22 February, 2011

First GP appointment.

That's right, folks, I finally managed to get a doctor's appointment.

Just to get you all caught up with my state of mind at the moment, I didn't go to work yesterday. Sunday and Monday saw me pretty much horizontal from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. I'm nauseous 24/7, not actually being sick, but feeling like I'm going to any time I'm conscious (including midnight bathroom trips).

This morning, I hauled myself out of bed, had a genuine moment of panic as I ate my cereal because I honestly thought I might lose it, managed to pour myself into office-appropriate clothing and hied me on my merry way to the GP. He was exactly on time, which shocked me as no doctor I've ever had an appointment with in this country has ever seen me at the scheduled time.

Now, I know that you'll all find this funny, which is the only reason I'm going to write about what came next. Believe me when I say that if I didn't know you'd all get a genuine chuckle at my expense, I wouldn't put myself through the embarrassment.

He asked me how I was feeling, to which I burst into tears. *grin* Proper crying, mind you, not just a slight overflowing of the eyes. I feel so nauseous, just unbearably wretched, that when he asked the question I just couldn't handle myself. He just grinned, handed me a box of tissues and moved on.

The medical history section was particularly amusing... going into the details for the auntie that was born with a hole in her heart and severe scoliosis had his eyebrows up around his hairline. Even more amusing was the fact that about fifteen minutes after we'd moved on from the medical history entirely, he mentioned a routine test I'll have to undergo for Downs. It was only then that I remembered to mention the monster brother, I don't think of him as "Downs", I just think of him as "bro". The GP rolled his eyes and updated my chart.

All told, it was pretty normal. He doesn't want to give me nausea meds until it's just too awful to bear, and he said it should level out in the next few weeks so I'll do my best. My blood pressure's fine, my heart sounds fine, and I'm 8 weeks pregnant. He also gave me my postulated due date, which had Sister One over the moon (it's her birthday, October 6th). Of course, the chances of actually having my first baby on the predicted due date are slim to none, but she confidently decreed that I WILL have that baby on her birthday, and to hell with nature. *grin* We'll see.

19 February, 2011

Subconscious weirdness.

I've always had a slightly odd subconscious. Those of you who know me well will remember me talking about some of the slightly less normal dreams I have on a regular basis... the caterpillar that bit me and I started shrinking, the midget in a cartoonishly oversized ten gallon hat chasing me down the street with a gun, the night I managed to continue a dream I started the night before. I've had dreams about flying that were so vivid I can still remember how it physically felt to run down the street as fast as I could, leap as high as possible and start doing the breast stroke in mid air (because that's how you fly, you see). I've had bad ones too, where the flat came alive and wouldn't let me out (had that one twice, in two different settings), where loved ones die, or where Himself cheated on me (that one was so vivid I woke up the next morning still mad).

The dreams I'm having now can only be attributed to pregnancy hormones scrambling my brains. They're not just weird, most of them are STUPID. Last week, I had three dreams in one night, they are as follows:

1. Two girls I worked with at SPEX (tee hee) didn't realise I was on the other side of a booth in the bar when they were talking about how to get out of inviting me on a night out.

2. Loading a jacket potato with chili and having a very in depth conversation with a guy I've only met twice (again, SPEX colleague).

3. The sproglet was born with a full set of teeth, and began aging from the second it escaped my uterine gulag, so fast it looked like a five year old before we made it out of the hospital.

Then, of course, yesterday I read a list of ways to "predict" if you're having a boy or a girl, saw something about how if your leg hair grows more quickly than normal it's a boy... and dreamed I had two inch hair on my legs having shaved the day before.

Why can't I dream I'm having a lusty affair with, oh I don't know, Hugh Laurie? Sean Bean? Christian Bale? My subconscious seems to refuse to allow me to have those "normal" dreams that most women seem to have about celebrities. I mean, Alan Davies just doesn't count. Maybe it's because Himself is so hot my subconscious can't do any better? *cheese eating grin* I think I'll leave this one here before I dig a hole I'm not capable of leaping over in a single bound. I hope you're all having bizarre dreams right now in my honour. x

17 February, 2011

The Mimi.

I'm sure you all realise it by now, given the tagline on the blog and all, but I live in London. Land of permanent strangers. You're lucky if someone holds a door for you... then again, maybe you're not, because that means that seemingly lovely door holding person is either a tourist who will want directions, or a crazy person who will follow you down the street trying to silence the voices in their head by screaming at you to "REPENT!!!"...

The point of that little diatribe is this. I called The Mimi tonight on my way home from work. She was having lunch in a restaurant with two of her best friends, and after the obligatory "make Gabs really jealous by telling her what lovely American food I just ate that she can't get in the UK" session, she said "I'm going to do something you wouldn't let me do over there."

What did she do, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

She walked over to a total stranger's table in the restaurant and struck up a conversation with the woman. While I was on the phone with her. The instigation of this conversation? The woman was holding a baby.

You see, because I'm sprogging, everyone else's babies are fair game to the people in my life. I get it, it's hit me as well. Now that I'm growing one, babies are everywhere. I can't help but see them, and stare a little, and hope mine will be more attractive or less obnoxious. However, only in Texas could the following conversation take place...

Mimi: "He is so adorable! How old is he?"
Total Stranger: "Thank you! He's three months old."
Mimi: "Three months old?? He's so tiny!"
TS: "He was a preemie."
Mimi: (to me this time) "You'd better hope yours is small." (to the total stranger) "I'm on the phone with my granddaughter, she lives in London and just found out she's pregnant."
TS: "Oh, congratulations!"

And so on, and so forth.

Now, those of you who have lived or currently live in London, imagine this conversation happening in, say, your local Nando's. Can't picture it? Funny, that.

Mind you, this is the same woman who on one of her myriad visits here sat down on the tube next to a lady with wet hair (I would assume because she'd just washed it, which the next part supports fairly admirably). Mimi was struck by an attack of Texan and leaned over to let the lady know that her hair smelled nice... This shining example of London Commuter did not even blink. She was not fazed by this mad American woman commenting on her personal aroma, she was a seasoned Londoner and maintained a stone cold face.

I was in awe, I haven't quite managed the completely blank face, somehow there's always a smirk hiding in there no matter how hard I try... the smirk aggravates the crazies, in case you were wondering. The Mimi? She just looked befuddled as to why this woman didn't seem more pleased that she smelled good.

Sometimes I go slightly unhinged and think I miss Texas for the total stranger conversations... then I remember that I'm always the one who gets the nutters. The lady in Subway, making my sandwich and telling me that it's her dead son's birthday. The couple who ended up at one of the tables in my section letting me in on the fact that they're married, just not to each other, while they eat various bits of their lunches off of each other's faces. The bartender who thinks it's appropriate to inform me that his hobby is taking upskirt photos of girls getting out of cars.

I think the anonymity is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it's nice not to have to talk about where I bought my shoes with every girl that walks down the street. On the other hand, if Himself weren't in the picture, nobody would know I'd died until the smell bothered the neighbours.

Speaking of Himself, I mentioned to him this morning that a cousin told me sour candies quell nausea. He came home bearing two bags of sour sweeties from his favourite candy shop. Thank goodness for the boy (and his amazing capability to live with me on a daily basis without smothering me in my sleep). Our neighbours will never have to move because the smell of my rotting corpse got into the carpets.

15 February, 2011

Preggo, schmeggo.

When you watch movies, the pregnant women in them seem to float through life on a glowing cloud of happiness. I caught the end of "Notting Hill" earlier this week, and the scene where a heavily pregnant Julia Roberts is lying on a park bench with her head in Hugh Grant's lap, looking blissful and serene, nearly put me over the edge.

Movies don't show the constant nausea. You never see the heroine looking green around the gills, having to pee twelve times an hour, or burping in an attempt to settle her guts (for the record, the monster I just produced tasted of pears, honey roasted peanuts and Airwaves gum. Three guesses as to what I've eaten today... good thing I'm the only one in the office. *lol*). From the movies, you'd never even know the heroine HAD guts.

I feel like I haven't thought about anything for the last week but food. Let me explain before you get the wrong idea and think I'm sitting around pigging out... I'm constantly casting my brains about, hoping desperately to latch onto an item of food that the simple thought of which doesn't immediately make me feel nauseous. More than once, I've hit upon the idea of something that actually sounds quite appetising, have gone out to buy it, have gotten home with it and then and only then realised that there's no way I could possibly eat it.

The culmination of this joyous state of affairs is this: yesterday was Valentine's Day. I had all these plans, including decorating the house with a truly charming idea I found on dottie angel's blog (a personal favourite, she's a great read) and Himself had chosen a recipe that we'd seen on Come Dine With Me a week before. Normally, I relish the thought of a new recipe, and this one was French (which NEVER happens, Himself normally requests lasagna when we have a special occasion) and I was really looking forward to attempting it. That is, last week I was looking forward to it. *lol* This week, I'm constantly a little whoopsy in the equilibrium department, and the thought of chicken, cheese, eggs and parma ham all in the same place was NOT a good one.

I'll have you know I struggled through, for the sake of Himself's gastronomic pleasure. I didn't make it to the decorations, I only just made it through washing up the dirty dishes that had been in the sink all week... I've gotten slovenly in my nausea. *sheepish grin* I didn't eat any of it, instead had a salad with avocado as some of the endless research I've done says avocado is good for keeping the nausea at bay... FYI, not so much, but it must've worked for someone somewhere.

On the plus side, yet more of my endless research mentions that if you eat something while you're still in bed, wait twenty minutes and then get up slowly, the nausea shouldn't be as bad. Stop right there, those of you thinking "poor Himself, having to cater to Gabs and then go off to work"... it's not like I'm having mimosas and French toast. *lol* I bought some dried cranberries and some almonds yesterday, put them in my bedside table to keep the moglets from the cranberries (Sophie particularly enjoys them, but her litter tray does not) and gave those a go this morning. They didn't taste good, and I love both options, but I forced a handful down and had a few sips of water then waited to see what would happen. Lo and behold, I made it out of bed without wanting to hurl myself out the window into the street in the hopes a passing car would crush me to death because at this point ANYTHING would be better than constant nausea. *grin* I count anything that keeps me from suicide a win, so will be repeating that option in the coming days.

All told, and this is honest, I'm still happy about the sproglet. Even though he/she is determined to make me throw up my toe-na-nails, I'm utterly enchanted by the thought that it now has a discernible nose and is working on eyelids. I will, of course, make sure the Jellybean knows how much trouble I went to making these first months comfortable for him/her, and will expect fabulous Mother's Day cards.

Speaking of cards, I made a joking comment in passing last week that I wanted Himself to make me a ValDay card instead of buying one. What did he come home with last night? A handmade card, complete with cut out and stuck on bits. The motto on the front? "Eye Heart Ewe", in pictograms as it's meant to be. I almost broke down, but I think I managed to hide it as Himself is going to start thinking I've totally lost it if I cry any more, but the fact that he remembered that's what my mother always drew on my napkins for my school lunches was simply perfect. *sigh* Anyway, hope you're all well, go eat something totally drool-worthy in my honour.

10 February, 2011

Nights out and Star Wars.

I went to a friend's leaving drinks tonight. Obviously, due to my aforementioned condition, it was going to be a slightly different night out than we're used to having when we're together (we can get a little silly). I was on the cranberry juice (minus the vodka), and although I accompanied the smokers on a few of their trips outside, I didn't do anything other than longingly sniff at the air.

It was a good night, all told. I ate dinner at the pub, which is notorious in the area for good quality food for less cash than you'd expect to pay in a gastropub. I'll elaborate, for those foodies out there. Grilled chicken sandwich with crispy bacon and lettuce, fresh sliced tomato and red onion, wheat bun and huge chunky chips with homemade ketchup... *drool* But I digress.

I've become very spoiled in the last few weeks of not having to travel from Uxbridge to Paddington and back. My temp job is literally five minutes walk from our house, and I'll admit fully to not having missed the commute. Add to that the fact that I've begun to feel a vague constant nausea and you'll get the picture that I wasn't exactly looking forward to the trip into town tonight. However, the girl in question is a great friend, and I knew it had to be done, so I trudged home from work, changed into more comfortable clothes, packed a questionable romance novel into my ever-capacious handbag (read "suitcase") and headed out.

The journey in was fairly uneventful, I read my book and listened to a bit of John Mayer, got off at the other end and made my way to the pub. The friend whose drinks it was proceeded to stand up in the booth and announce my condition to the group of about thirty people I used to work with, which was fairly amusing, and congratulations rained down upon me from all and sundry (as well as a few "well done, mate"s for Himself, like it makes him more of a man for knocking me up). I also had more than my fair share of comments regarding the rapidly inflating upper region of my chesticular area... *grin* As the booze began to flow, hilarity reigned, and I settled in to watch people as their inhibitions slowly bit the dust.

Finally I was too tired to stay any longer, so I made my excuses and headed for the tube station. There were minor delays posted on the board for the Metropolitan line (the one I need to use to get home, of course) but I figured I'd left early enough that it didn't really matter, I'd still get home at a decent hour, and I still had plenty of the questionable novel to entertain myself. Although there were no trains listed for Uxbridge, I figured I'd just catch the first train and change at Harrow-on-the-Hill, so I plugged in the earbuds and found a seat.

An hour later, I finally made it to Harrow-on-the-Hill. For those of you who don't know London, that's quite a ways from Uxbridge. I'd made it through the end of John Mayer's second album, and started on Jason Mraz. Standing on the platform (which at that part of the line is no longer underground) was a bit chilly, but I had my scarf and plenty of frustrated people to shield me from some of the wind, and again, my questionable novel to keep me entertained. Train after train was announced... "Watford"... "Amersham"... "Northwood"... Not Uxbridge. People were getting more and more frustrated, with angry mutterings and flouncings about the platform. Then, after half an hour of interminable waiting, the announcement came... "The next Uxbridge train will be on platform 4 in six minutes..." We all gathered expectantly, with only a slight dip in mood as yet another Watford train pulled in and left practically devoid of travellers.

It's not often that Londoners combine their independent selves into a coexisting group comprised of total strangers. Apparently, the vagaries of Transport for London is one of the causes of this miraculous happening, because as the Uxbridge train finally pulled into platform 4, a single cheer became a handful of applause which turned into the entire platform clapping and hooting and laughing. We all boarded in good spirits, smiling benevolently at each other, pleased that we'd made it through yet another commute and happy to be that much closer to home.

Speaking of home, I'm there now, tapping away at the keys while Himself reads his Star Wars novel ("X-Wing - Wedge's Gamble", because I know you needed to know which one). The moglets are frustrated because I've hung a dress on the door to the wardrobe and it's impeding their neverending quest to invade said wardrobe and nest in my shoes. All is well in my world, hope it's copacetic in yours.

09 February, 2011

The real deal.



So, I thought I'd been having cravings for the last couple of weeks because I've been eating loads of tuna and pasta, seemed like that was all I wanted to eat. Tuna sandwiches with a cup of tomato soup to dip them in, and egg noodle pasta for some reason. That is, until Monday night.

Monday night, Himself called me on his way home from work as usual and asked if we needed anything (again, as usual). I said no, that I'd already been to the store but I wasn't really hungry anyway, and that I'd see him when he got home. I settled in with the cats on the couch and started flicking channels, getting the girlie TV out of the way so that Himself wouldn't have to suffer through it when he got home...

Half an hour later, it struck. All of a sudden, out of the blue, I was starving. It wasn't the usual "go rifle through the kitchen until I happen upon something that looks edible" hunger. It was specific, overpowering, CRAVING hunger. What did I want, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Cabbage.

That's right. Our local kebab house makes grilled chicken wraps with loads of onion, lettuce, tomato, and CABBAGE. Purple, crunchy, delicious cabbage. I texted Himself fairly sheepishly to ask if he'd pick up dinner on his way home, to which he graciously answered "of course", and the second he brought it home I tore it open and dove in. It was the single most delicious thing I've ever eaten, and I have a feeling we'll be helping keep them in business over the next few months... *grin*

Other than the bizarro need for cabbage, everything else is manageable. I'm still having crazy dreams and not sleeping super soundly, but I'm told that's normal, and I'm just taking it a little more slowly during the day to make up for it. The cats are grateful for the extra couch time, and I'm managing not to fall asleep every time I sit down which puts me one up on Granddaddy. *lol*

Out of curiosity, of those of you that have been preggo, how many of you didn't completely cut unpasteurised cheese out of your diets? Himself argues that you won't find a pregnant lady in France who doesn't eat soft cheese... or have the occasional glass of wine, for that matter. Thoughts?

05 February, 2011

Sprogging.


That's right, folks. The Browns are up the duff. *grin*

Shocked? That's okay, so are we. Seems I'm actually related to my mother (who got pregnant while on the pill more than once). Apparently I'm four or five weeks, which may seem like jumping the gun announcement-wise, but I think it'll be interesting to catalogue the changes to my body for future reference... you know, in case in a year or two I forget how miserable I was and decide we need another, I'll have a reminder of what it was like the first time... Heh, just kidding. At least, for now.

Physical symptoms aren't too bad at the moment. I've not had any morning sickness (touch wood), but my appetite is very odd. Half the time I'm starving to death, half the time I'm not hungry at all (like now, while Paul is eating lunch and I'm having a glass of orange and peach juice). I've got low level cramps pretty constantly, and it feels like there's a fishhook in my belly button tied to my spine. I'm tired, having bizarre dreams (bizarre even for me) and have barely eaten anything but tuna or pasta in the last two weeks, and my chesticular area is about to need new (larger) restraints, but hey, life is good. *grin*

The funniest aspect of being up the duff is my outlook. There are babies/pregnant women/kids EVERYWHERE. I never noticed them to such an extent before I was a walking incubator. If I sneeze, I automatically hold my stomach in a subconscious effort to not sneeze the baby out. *lol* I'm aware of everything I eat in terms of how much folic acid or calcium it has, and haven't even been tempted to have a cigarette after I quit the day I took the test.

So, I'll be updating here as and when things change. I'm already a weepy preggo, so I'm sure Himself will be seeking solace in the pub at least every now and then, I should have plenty of time to blog. *grin* See you soon.