The Palace Park

The Palace Park

Monday, 30 November 2009

198 miles to go

Dear Fang

This weekend we went to Leeds for a belated Thanksgiving dinner with people whom I hope we will see more of, especially since Leeds is only 198 miles away.

One major cultural difference I've noticed through my years here is how the British (and this is all-encompassing cultural comment) have such a different sense of distance and travel. At home, people I know (including myself) rarely think anything of driving 3-6 hours for an overnight. But here, people don't really think along those lines.  In fact, when I said I was going to Leeds for the night, people were a bit shocked.

We spent the evening eating gorgeous food and goofing around with 4 really great kids, and catching up.  I can't comment on what Leeds is like as a city because we didn't spend much time there. But I'm looking forward to exploring Yorkshire more once you arrive.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Almost Perfect

Items I didn't really think would enter my vocaubulary (mainly because I wasn't thinking of them):

Breast pads
Disposable Underwear
Breast Pumping
Lactation Consultant. 

Call me crazy, but I'd always thought of myself as more of a 'wet nurse' kind of gal. 

Of course, I also thought I'd never be sporting a 36-FF bra, so I guess it's a learning curve for all.

This week, I've recovered from my cold (sort of) and registered your father and I for pre-natal course with the National Childbirth Trust.  We've opted for the 'boot camp' version of the course, a 2.5 day extravaganza of baby-training as opposed to the 2-hours-over-8-weeks option.  I just really could not wrap my mind around 8 weeks of fluffy when 2.5 days will give me the same information.  This does not come without potential for trouble and it brings to mind an episode of 'Almost Perfect,' this TV show that was on in the mid-90s that starred Nancy Travis.  The episode I'm thinking of is one where Travis' character is forced to learn to relax and goes on an intensive yoga course that goes awry.  Indeed.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pain in my head, pain in my heart

Dear Fanglet

For the last 5 days, I have been in a bit of agony. A vice-like pain has descended over my forehead, a combination of sinus pressure and headache.  Then there were the aches and temperature fluctuations. Oh, and the desperate need to be ill but not being able to be ill only to then be ill just when I thought we'd moved passed it.  But you are fine and I seem to be on the mend.

I spent much of the weekend napping. I would have an hour or two peak time and would then crash like a rock to the hard ground beneath.  We did make it to a wedding but had to leave early. And within 20 minutes of getting home, I had deteriorated to a pile of blond-haired sludge. Most charming.

Yesterday and today we napped and napped some more. And I dare say we'll be going to bed soon. But we have managed to finish the last in the 'Millenium' series by Steig Larsson.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Pathological Whines -- in utero

Mummy?  Hello? Hellooooo? I keep kicking to let you know I'm here but so far you seem a bit obtuse.  What is going on out there? Why are you not paying me more attention?! And what is that growling noise I keep hearing in the middle of the night? No one said anything about growling out there. Is that this Josephine you keep parroting on about? Because she sounds like trouble.

Or competition.

And could we get some of those feta cheese triangle-y things you ate for lunch? Those were good and I don't think 5 were enough.

I'm hungry! I'm thirsty! What happened to that lovely pink champagne you were drinking in August? We've not had that in ages. And really, I was told on good authority that champagne was all the rage for babies.  You go get some more of that. Now.  And do think we could read something other than stuff on the politics of indigenous culture? I mean, really, woman. How much can one fetal unit take?

Friday, 13 November 2009

One day, you'll ask me why you don't have fur like your sister


And I'll have to tell you the truth: that you were brought to us by aliens.  Just kidding. Sort of. Josephine is convinced she is human and convinced that she and I are of the same cloth.  Crazy, I know.
The strangest thing I find about being pregnant is how quickly my body changes. I mean, 40 weeks is one thing, but the changes occur so quickly. . . overnight, in some cases. Already, I've grown into a 36 F bra. This, mind you, is from a 32C.

I've been a bit down,  Fang. Just rather listless. Any nesting instinct that is supposed to kick in hasn't done so yet. In fact, the only instinct that has kicked in is the desire to nap. I go to bed about 9pm and then wake up at 2am, lying in bed as I stare at the ceiling, daydreaming idly. At some point, I suppose I'll get up and start doing something -- reading for school or maybe organizing the kitchen.  I do have a list. And I have those lovely pills that keep the toothier, meaner demons at bay. And ginger snaps.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

In Praise of Normal

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at North Middlesex having another scan.  This was supposed to be an anomaly scan but it turns out you're a wee bit too small for that (not a surprise here; these are usually only done after week 18).  We got to watch you turning flips and chewing on your feet when you weren't busy sucking on your hand.  For all intents and purposes, we got the sign off that you're 'normal.' Everything is relative except relatives, sweet pea.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Post-holiday recap

Dear Fanglet,

We have returned from France (albeit reluctantly).  I had a lovely time, at lots of duck (yum), slept a lot, and tried not to be overly annoying (unsuccessfully).  I will publish photos as soon as I can figure out what I've done with the damn digital camera adapter.  I think I may have put it in my sock drawer. Don't ask: the sock drawer is a very useful place.

The weather was amazing every day we were away. We explored Bergerac, Perigeoux, and Riberac, which is the closest town to Felard, where we were staying. The Barn belonged to your great-Aunt Linda and when she passed away, she created this incredibly complicated web of ownership. On Tuesday, you father and I stayed at the Barn, carrying one of the sofas outside to read in the warm Autumn sun and to snuggle and argue. We argue; it is our way of showing affection. You need to get used to it.

We got back late Saturday night and on Sunday I was so exhausted I could barely move. This is the thing about being pregnant that catches me off guard: I feel like I can keep up the same pace I did before and then BAM! I hit a wall and collapse like a rag doll. The back pain that seems to doggedly pursue my right shoulder spread to my right arm and it was agony.  I spent much of the day in bed, so tired I couldn't even focus on my new mystery novel THE GIGILO MURDER by Mehmet Murat Somer.  Can you imagine NOT being able to focus on a murder mystery when the detective is a transvestite hacker?

On Wednesday we went to Great Ormond Street's Cardiac Unit where they spent about 5 minutes trying to coax you out of the tight little ball you'd screwed yourself up into so they could convince themselves there was something wrong with you.  But there wasn't. You were so unflawed, the doctor was in shock. He even said that he'd expected to have to give us 'incredibly bad news' and was so happy he didn't. I can't help feeling a bit smug, as I am convinced they just need to let you be. But just in case, we will now be spending a good deal of time in  various rooms for ultrasounds, urine samples, and blood tests. 

We also met our OB, Dr Fakunde, who seems like a nice man and comes with an entourage. My arch-enemy at Maternity Reception was on he best behavior and. . . wait for it. . . your dad didn't even snap at the doctor. He might be allowed into the delivery room yet. . .