The Palace Park

The Palace Park

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Le Petit Fanglet(te?)

There has been much speculation this week over what your gender is, my little parasite.  I spent much of Saturday until Wednesday feeling as though my ribs were being cracked from the inside out, which made me wonder what you were up to. That pain seems to have dispersed and we have now returned to my trapezoid on my right arm feeling as though it is being squeezed and twisted by angry imps.

La Grange, the barn we are staying at in Riberac, is lovely. It belonged to your Great-Aunt Linda, who by all accounts was bit a of a bossy boots. The result is  gorgeously restored (but very cold) Old Barn (circa 1600) and a New Barn (circa 1980) that has sleeping room for 8 (comfortably).  You will (I hope) be spending a lot of time here.

Once we return to London, we have an appointment at the Cardiac Unit at Great Ormond Street, so that they can poke and prod at us some more. I don't know exactly what we're looking for now, but I have it on good authority that they may just keep looking until you make an appearance. . .

But back to Riberac, because my lovely, I would happily raise you here. It is lovely and there is something so much more familiar about it than the UK; the buildings in this region are not so different to where I grew up in Germany and in Czech, I suppose. They call a section of Bergerac 'Little Geneva' after all.  And so it goes. . .

We have eaten well this week, you and I. Merguez sausage for breakfast, lots of duck (no pate or rillettes, world, so relax, world. Relax).  We've been to Riberac and will return again (the sewing shop has a lovely yarn section), Bergerac (no sign of John Nettles, sadly, but we are a long way from Jersey) and today we went to Rouffegnac to a set of caves. I've been reading a mixture of things: snotty (for he PhD), mystery (cause who doesn't love a good mystery) and dire (Mills and Boon -- the US equivelent would be Harlequin Romance novels). All in all, not a bad way to go.  The weather has been divine: warm (high 60s, 70s with no rain and loads of sun) and we nap near a sun-dappled vineyard.  Life is very good.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Big plans for a little fetus

A 15-minute stop to drop off a urine sample turned into a 2.5 hour trip to the Ante-Natal clinic on Monday. Apparently, I had 'mixed growth' in the sample I left a couple of weeks ago.

You, my little tomato, are in for a treat: on 4 November, we're going to hear Steve Earle at the Barbican. Earle is over promoting his Towns Van Zandt tribute album.  The last time I saw him, it involved a road trip to Scotland and chortling peacocks. That was almost 5 years ago.  Crazy.

On 9 November, we're going to hear Steve Martin swing out all blue-grassy, and on the 16th, I'm seriously contemplating taking you to hear Pink Martini at the Apollo Hammersmith. The only bit of grit in the shoe of this plan is that I have my theory driving test the next day.

Driving test, you ask?

Indeed. I've only been driving for oh, I don't know. . . 16.3 years!! But thems the rules, those the breaks and, well, we do what we can to keep the Man happy.

Friday is your first Ethiopian meal. I'm really looking forward to this. Mama loves Ethiopian food. I only hope you love it too because that if not, that could make our traveling the next day a bit awkward. . . 

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Viva le France

Now, I know there are things I'm not supposed to eat. Unpasteurized cheese (because of the listeria thing, but seriously, if you already have encephalitis, how much damage could it do? JUST kidding!), liver, pate, etc. (Vitamin A overload), no rare meat, no shellfish unless I cook it myself (like that is EVER going to happen until we're back on the Gulf Coast).   But seriously, we're going to be in La Grange for a week and in that time, I can make no promises about what I consume, mainly because French food is just so much more INTERESTING that English food. And they don't always tell you what is in the food.  Vegetarian? 'But of course this is vegetarian,' the server will say with a Gaelic shrug, completely ignoring that the broth is beef marrow. . .

The big dilemma is what to pack. I know, I know. I am so limited at the moment, hemmed in by the pallet of maternity wear that has been so kindly provided for me.  I will take two comfy wool sweaters in a soft cappuccino colour, two tops in olive, several scarves, lots of woolly tights (thanks, Matalan!) and my new Shitkicker boots (in brown). I will also take a lovely patterned skirt and one or two of my wrap dresses and two pairs of trousers. Trousers are, of course, the most challenging thing about my life at the moment. I have 3 pairs that I can wear: a pair of Ann Taylor Jeans (size 14 from my very fat assed - post-Chicago days), a pair of size 12 Ann Taylor chinos (I know, WTF) and a pair of maternity trousers in black.  They make me look Tony Robbins good.

Ehem.  Not that I'm channeling Jeremy Piven's ego or anything. . .

It is a good thing your dad is going; he can carry my luggage. : )

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Kid, you may think you're funny. . .

But you're going to give me a heart attack. Today Midwife Allison called to say that you do not have the following: Downs, Edwards, Mosaic, or Patau's Syndrome, nor do you have any sex defects. Of course, when she said 'sex defects,' my mind totally went to another place and now I have visions of a fetus-populated BDSM club. Slightly disturbing if it wasn't funny. And it is funny.

I'm learning a lot of new words like microcephaly (a neurological disorder that results in a shrunken head and decreased motor skills), encephalitis (which I already 'knew' but didn't know; it is a type of meningitis and we loathe meningitis), and cytomegalovirus (a form of not-necessarily sexually transmitted herpes virus; you can contract if from sharing a soda with someone, etc).

It must be said that I didn't ask what your gender was. . . I'm trying to give you privacy. But seriously, if you keep this up, we're talking lock down early on.There will be no hiding of diaries. I will be so far up in your business, you'll think boot camp is a holiday.

Your father has been walking around like a dead man the last couple of days, breaking my heart almost as much as the uncertainty of what comes next. We're not all clear yet (there's another 2 weeks before that happens) but things are looking up.

Friday, 9 October 2009

The Waiting Game

Cher Fanglet

What can I say?

Today we had the CVS test.  My reasons were that there was triple the amount of fluid around your neck that they thought. The test itself was relatively painless. But the waiting is one of the hardest things I'll ever have to do.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Don't make it easy for me

Okay, so I love Earl Thomas Connelly. Sue me.

Today we went and had your first picture taken. It was all very exciting and I will post the photo here. It is also a little upsetting because, apparently, your neck is too thick at 5.75mm and they (the Dr and Midwives) want me to go and have a CVS test done. CVS stands for Chorionic Villius Sampling and boy, it sounds like fun! Basically, it is a test for Down Syndrome, Tay Sachs, etc., and they jam a very fine needle into the placenta.

According to one resource, it goes a little something like this: 

           'Depending on your stage of pregnancy, the position of your placenta, or on personal   
            preference, your doctor will choose one of the following methods:

            • transvaginal CVS - usually carried out between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, via thecervix. 

              Your doctor will carefully insert fine forceps or a small tube through your vagina and cervix   
              to reach the placenta

            • transabdominal CVS - usually carried out after 13 weeks, through the abdomen. You may be 
            given a local anaesthetic to numb the wall of your abdomen before a needle is inserted through
            your abdomen into your uterus to the placenta.

After the test is over, I apparently will kick back and wait to  see if I miscarry (there is a 1/100 or a 2/100 chance depending on where you read).  Party time!

This afternoon, I phoned the Ante-natal Results and Choices helpline. They were lovely. I feel very, very pressured about the whole thing: the midwives and your father are very hipped that this happens. I. . . well, I personally. . . I don't give a rat's ass and would actually prefer to let you have your privacy, such as it is, to see if you just don't sort it out yourself. You've got a lot of time left in the womb, pettest and it seems a lot of pressure on you. And you're just a little thing.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Dear Fanglet

I turned 32 on Saturday and I had a fantastic birthday. On Friday, I went for Gelato with your Auntie Kristy to Scoop and ate my way through their Chocolate Festival.  Then we went to Foyle's in pursuit of a toilet and books.  I bought myself 3 books: the 2nd Millenium Trilogy THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE; the new PD James THE PRIVATE PATIENT, and an early Robert Musil novel.  Mama loves her German Twilight fiction. 

I spent the pre-birthday evening with your dad, eating Chinese food and watching Telly, before adjorning to bed to read my new books with Josephine, who is being very adorable and very needy of late. She needs to be RIGHT BESIDE ME at all times, physically leaning into me.  Bless.  On Saturday, we had breakfast at the Sweet Tree Bakery, which I hope makes it. Their business model isn't really working; they don't open until 8am on weekdays, thereby missing early morning commuters!! Very silly. Very silly indeed. I then napped the better part of the afternoon in between organizing my clothes, separating out what I can wear and what I can't and unpacking the fantabulous maternity stuff that your Aunt Anna has given to help me make the pregnancy more manageable. 

Your Dad also got me a massage which I was a bit blustery about (because I get blustery about silly things these days) at first but no am thinkng 'wow, I am so going to use that bad boy this week!'

We had a gorgeous Indian meal at your Auntie Helen and Uncle James'.  They are amazing cooks and seriously, kid, you love a good curr, the spicier the better.  You also love Mexican, Italian, Ethiopian (good choice, good choice) and make no bones about love of a good steak.

In short, there is no doubt, mon cher that you are mine.

We also had our first midwife appointment at the  hospital. I am on the fence re home birth and hospital birth. I don't know that I actually like the idea of a home birth but hospitals are kind of  grotty and well, there is a lot to be said for not having to leave the comfort of my own home or cleaning up afterward.  Apparently, other people do that for you.