Sunday, 25 September 2005

The long haul

Phew! Work has been manic! We’ve had 2 Open Evenings and an Open Morning, and that in between all the other more normal hassles of starting a new school year. As a result, I had to work last weekend to keep pace with myself. I calculated that over the past 2 weeks I’ve worked an average of 10 hour days, with one 13 hour day. Not easy at the best of times, but especially so when you’re nearly 6 months pregnant!
However, on the up side, my new chair arrived at work. That has made the world of difference to me! It enables me to teach while sitting, and still allows me to be visible to the kids on their stools. If only all problems were as easy to solve.
My indigestion has been getting steadily worse, despite the antacids, and I’m now down to eating about half what I used to be able to at one sitting, which means I’m constantly feeling peckish and hungry. I’m not convinced that all this eating regularly isn’t what’s making my indigestion so bad (as my stomach is now constantly producing acids to cope with the constant eating), but everyone assures me that it isn’t. I’m looking forward to a life without indigestion in a few months, please God!
My stomach is now really starting to get big, although everyone else tells me that it’s still small and expresses wonder at how trim I seem. Maybe my clothes are just baggy enough to hide it, but I certainly feel huge.
My back has started to hurt, so I imagine my pelvis has started to shift, and this is where the real prayers begin. I fractured my spine when I was young, and didn’t know it at the time. The upshot of that is that the sacrum (last few fused vertebrae) now points inwards instead of outwards (as it should). Ever since, it has given me lower back pain, especially when I’m tired/ stressed and/or the weather changes. My GP assures me it shouldn’t be a problem in labour and I’ll be able to give birth naturally, but I’m still not convinced it won’t cause me a heck of a lot of pain never the less. So, as my back pain returns, I’m praying this won’t add to it.
While things at work seem to be calming down somewhat as everyone settles into the routine again, I’m left pondering the long haul to Christmas. On the one hand, I’m pleased it’s several months away – I will need that time to do some more reading and prepare myself for motherhood (can you ever really be prepared for something so life-changing???) – and so Christmas seems but a breath away. On the other hand, I’m already tired of being large and uncomfortable and tired, and want it all over with as quickly as possible – and so Christmas seems a life-time away.
I’m excited about meeting this new individual and I want to get started on this new journey, and I want to do it now. Yet, I feel apprehensive about what exactly the future holds for Graeme and I, and I want to put off the change for as long as possible, keep things the same for as long as possible.
So ultimately I feel I’m just marking time – moving inexorably towards a destiny over which I have no control, but which I know will forever change my paradigm – and I HATE that (both the marking time thing, and the feeling of powerlessness thing). I can’t bear the thought of feeling like this for another 3 months. I want to enjoy this pregnancy, not be constantly fretting about how much longer there is to go.
I guess that’s one of the reasons I want to work for as long as possible – give myself something else to think about and focus on. Sitting around being philosophical only results in too much navel gazing (which leads to this sort of morbid introspection and depression) and not enough engaging with (and truly living!) life – SO, I’m off to do some baking now – engage myself in a useful leisure activity while I still can. A bit of comfort food, especially of my own creation, never went amiss!

Saturday, 10 September 2005

Back to work

Phew! I managed to survive the first week back at work. The kids weren’t too bad, although some of the girls did exclaim loudly when they saw how my stomach had grown! I’ve been inundated with questions about the sex of the baby, mainly from the girls, but decided that I’d keep them guessing for a while.
I’ve had to ask for a new chair as I can’t teach standing up, I’ve discovered. By the end of the day, if I do, my stomach is really tender and all I can do for the rest of the day is lie with my feet up. So, I’m getting a new one that can rise up to about 80cm, which should be high enough to sit on and teach. Of course, once the order is placed, it will take another 2 weeks before it arrives. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the interim, but I will definitely have to ask my TA’s to do more running around in the class, as well as setting more individual work from laptops or textbooks, rather than practicals, so that I can get a chance to sit down during lessons.
The other complication this week was that I’ve developed cystitis. Fortunately, because I’d had it before, I caught it early on and put myself onto a fluids regime that immediately improved it. I also went to see the doc, who’s put me on antibiotics. Joy. Actually, there’s an embarrassing story to go with that….
I was about 15 minutes late for the GP appointment and our surgery has a rule that if you’re more than 10 mins late you have to re-book your appointment. I was already stressed from teaching that day, and then even more stressed by being late. When I got there I told the receptionist that I’d be happy to wait till 6pm but that I absolutely had to see the GP that day, because I was pregnant, blah, blah, blah… 10 minutes later, I’m in with the doc. We get sorted, he gives me the ‘scrip’, which includes a ‘scrip’ for antacid (BOY! has my indigestion been bad of late!!).
Off I go to the chemist, get my stuff, and the woman behind the counter asks if I want a bag. No, says me, because that adds to waste and pollution, and it’s only 2 items and I have 2 hands. Of course, I say this politely! I get in the car, drive home, get out of the car, and promptly drop the antacid bottle, which is glass, and it shatters all over the pavement.
So, back on the phone to the surgery – I need another ‘scrip’ for the antacid. Why? I’ve dropped the bottle and it shattered. OK – come back before we close. Off I go, about an hour later to get the ‘scrip’. As I walk in, the receptionist takes one look at me and says, in a nice loud voice, so everyone in reception can hear, ‘you’re the woman who was late for her appointment and then dropped the antacid bottle’, and laughs. Yes, I smile sheepishly, that would be me. Sorry, she says, your ‘scrip’ still isn’t ready, you’re going to have to wait. So I sit and wait. About 15 mins later, I get my ‘scrip’.
Back to the chemist – where the pharmacist looks at the ‘scrip’, looks at me, and says – ‘But I just gave you one!’ Yes, says me, feeling even smaller, but I dropped it and it broke! He laughs, uproariously, knowing that I’d refused a bag the last time, hands the bottle to another woman behind the counter and says – ‘Give that woman a bag, otherwise she’ll drop it again!’
Sigh! At least I got it home in one piece that time….
The happy ending to this story is that I’m feeling better all round.
But before you think all is rosy in the garden of this pregnancy… I’ve now got leg cramps at night, which no-one seems to mention, but is apparently very common. (Why do you always hear women talk about how wonderful pregnancy is once you get past the morning sickness, when my experience has been that it’s full of really annoying aches, pains and complications?) Last night I woke up with such bad cramps I cried, and my tolerance level for that type of pain is not low! I had cramps on both sides of the same leg, and down into my foot, so couldn’t stretch either cramp out properly. Now, a good 8 hours later, my calf muscle is still aching.
So – in addition to my fluids regime, my course of antibiotics and my antacid regime, I’m now putting myself on a Calcium, Vit D, Magnesium and Sodium regime to try to alleviate THAT problem.
Still, I suppose I shouldn’t complain – when I see the images of the people in New Orleans, when I think about those still affected by the tsunami, when I think of the genocide still being perpetrated in Burundi and Rwanda and Sudan, when I think of the atrocities being committed in Zimbabwe, what’s a little cramp, eh? Kind of puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it? I have a wonderful husband, a lovely home, a good job, food on the table, clothes in the cupboard, my family and friends are healthy, my baby is growing well and I can worship in freedom – I’m richly blessed by God! I really shouldn’t complain.

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Second scan

We had the second scan yesterday morning, and all looks hale and hearty with the bump.
From what we couldn’t see, we deduce that bump is in fact a bumplette, which came as something of a surprise to us both. I guess we’d been gearing ourselves up for a serious discussion if it was a boy, and hadn’t really thought about the fact that it might be a girl. Never the less, we are both very pleased – girls are supposed to be easier to raise, right???
All fingers and toes are accounted for, all 4 chambers of the heart were working beautifully (although atria and ventricles working in tandem at this stage, rather than independently…), and all other measurements are slap bang on average – which is a good sign. Bumplette was very active (thanks to my sister-in-law’s tip about drinking coke before the scan!) and caused the sonographer endless hassle in trying to get her measurements. Just as she was ready to measure, bumplette would move again. Still, it was fantastic seeing her moving around, and the measurements were all done in the end, so no harm done I figure!
Now the real debate over a name begins. We seem to be gravitating towards a double-barrel surname (which is a comprise for both of us), but which way round still hasn’t been 100% finalised. We have a good idea, but the I think the final decision will rest on the first name we choose, so that it flows off the tongue as nicely as we can get it (which isn’t saying much – a double barrel surname like this one will never flow easily!!).
I’m just thrilled that at this stage of the game, all is well and normal! Anything else on top is just a bonus.