guests) can amuse themselves by drawing on the patio; wth a little person of my own on the way I've gone one or two steps further. The house is not particularly baby friendly but I had an idea and last week, while I have time on my hands, I enlisted Chirsty's help to implement it . And so our project began...

And now, this week, look what I've made...

Yes it's one big wall for creativity. And here is how we did it:

  • I ordered magnetic paint from the internet (very clever stuff made from iron filings ), painted two coats.
  • Then we added the frame (all good art needs a frame).
  • Lastly, I painted two coats of blackboard paint and ta-dah...
We have a full-length, magnetic blackboard for creating and displaying masterpieces...


I think it's pretty cool, no not the art, the board silly. ( I just hope my child learns to draw better than me!)


(Not that I plan to be a pushy Mum, but I did also order magnetic first words poetry kit... yes, I know this may all be a little previous, but what's a girl to do while she waits but dream)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Yet More Practice

So, another night, another set of practice contractions (I am almost wishing for the real thing now). Maybe it’s the Raspberry Leaf tea but they are definitely getting stronger – all the better for my uterus and moving the baby into position, apparently. This time RD was alert enough to hold my hand and cuddle me even after I told him I was sure it was a dry run and I’d wake him if I changed my mind.

As with all these things, it has led to another flurry of activity and crossed several big jobs off my to-do list: I finished last weeks Arts and Crafts project (more about that tomorrow when it’s dry), and I finally got round to polishing the kitchen floor. In the middle of the Braxton Hicks I wrote my birth plan in my head, now I really need to write it up… oh, and must finish packing hospital bag…

But in the true spirit of maternity leave, I have squeezed in a facial and an afternoon nap. Off to the pub to meet NCT guys and girls later.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Jackanory

One of my big weaknesses is bookshops and books and one of the things I am most looking forward to about being a mother is reading bedtime (or anytime, for that matter) stories to my child. In fact it is one of my favourite things, I think my dream job would be to be a narrator on Jackanory.

Our lucky child already has a growing collection of books, some are lovely gifts from Grandma, Clare and Ryan, and Jackson (although I think Rebecca may have helped); but many have been bought by RD and I.
(One of RD's purchases is a book called Bob and Co, in which Bob thinks he is god... and I just can't resist a Treasury* or a beautiful classic edition.)


I'm not waiting for a baby to read them to, I have just spent a blissful half-an-hour reading poems to my bump.

* I still have the Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Poetry from when I was a little girl, it's a little worse for wear since I fell down a drain clutching it, but I still LOVE it.

Romantic Notion No. 76

One of the images in my head, a picture postcard of the Harry Potter kind, of how things will be...

The baby is happily gurgling away in her I-chair, and I, looking perfectly pretty and every inch the relaxed domestic goddess, am at the cooker rustling up a delicious supper. Hotel Costes or K&D playing saucily in the background.

In walks RD; he kisses his daughter, then wraps his arms around me from behind and kisses my neck.

Happy families.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Missing You Already

Yesterday we met up with friends for a lovely long lunch by the river. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the prams were out in force.

The wine flowed; the food was good, the company better.

It was picture perfect; it would have been the perfect afternoon to have our baby girl with us…

I can't wait.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Knickers and NCT

With our babies heads sinking dangerously close to our knickers*, our NCT group met for lunch today, well 4/7 of us. We met at the wonderful Petersham Nurseries for two hours of soup and cake accompanied by many giggles.

There was a reality check when four mothers turned up with their 3 month old babies… that will be us in three months time!

It was fab; I must say I think we struck gold with our group. I mean who else would you discuss stretching your lady bits with; although we are a little concerned about Nia’s conviction that you should be able to apply ’7 thumbs’ of pressure – where do you get the other 5 from? And let’s not think about the whole 10cm thing.


* It’s a very odd sensation as your baby's head begins to apply pressure to your cervix, it does begin to feel like she could pop out at any minute with the slightest cough and all that is holding her in is your knicker elastic (oh that it could be so easy!)! And I’m no where near fully engaged yet – all though we do have one in the group that is… I wonder if she is walking like John Wayne?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Apple Mac of Highchairs - The I-chair

Yes, the new highchair has arrived and it's as gorgeous an egg as I thought it would be. It's my most extravagant baby purchase to-date and I love it.




Like the design classic the Mac, it's not just a pretty face, it's multi-functional too: it's suitable from birth to 5; it reclines to form a cradle and has a footrest for toddlers; can be used with or without trays so she can sit up to the table, and hydraulics alter the height.

Let’s face it, it does all this and looks pretty cool too!

(I'm a little embarrassed by the price tag, so I shan't be posting a link.)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Funnel?!

With all these trips to the GP and the midwife, a girl has one vital accessory - the urine sample pot.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the non-ergonomic design of said pot; well, non-ergo from the point of trying to fill it. Am I the only one who always wants to ask 'where is the funnel?'

Well, I've come up with a solution - the She-Pee, yes that festival-girls-best-friend.


For those who aren't familiar, these little devices free you from the non-ecstasy of an unhygienic festival loo or a very long wait in queue - they enable a girl to pee standing up (see, really there is little a boy can do that we can't).


So, with a little 'funnel' in hand perhaps I'll give it a go for my 37 week sample next Friday - then watch out Dragons Den, here I come!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Engaged!

No not RD and I, but the baby's head is now 3/5 engaged (nestling nice and low in my pelvis), yet another sign that this bun is nearly cooked.

I popped along to my GP a few days early for my 36 week check, as the midwife hadn't bothered to return my call and I was due to visit him this week, I thought it would be nice to hear her heartbeat and generally know that all was bobbing along.

All is indeed fine, no predictions as to when it will all happen though, tomorrow, next week; your guess is as good as mine!

(One of my NCT group has been warned she may not make it another week - I guess it really is all happening now!)

Nesting

RD thinks I'm crazy, but I think it's natural to have the urge to scrub the floors, dust picture rails and clean out the cupboards.

It's called nesting, and I think it is what I shall continue to do for the next few days.

Our princess has reminded us she could be here sooner rather than later and so it is only fitting that our house is ready for a royal visit.

(I think RD finds this all the odder for the fact that I am reluctantly looking for a new cleaner - I just know she won't do it as well as me and I won't be able to tell her how to do it as she won't speak English!)

Sunday, 3 February 2008

A Bum Note

No not a musical reference but more of a little note of reassurance for those who have been concerned about the discomfort described in an earlier post:

It's okay, I don't have piles (yet)- well, certainly not the sit on rubber-ring-permanently-uncomfortable kind that require all sorts of medicinal preparations to be relieved.

Nope, not at all. As it transpires my discomfort has, so far, been limited to one long sit down in the loo that was longer, slower and much more painful than one would like and was probably bought on by a weekend of unhealthy eating.

So, at the moment I'm okay, but I do keep hedging my bets as the full monty can be bought on during labour - NICE.

(Maybe this is a little TMI)

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Lolita

The Woollies faux-pas of naming a little girl's bed Lolita reminded me that last year I started reading the book. It was well written but was a little disturbing (as much for the fact that you sort of enjoy reading it), so I stopped.

Then I found out I was pregnant; then I found out I was having a baby girl and I definitely couldn't go back to reading about a guy with a crush on a sexually precocious 12 year old.

Signs

Today we had our first sign that our little girl isn't too far away: A slightly bloody 'show' - a sign that my cervix is thinning to allow her an easier exit.

Not a panic in itself, but when coupled with the painful Braxton Hicks practise contractions from last night and persistent lower back-ache it was a slight worry. The reassuring midwife confirmed what I already knew: I could go into labour tomorrow or in the next few weeks!

What this has done is start a ripple of activity from here to the Isle of Wight: Here, I'm scrubbing because the cleaner has been AWOL for a fortnight and we've practised putting the car seat in the car; but more importantly, on the Island my Mummy and Sister are getting the crib ready (Amy putting my neice in a cot and Mummy re-dressing the crib and frantically knitting).

Perhaps this is what our little girl was after.

(The funny thing is if I'd gone into labour last night it really would have been Sod's Law - RD had been out for his last boozy night before his self-imposed labour-standby drinking ban, he'd returned suitably hammered and passed out. He barely managed to slur 'youok' and hold my hand before passing out again - he was spectacularly useless. Now I understand the need for the drinking caution!)

Friday, 1 February 2008

Today...

was the first day of my maternity leave and it may just have been over exertion but I feel a little emotional.

This morning I have moved and disconnected a washing machine , made a trip to Mothercare to do some returns (no not presents!) and I came back exhausted. New machine and new, but very old, chair delivered all I wanted to do was act like a teenager - lie on my bed and cry.

So, I did. I cried because no longer have the security of a job or money now or in the future, because I'll miss the people I work with, because I saw my breastfeeding councilor on tele climbing mountains; but mostly I cried because this is such a big leap into the unknown on all counts. I'm about to start an adventure, a real adventure of and for a lifetime.

It's all a little odd, and I felt a little alone and overwhelmed today...


.... and then I felt my baby move and I smiled.

Last Night

Look at all these wonderful presents:

Can you believe people have been so generous? Apparently they have been collecting for a month, both from my collegues in London but also from those in Bristol too (and I didn't know). Even though Linda has left the project she still did the shopping!

And Stephen (my boss) bought the champagne, plenty of it. It was just a shame that as is typical on a project in panic, planning took preference over partying, so I didn't get to say thank you and goodbye to everyone properly.

So: THANK YOU and GOODBYE x

Ps. I will keep in touch so it's not really goodbye!