Archive for August, 2009

Shallow? Moi?

OK OK, the lack of comments sort of suggests that you would like me to write about something other than pregnancy and babies and the fact that I CAN FEEL HIM/HER MOVING (I think). But… sigh… it’s the biggest (good) thing that’s ever happened to me and it’s on my mind all of the time, so just bear with me.  And I will write about something else soon. The yarden! I will write about the yarden.

But in the mean time…

I think I always had the notion that when I was finally expecting a baby, I would become more serious and deep and stuff. That I would feel deeply engaged with the act of creating a new life. I can be fairly serious and thinky anyway, and I assumed that I would become more so when with child.

But herein lies Pregnancy Surprise #508: I haven’t. If anything, I’ve become more shallow, and sillier.

When I had my first booking appointment with the midwife, she remarked that it was good I would be really big in winter rather than hot and uncomfortable in summer. “I know! I’m going to buy a really fancy maternity winter coat!”, I responded. She looked at me like: “priorities”. But I cannot WAIT to go maternity clothes shopping (confession: I sneaked into Topshop Maternity the other day, and was only mildly horrified at what maternity jeans look like).

When I first saw the little one on a scan (at around 7 weeks, thanks to a rather nailbiting scare which thankfully came to nothing), I didn’t well up or feel suddenly at one with the universe. I laughed. And maybe squeed a little bit. It was just such a gleeful thing: a little bean! In my belly!

I love reading baby books and websites and magazines, and I love wandering dreamily through the aisles of tiny widdle clothes in the shops. I’m a total sucker for the whole baby hullabaloo, and while I’m aware it’s all marketing, and thankfully have managed to restrict myself to ogling adorable sheepskin slings in the pages of magazines rather than spending actual money on them, I feel very happy to wallow in it after waiting for (feels like) ages to be able to.

But most of all, while I am of course aware of the gravity of bringing a new life into the world, etc etc, a big part of me is thinking SQUISHY BABY! CHOMP! I’m sure I will look into my baby’s eyes and see galaxies of wisdom unfolding and all that… but that’s if I’m not too busy cramming his/her whole feet into my mouth and squishing his/her little thigh rolls and blowing raspberries on his/her belly and nibbling his/her cheeks. And putting him/her into plantpots and dressing him/her in hilarious/adorable outfits.

In short, this baby is bringing out my frothy, giddy side, big time. And if you know me well, I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s a good thing.

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False Advertising

I do a lot of interwebbing around the subject of pregnancy- finding out whether my baby has finger buds or proper fingers that move, etc. At first the information was slightly disheartening. For so many weeks it seemed to be a little question mark (in more ways than one), with a tail, and no face. The last few weeks, of course, have been packed full of thrilling information. It has all its bits! It’s hiccuping and peeing! It’s basically a tiny tiny little actual baby. Hurrah!

However. The general consensus on information sites seems to be that the second trimester is the “glowy” one. The bit of delicious smug jam in the middle of gnarly discomfort sandwich. Your sickness has disappeared, I read. You feel so much better! You’re full of energy.

I am not glowing. At 15+ weeks in, I have had a UTI for three weeks (tears hair out) which three courses of antibiotics haven’t shifted, I’m plagued by dreadful migraines, and yesterday only lunch remained in my stomach . At least I can complain about it loudly and publicly now, though, instead of greenly mumbling something about “something I ate, probably” at work, before dashing loowards once again.

None of this is bad enough to make me me lose sight of the basic wonderfulness at the heart of all this discomfort. Today I’m off to the midwife, and hoping to hear Bean’s heartbeat (but promising self not to become paralysed with panic if the midwife can’t find it). And at least it’s forced me to take a look at my working patterns and, well, chill them the heck out.

And on another positive side, I’m finally starting to grow a very small, but very round and definitely there, bump. My jeans won’t do up and even leggings dig in uncomfortably . I’m holding myself back from dashing to Topshop Maternity (once I can drag myself from my sickbed/sofa, that is), as I’m more too-much-Christmas-dinner size than there’s-a-lumping-great-baby-in-there size, and there are many inches to be gained before I spend my hard earned cash on fashionable parachutes/tents, however darling they may be.

***Edited to add: I heard the heartbeat. Happiness. But also, another bit of false advertising: it does not sound like galloping horses. It sounds like a heartbeat.  A very fast baby heartbeat. With the odd “doof!” when the little one kicks. Why the thing about galloping horses? An uneccesary simile, if you ask me. Spade/spade, and all that. ***

A Blip on a Screen

Our weekend was spent at a music festival. I hardly need to tell you that we booked this marathon of camping,  questionable portaloos, drinking (but not for me, obv) and late nights, before The Bean put in an appearance. I was dubious about going in my new status as incubator, but equally determined that I can be a normal human being who has fun and stuff, despite (and because of!) the baby in my belly.

When I was fretting pre-festival about exposing my baby to mud, noise and what could essentially be one huge swine flu party, I searched the web for advice on forums and others’ experiences of going to festivals while pregnant. Other mums-to-be had posed questions very much along the lines of what I was thinking. One answer, from a hardened festie-going mother, stood out for me: “remember, you are exposing your baby to fun and unbridled joy!”.  I bore this in mind throughout the weekend.

At times it was a little trying. A couple of moments I wimpered at how tiiired I was, and how everyone was druuunk, and how often I needed a weeeee. I was tucked up in my sleeping bag and ten layers of woolen clothing by 11pm each night.  But I loved taking The Bean dancing in wellies (I was wearing wellies, but I like to imagine he/she was too) and laughing so much my jelly belly hurt, and eating a whole lot of hot doughnuts.

One moment was truly powerful and still makes me tear up thinking about it. We (me, G, our friends and MC Beanie B) were watching The Streets, and a track with a sweet melody which I hadn’t heard before started. The sun was going down, the crowd of thousands was revelling in the music. I put my hands in the pockets of my hoodie and cupped my fingers round my sort-of-bump, closed my eyes and swayed/squelched, having a private moment and talking to The Bean in my head. Are you happy in there? Are you dancing? Who are you going to be, little Bean? I wasn’t really listening to the lyrics of the song, just having a heart-swelling emotional moment.

When my mind tuned in to the words Mike Skinner was intoning, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The track was called A Blip on a Screen, and it is about his unborn child.  

(Warning: You might cry. Mum/Anna- that goes for you especially)

A blip on a screen/ You don’t know me/ I think about you/ And what you’ll grow to be

It was exactly what I was doing and thinking.  The coincidence was incredible, and made the moment even more special for me. It showed me that just as people you love who have died can come to you at the most unexpected moments, so can those who you have not been lucky enough to meet yet.

I fix and I plan/ But this is just mad/ I love you/ You’re only a hundred pixels on a scan

ps I’d like to say that I promise I’ll write about something else other than The Bean sometime soon. But, well, I can’t promise that. Sorry!