Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Answer to the Question is... ?

I think you can tell apart people who enjoy being pregnant and those who feel, well, not so much enthralled by the business, by whether they are counting weeks down, or weeks to go.  I'm definitely in the 'weeks to go' category.  I woke up this morning and thought, 'Nearly halfway there!'  Then lay back down and thought, 'No, in a month, I'll be halfway there.'  So, 16 weeks of pregnancy down, 24 to go, ish.  16 days of uncontrollable coughing down, back to the doctor on Tuesday.  I wonder if they do temp replacement lungs for pregnancy impaired immune systems on the NHS? 

I'm not going to regale you this week with the whole category of downs; like round ligament pain, sciatica or the whole ongoing coughing/gagging confusion.  Suffice to say, when I cough I don't know whether to hold my belly, my left butt cheek or just take off for the porcelain bowl.  

So, moving swiftly on to some ups.  The bump is now a prominent feature and despite the odd moment of 'Oh No, it's getting bigger', it's quite comforting.  It's supposed to be growing and it is.  Evidence below by popular demand (sorry about the flash rebound but when I asked MC to take a pic for me he was unable to do so without getting my Sunday morning bed-head in the shot for some reason).

Sporting a fetching belly band here because belly is now so big that all my t-shirts stop at my belly button about an inch above my trousers and it's still January people.

Other ups?  I made it through a whole 5 and a half day working week this week without any sick time, yay me!  I caught up with my now-very-pregnant cousin, who is due to pop at the end of February, for what could be the last time before her sprog arrives.  It was a fun night.  We got to make use of the 50% off voucher at Vittoria (yay pasta fest) and MC came along for some dinner and baby chat.  Yesterday I met my longest standing friend for a gossip.  I tried very hard not to do too much whingeing and whining given it had been so long since I saw her.  Other than having to sip water every 30 seconds to keep the coughing fits to a minimum it was a fun way to pass an afternoon.

Today, MC and I went to the Pregnancy and Parents Centre where they were having a nearly new sale along with a real nappy and sling info event.  The cake was good and I picked up some expando-waist work trousers for next to no pennies but we refrained from buying baby apparatus.  I was tempted by a moses basket but MC wasn't thrilled with the idea of carrying it home on the bus.  Our joiner still hasn't quoted to sort the wardrobe in the nursery yet and until that's done we can't really store anything in there.  

MC and I will be rescheduling our end of February baby-moon, and this time it's not because it doesn't fit well with my work schedule.  Our twenty week scan appointment (where yes, we will be finding out the sex of the munchkin where possible) has come through for bang in the middle of the week we were meant to be away.  Thank crunchie we didn't book anything.  "We will not reschedule this appointment unless under exceptional circumstances."  It didn't sound like they were looking to be too flexible.  Evidence suggests that the NHS is not coping well with the Scottish baby boom.  

General news - congratulations going out to two of MC and I's friends who gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy this week.  Well one of them gave birth and the other became a proud Daddy to a backdrop of a little bit of drama, what with the water breaking at work thing, but it was a job well done by both of them.  She's the second friend I've had in a short space of time who has given birth a couple of weeks before her due date.  It's making me a bit nervous about my plan to take just 2 weeks off before the munchkin is due.  Traditionally, the babies in my family turn up late (lazy little heifers) and I'd rather be spending my maternity leave with the baby than with my feet up watching Jeremy Kyle (that's a British Jerry Springer for all the relations on the other side of the big swim) but at the same time, I really don't want to have to go from work to the birthing centre with no time for a long-lie in between!

So, 24 weeks to go.  Or maybe not?  Anyone got a crystal ball handy?  I read somewhere that the answer to the question is actually 42.  Now, 16 and 24 do not make 42.  But I'm going to go with the cult classic and not book more days off before munchkin is due to make an appearance.  If by some chance I do not get that long lie, or am forced to suffer the indignity of labour related leakage in the middle of a project meeting...

Well unless I've come to love my pregnancy by then, I might just break out a manic bonkers happy dance on the well polished surface of the Wayne Enterprises-esque boardroom table!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Massive Fail

All those who know me, know that I have been somewhat under the weather for the last week.  I cannot keep working on the assumption that everyone reading my blog knows me personally though as I am pretty sure I do not know anyone in Latvia, nor can I count amongst my friendships the twenty or so Russians and dozens of Americans that have been reading my nutty musings.  Lets just hope no one is using it for English translation practice!

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Being ill.  Now I am a rubbish patient.  I just don't have any patience with feeling keek, day time TV or Lemsip - YUCK!  This time is no exception.  I have a spot of bronchitis and although I don't consider myself asthmatic, or carry my inhaler around with me the way I probably should, any sort of chest infection leaves me wheezing and puffing away on the blue stuff.  Nasty ass stuff, it gives me the shakes.  So, I've been off work two days so far this week.  I had to cancel plans to see my oldest friend and her babes on Saturday.  I had to bump a friend I haven't seen in months who I was really looking forward to catching up with on Tuesday.  I didn't make it to the pre-paid bendy stretchy class I was hoping to try out or aquanatal.  I even cancelled my teeth scraping appointment at the dentist (OK, perhaps I'm not too sad about that one).  Today... well, today was my most massive fail of the week so far.

I was pretty bored yesterday in between fetal-position-inducing coughing fits.  The highlight of my day was my cheesy beans on toast.  I grilled the cheese over the top and everything.  I really wanted to go back to work today.  I have a pile of work that I'd planned to get through this week and tonight MC and I had plans to go to Vittoria on the bridges for date night.  It's the same restaurant we had our wedding meal at and my favourite eatery for Italian nosh (I have a favourite for every international cuisine across Edinburgh).  And they were offering 50% off all bills before the 26th Jan.  So, this morning I got up and I felt rough and sleepy but show me the pregnant person who does want to part company with the duvet of a cold winter morning.  I didn't feel too horrible though.  MC asked how I felt and I had to tell him I honestly didn't know.  The coughing is weird in the morning.  It starts off dry and tends to get worse throughout the day.  I got dressed much to MC's disbelief and went to work.  Well, I got on the bus. 

Getting to the bus stop made my chest seize up pretty bad and I felt distinctly icky on the ride to work.  I got off the bus in George Street and had only walked a block before I sounded like the drowning emphysemic chain smoking ball of infection I'd been on the same trip to work on Monday.  The inhaler, which had been my saving grace on arrival at the office on Monday, was very helpfully lying on my bedside table.  I crossed the road and got on a bus coming home.  I called my boss.  I explained my stupidity and that despite doing the hard part and getting within 50 feet of the office I would not actually be coming in today.  She was really very understanding and hadn't actually thought that I'd be much better after only 2 days of antibiotics.  Now as if this wasn't enough ridiculousness for a Thursday morning, I then did the unimaginable.  I bubbbled on the bus most of the way home.

Other pregnant people had forewarned me about unforeseen bouts of outpouring, uncontrollable emotion but so far, I had not experienced any such public humiliation.  Today though, my frustration took me way over the edge.  I tried to rationalise why I felt the way I did and it boiled down to two things.  Firstly, I have no patience for being unwell.  We covered that already.  Secondly though, I think I have a horror of being the unreliable pregnant person in the office.  I like my job.  I like that I'm responsible for my own little corner of grind and that for the most part, I'm left alone to get stuff done.  It seriously irks me that since I got pregnant there hasn't been a single week where I've felt like I was functioning on all cylinders and being my dependable self.  Work completely aside, I like to be able to depend on me in general - on my health, my ability to get out of bed in a timely fashion in the mornings and to go about my business.

It seems as though I might have to get a little less fiercely independent.  I might have to lie down when I'm told to.  I might have to get used to the fact that pregnant me is little more fragile and a little less dependable than my old self.  In plain terms, she's a bit of a woose-arsed sickly numpty.  I don't like it.  That's what got me on the bus this morning and that's what caused this whole stupid mess.  My pigheaded refusal to stay in bed bored (sorry, 'resting') but warm.

Rant over.  I saw the sunrise this morning.  It damn near fried my eyeballs as with any winter sun encounter in Scotland.  It was nice.  I might not be able to go to work today, or tomorrow, but I saw the sun.  It's a rare beast in January, what with the going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  It's still hanging around up there in a cold blue sky.  Does it make up in any way for almost getting to work and having a melt down on public transport?

Perhaps, but it doesn't take the edge off missing a trip to Vittoria's. 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Rudolph Inspired Glow

I had my flu jab shortly after finding out I was pregnant.  Now, I may be mistaken, but this manky thing I have is feeling distinctly like flu.  Is that even possible?  I hurt when I lie down so I get up, I hurt sitting up and so I go back to bed again.  I must have sneezed fifty times in succession this morning and I've held down some rice cakes and noodles since Thursday lunch. 

I don't want to write about how crap I feel.  In fact, I was really hoping that I would write this week about how good I have been feeling.  At the start of the week I was eating healthy, feeling totally human, wasn't so tired.  It was all good.  I wasn't quite there, but I had a sense that a 'glow' might actually be possible - I just didn't realise that within a few days it would be the end of my nose to my top lip glowing crimson.  Pregnancy is just hilarious quite frankly.  I spent seven to eight weeks with constant nausea and never once was I physically sick.  Then a common cold has me losing my lunch.  And let me tell you, being sick with no nausea is truly the strangest sensation in the world.  I thought I was a hungry pregnant person before I got sick but now I'm positively ravenous!  Speaking of, could really go a bacon roll.  Hmm, bacon rolls.

Anyway, before I start salivating or go hunting for food in my unwashed grisly bear mode, I will tell you about a positive step this week.  I went along to my first aquanatal class.  After two months of relative inactivity as we sat tight and prayed my body would behave itself and stop having a strop over the appearance of a baby in my uterus, I was super keen to get back into exercising.  The only activity I've seen since October has been the walk from my old office to the bus stop.  For anyone who knows Edinburgh that hike is from the bottom end of Dundas Street to George Street.  Not that I'd call it a workout when you're moving at the pace of a tortoise walking on eggshells. 

Now, in my mind when I hear of aqua aerobics I picture OAPs at 10am on a Wednesday morning with their blue rinse 'dos' bobbing up and down to 'Sisters are doing it for themselves' or some other tune you'd only otherwise encounter on a Rosemary Connelly fitness DVD.  Scary that I am acquainted with such things at my tender age, I know.  However, it's not like I can mash the belly into a harness and go climbing so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Let me tell you, this aqua fitness malarky is actually not quite as woose-tastic as it first sounds.  I was particularly taken aback when the instructor shouted at us dozen or so out of breath belly laden people (and several bellies present there were within a week of their due to pop dates!) that it was 'Time to throw in the dumbbells!'  What!!!  Yes people, dumbbell shaped floatation devices that you force under the surface of the water and then manhandle in various directions under you.  When we finally got a break I couldn't get my fingers to release from the damn handles.  I had been squeezing with such force.

For all my horror at the necessary exertion though it was great to get some endorphins going.  Even if I did eat and fall asleep pretty much immediately on getting home.  It was an eye opener being around so many other pregnant ladies too.  I couldn't help thinking 'man I'll never stretch that big, it's not possible'.  I guess it probably is, but it's still mind boggling.  I had high hopes of making it back to bendy stretchy this week but I didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to get a place in a belly-friendly yoga class!  How many pregnant people are there in Edinburgh at any one time?  I am on several waiting lists but finally was able to get a place to trial a class at Palmerston Place on Monday straight after work.

In my current chip I may not make it for this Monday, which will be a shame.  Even if I can get back to the office, I wouldn't risk making other pregnant people sick.  But it's going to be OK.  For one thing, MC has kindly run out and provided me with non-sandpaper tissues to appease my poor nose.  For another, I know I'm on my way to a glowing phase and getting my fitness back will be a part of it. 

In the meantime I'm going to hide under the duvet until my face gets the message that Christmas is over. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

13 Weeks Down

Asides from the back to work, it's been a great week.  On Wednesday, MC and I had our first scheduled ultrasound appointment.  How I wish it had been our first ultrasound.  It was a happy and relaxing occasion.  We both sat with goofy grins on our mugs while the sonographer chuckled about how our 'active' child was being somewhat obtuse and not staying in one place long enough to have its picture taken for measurements.  Little hands on little arms went like the clappers to the point where I wondered if it might be born with drumsticks already in hand.  The legs were largely a Road Runner-esque blur as it rolled round and round my insides.  "I don't envy you when you can start to feel this one," laughed the sonographer.  After a good twenty minutes or so, baby rolled head down and stopped moving for a short nap and the genial lady was able to take shots to take all the necessary measurements.  Now, we'd been given dates based on the size of the fetus early in the pregnancy at 5 and then at 8 weeks.  However, baby is now measuring on the long side so our official due date has been brought forward to 15th July.  Today we are 13 weeks pregnant and according to the all-knowing Baby Centre, in our second trimester.  I thought that was for next week but who am I to argue with the online baby centric bible?  It certainly makes me feel better about the size of the belly!

I feel like I can finally breathe again.  I'm sure very many pregnant ladies the world over would agree that those first 12 weeks don't feel like they are ever going to end.  From week five a combination of bleeding and never ceasing nausea made things more than a little stressful.  I remember my cousin telling me that all she could eat for the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy was supernoodles.  I shook my head and lectured her that babes needed healthy fats and vitamins and avocados etc. but let me tell you, never again.  I will listen with immense sympathy to anyone who is trying to eat every meal completely repulsed by food.  Reduced to pasta and cheese sandwiches for weeks on end (whilst feeling guilty about the complete lack of good nutrition for the munchkin the whole time), MC was my saviour.  If it hadn't been for him cooking or doing stuff I would have eaten a lot less and stuff just wouldn't have got done. 

I have to take a minute here to recommend Sea Bands.  They didn't take the nausea away but they made it possible to eat a little more regularly and to eat a slightly better variety (of pasta and sandwiches).  Usually when the going gets tough you make a cup of tea.  It's a well known fact that tea rights all wrongs.  Even this crutch was brutally ripped from my life.  

It was difficult, through the bonkerdom of the last thirteen weeks, to see ahead to a place where I would be able to sit and nosh sardines and smoothies, but we're here now.  After the turmoil of our early issues I refused to entertain baby things until the day of our scheduled scan.  There were sticky moments though - like every time someone called or wrote to say that they'd 'picked something up' for the baby.  Despite the midwife needing two goes again to get any blood out of me I practically skipped out of the hospital and off to pick up these cute little outfits that I'd seen in a sale.  (Yes, I know the Mummy one is a bit girlie but I don't care.  And anyway I have a feeling in my waters...)

MC and I have dealt with more stress in the last three months than I care to experience in the next three years.  So, even though there are so many things that should now be truly freaking me out, I'm happy to just spend the next three months content to be cooking.

Looking forward to finding out what we're having by late February and to MC and I taking what will probably be our last holiday as a two person family (if we can ever decide where we're going). 

Thirteen weeks of bonkerdom down, I wonder if it will be thirteen more before I can finally enjoy that cup of (decaf) tea...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Too Bonkers to Blog

It has been some time since my last post.  When life gets properly bonkers though some things take a backseat.  Much has happened in the 8 months or so (crivens, has it really been that long?!) since my last post and it's not the case that I've had nothing to say about any of it, more that I've been getting on with living rather than sitting on el jacksie mulling it over.

April was a write off.  I was made a permanent employee of the company I work for in March and moved into their projects team.  The company acquired their first property portfolio by buying out another agency in April and I worked 7 days a week, stupid hours, trying to bring the data and a portion of reluctant landlords into our business.  I had help, obviously, but I didn't see much daylight or anything of anyone during that first head-first dive into project management.  Very many learning curves were encountered with that first acquisition and nothing has proved quite so bonkers since, but I'm very happy to say that the end of 2011 sees two of us working in the project team on a full time basis.    

May was a great month.  MC and I were on holiday for most of it.  We journeyed to London to meet up with MC's Dad and his wife-to-be and had a blast just being tourists.  The weather was smashing and we went to Madame Tousssauds, took the London Eye (twice), went to see Wicked (which I think is now my favourite musical of all time) and dozed off on an open top tour bus after spending a morning wandering round the many parks and gardens.  From there we flew to Toronto and I got to meet some of MC's rellies, walked on the glass floor of the CN Tower and MC took me to Toronto Island for some romantic strolling in glorious sunshine.  If it wasn't for the shockingly abysmal holiday entitlements, visa issues and traffic, the weather alone might have had me begging MC for us to relocate.  I saw more sunshine in 6 days than we experienced here all bleedin' summer!  From there we headed to Ontario to visit with more family and meet up with MC's Mum, Stepdad, sister and littlest brother to take a trip with them down into New Hampshire.  It rained consistently in New Hampshire but we swam, shopped, relaxed, read and had a laugh before returning to spend a final day basking in the sun in the Toronto 'Beaches'.  Thirty degrees leaving Canada, fifteen back home.  Bump.

Back to the grindstone through June and July.  Not much to report.

MC and I's birthdays are in August, just a few days apart.  So, we got a late theatre weekend deal coupled with cheap cheap first class train tickets (hey - free tea makes any trip more pleasant) and went back to London.  The thespian in me cringes here but I have to say Legally Blonde was much more entertaining than Rosencrantz & Gildenstern are Dead.  I'm sure Bill Murray was of the same sentiment given his lack of displaying appreciation at the end of the play and so I don't feel quite so much a cultural neanderthal.  We ate, went to the gym (yes, on holiday) and were merry.  Then we came home and had a barbecue with friends and family to Christen the new barbecue and celebrate the last day of sunshine.  A few guests were sadly chased mercilessly round the garden by dying wasps but the raspberry and chocolate cake went down a storm after the rain chased us all indoors.  We got older and it was all good.

September, well it occurs to me that 2011 revolved heavily around holidays.  In September we visited my Mum and Stepdad in Turkey.  They were having a late onset summer and so the temperatures were right up there with the average July/August.  Poor MC melted into the sofa each day under the airconditioning with his book and our cat as his constant companion while I drank tea, played backgammon or cards and caught up with the less seen parentals.  The swimming was amazing, especially the day we went out into the Aegean by boat but we were properly boiled the days we took trips to Ephesus and Pamukkale.  We ate too much and lazed and three days after getting home I cycled Pedal for Scotland with an aeroplane caught cold.  It wasn't pretty and you don't need any more details.  I finished in a decent time and MC put me in a taxi home.  Money got raised for a good cause.  I'm currently looking for replacements to cycle for the Finola Trust in my place next year because...

In October we got pregnant which made us both very happy but by week 5 there were a few issues that resulted in some early scans and lots of stress which made the whole of the second month fairly unpleasant.  Couple that with never ending nausea and exhaustion and November through December was a diabolical write off.  I was, thankfully, able to attend the wedding of some long time friends in November and that was heart-warming and beautiful.  Even being green about the gills couldn't lessen the effects of a good wedding!  My personal Christmas miracle though saw an end to my nausea and proper hunger kick in on the 23rd of December.  Touch wood, I've felt a million times better ever since.  Props to all the family and friends who were supportive through that time and to Dad who turned up in overalls on his day off to help poor MC put our house back together when it became apparent that I was not able to wield a paintbrush.  If it wasn't for his help and MC's heroic efforts, all our furniture might still be in our living room and Christmas dinner might have been a Chinese takeaway.

Speaking of Christmas, it was braw.  Got spoiled by MC, have amassed a stack of goodies which should keep me going through the entire pregnancy (once the sweet tooth re-emerges) and Dad and the brothers came by for a feast.  All fun, interspersed with glorious naps.

So now we're back to January and it promises to be a busy year so I'm not going to be bonkers enough to pretend that I'll be a better blogger going forward.  I'm a bit stumped for New Years resolutions though.  All the usual suspects are a little void: lose weight (not appropriate for at least the next seven months she says, pulling on elastic waisted jeans) give up various vices (thoroughly given up already, I've even gone off chocolate) and achieve stuff.  If the last three months have taught me anything it's that every day of pregnancy is a little achievement in itself.  I look forward to being able to focus properly again at work now that I feel human again and don't feel the compulsion to hover round the bathroom for hours at a time.  I do need to get fit again, though there are a few limitations I've not had to work with before.  As soon as the pregnant-belly-compatible swimsuit arrives I'll be trialling the delights of aquanatal, swimming and prenatal yoga (not dependent on the swimsuit obviously).

Happy New Year everyone.  I have many wishes for 2012 and my new mantra is 'one day at a time'.  May all the expected babies be born healthy and happy and may all our friends and family continue to enjoy employment and comfort.  May my brother find health and lasting relief from pain and discomfort.  May we all travel and have adventures that fulfil us and bring us home safely.

And may the Mayans have simply run out of room on their damn calendar.