Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Bumpity bump

Yesterday was the first time someone told me I was starting to “bloom”. I wasn’t sure how to respond, since I hardly feel like I’m blooming. This past week I’ve had almost daily headaches (I think I need new glasses) and I’ve been getting the most incredibly painful muscle spasms in my lower abdomen, so much so I went to see my GP.
Turns out that it’s all hayfever related (although my hayfever has been really mild at the moment). I’ve merely strained the muscles in my abdomen wall as a result of all the coughing I’ve been doing (hasn’t let up since I had my cold). She prescribed some stuff which should start helping shortly, I hope, but I have to take it for 6 weeks, which I’m not too thrilled about.
Of course, having strained my stomach muscles, I really can’t lift anything – even light stuff hurts, which means that, while I can pack for our move (only 10 days to go, only 10 days to go!!), I’m now legitimately unable to carry anything. (Hee hee! You have to take pleasure in the little things!)
However, on the up side, my bump has suddenly turned decidely (small!) bump shaped, rather than just being a redistribution of my fat layers! I now feel legitimately pregnant, rather than just fat. Actually, having weighed myself, I haven’t put on any weight in the past 4 months (can you believe we’re that far already??), which rather surprised me, given how massively huge and unattractive I’ve been feeling. I had thought I would pick up 2 kg’s by now, but not so!
The kids at school all found out today, and I was given a round of applause in assembly… and the first comment one of my mentees asked (in a rather plaintive tone) was, “But who will be our mentor next year then???” (all together now….. ag, shame!) Again, I’ve been surprised by how excited they are for me – they’re only little, yet somehow most of them instinctively understand what a big deal this is. Rather touching, really.

Sunday, 17 July 2005

I'm sick, and FAT

Everyone says that during pregnancy they bloomed – never been so healthy, never felt so well, never had so much energy. Well, they’re liars, I tell you, liars! I’ve never felt to tired, and sick and weak, and unwell….
While the nausea has been retreating and disappearing (thank God!!), it seems I’ve begun to be plagued by other illnesses. First there was the diarrhea bug I picked up from the kids at school 2 weeks ago. Oh what fun! Then there was the cold I picked up from the air-con while on a training course for a day last week. Joy abounds! So over the past 2 weeks I have not been a happy camper.
In the midst of all this, I preached the same sermon 3 times at church – sitting on a bar stool, I might add – and got plenty of sympathy and well-wishing from all who attended the 3 services. (That was nice – the sympathy, I mean!). I’m tired, and in the heat wave London is having (which is great – blue skies and sunshine abounds!! YAY!! A real summer!) I am feeling even hotter and fatter than usual. And I still have 2 weeks left of school this term….
Speaking of which, several people have started commenting that I’m already showing. I hate to disillusion them and embarrass myself by saying – no, actually, that’s just my fat! – so I keep my mouth shut and smile sweetly and everyone stays happy (except me, who feels even fatter as a result, and therefore goes and does an impulse buy of a very nice, evening/ special occasion blouse for comfort). (Eating chocolate doesn’t help – that just makes me fatter, which makes me more miserable!) Roll on 5 months when I will legitimately be showing and it won’t just be the fat everyone is seeing!
Still no decision on the name (do you KNOW how many names there are out there??!?!?!!?!), but we’ve decided when we have our next scan (end of Aug) that we want to know the sex, so that should help. And no decision yet on surname either…. sigh!
Let’s hope that this last stretch before the holidays sees a massive improvement and that I enter the ‘blooming’ phase, because otherwise I fear I’m going to be so tiresome I’ll bore even myself to death!

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Surprises and frustrations

My head at school announced my pregnancy to the staff yesterday. I was suprised by the different responses people had towards me. Staff I hardly know were wanting to hug me (uh… personal space?? hello?? You’re still a stranger!) and pat my tummy (hmm… there’s nothing there to see yet!!! apart from my pre-existing fatness, and I don’t want you patting THAT, thank you!). Others were genuinely shocked (they had not put 2 and 2 together, clearly – the signs were there to read for those who cared to notice), but absolutely thrilled for me, which was nice; left me with a warm fuzzy feeling towards them.
I guess I’m going to have to start getting used to complete strangers coming up and wanting to rub and pat my tummy. I mean, friends is one thing, but strangers is a completely different ball game! After all, it’s my body and my personal space, and I haven’t invited them to get intimate with me. Right? I think I’m either going to wind up being really rude to a lot of people, or really angry with suppressed frustration because I’m determined not to be rude to people. Sigh!
On the tube today, as I was coming home, it got quite hot (either it was really hot, or else I was just feeling it more than everyone else, or a bit of both). I started to feel really faint, and found myself getting angry with men who were sitting in the priority seats, while I was standing. I had to keep reminding myself that since I don’t have a tummy I can’t expect them to mind-read that I’m pregnant. (Even then, many Londoners are not gracious and won’t give up seats on the tube.) There should be some sort of badge that ante-natal clinics hand out to women in the early stages of their pregnancy that they can wear to identify themselves so that others can be considerate towards them, don’t you think?
I’ve been utterly amazed at the response we’ve had from people to deciding to use the blog to communicate! I’m really pleased that so many of you seem to think this is a good idea and that it will be better than email. We aim to please!
Anyway, those are my surprises and frustrations for the day, for what they’re worth.

Sunday, 3 July 2005

First scan

Graeme and I went for the first scan on Friday. WOW!!!
I’d been having these irrational fears that this pregnancy thing was all in my head and that when we got there, there’d be nothing to see. Completely irrational, but there you are.
To see our baby’s little heart beating, to see his/her little hands, and feet, and ears, and nose, and brain…. there are no words really to describe it. Conception and the start of a new life – it’s a miracle. How else can you describe this amazing process?
Even at 13 weeks, our baby already has all it’s major internal organs and from now on it’s just a process of growing and developing them to full capacity. Wow!
Needless to say, I cried for joy.
Now that it’s real, we have to start the process of choosing names in earnest. I guess it would help if we could figure out what surname to give it. No doubt there will be arguments about that too. So we went shopping for a baby names book today, and already the disagreements about naming has begun. Family name or not? Biblical? African? Afrikaans? Irish? Still, we have another 7 weeks till we can find out the sex of the baby.
Actually, we’re not too sure whether we want to know or not. There are pro’s and con’s both ways. The main pro is that you can start to build a real relationship with it – not having to call it ‘it’ all the time. The main con is that you won’t have the surprise at the end of all the pushing and pain!
General progress is good. The tiredness is starting to improve, although I’ve discovered how quickly I tire now. I think I’m going to hate how incapacitated I’m going to become – can’t do long walks, can’t go up stairs, can’t carry stuff…. The nausea is still with me, although it too is better than a few weeks back. While everyone assures me it will pass, I think I’ll believe it when I see it!
Still, when I look at the photo of our little baby, somehow, all the illness and tiredness seems managable – after all, it’s a tough job growing a brand new body from scratch!