19 September, 2011

Updates all around.

So, we've had our UK baby shower. Saturday just gone we had a houseful of people, same setup as our normal Thanksgiving arrangements, just different food. Rather than mash and mac'n'cheese, I did finger foods and pink desserts. If you need a seriously decadent and delicious lemon bar recipe, let me know, I found one on Pinterest a few weeks ago for Strawberry Lemonade Bars that I used for the party, and they are truly droolworthy.

We were gifted a truly random assortment of bits. Some people used the list we registered for, some people went with gifts that meant something to them personally (like a replica of a childhood bunny from one particular friend), and some went with "pamper the mother-to-be" options. Then, of course, there was Darth Bunny. That's right, Darth Bunny. See below.

It was a good day. Himself's best mate from childhood came up from Essex with his new wife to stay the weekend, there was at least one representative from every office job I've ever had in this country, and even our driving instructor made an appearance. We ate, we chatted, we ate a bit more, people came and went, and I think a good time was had by all. I know Himself must have eaten his weight in food on sticks, so at least he was happy. *grin* That said, he fully deserved every bite he took, the man singlehandedly cleaned the house and rearranged the conservatory while also dealing with Demanding Preggo Gabs with aplomb. Will everyone please join me in a standing O for Himself... thanks.

Of course, I did manage to completely fail in one specific sense. Yours truly didn't take a single picture. I still can't really believe I let that slide so shamefully, and can only blame it on the preggo brains. By the time all the food was ready and people started arriving, I was so tired that I just settled in to chat rather than shoving my camera in people's faces as I normally do. *lol* I have been thoroughly castigated by Sister One and The Mimi, and have learned my lesson accordingly.

I had to get a flu shot the morning of the party. Apparently preggos are high on the list of priorities for said shots, so I dutifully trundled my way to the surgery to be voluntarily stuck. I took the car, as having spent the evening before standing in the kitchen getting food ready for the party I wasn't in the mood for a mile and a half round trip walk, but I might have made it there faster if I'd sucked it up and perambulated rather than driven. That's right, folks, I got lost on the way to the doctor. The doctor that I've seen every two weeks for the last several months. In my defense, when one walks to the surgery, one takes a pedestrianised route, and to drive it is a little less straightforward, but still... egg on my face doesn't quite cover it. I made it to the doctor about five minutes late, and luckily they still saw me in good time, so it all worked out. Unfortunately, I now feel completely out of it and my eyes are hot, so I'm thinking that's the expected flu shot side effects rearing their ugly heads.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day at work, which is a bittersweet deal for me at the moment. I've enjoyed working with the girls at Coca Cola, it's been fun, and I won't lie and say the money didn't come in handy. That said, I'm completely exhausted. *lol* I could use a week or two to just be in the house, maybe take the occasional nap, I don't know, do laundry? That said, with my luck, Madam will decide that tomorrow night is The Opportune Moment to arrive in all her glory, but a girl can hope. So think "stay put" thoughts for me, at least for the next few days.

14 September, 2011

Big daddy.

I've been thinking about fathers a lot lately. In a specific to my life sense, that is.

In a specific sense, because it sucks that I didn't have a "daddy" the way little girls do in the movies. I mean, I had The Granddaddy, and he more than made up for any crappiness on the part of my actual father or stepfather, but it still wasn't... well, he wasn't my father. My father was too busy perfecting his lying and thievery, oh, and making my stepmother's life as miserable as humanly possible, to be the kind of daddy I needed. I couldn't depend on him for anything, and learned at an early age to take anything he promised with a hefty grain of salt. And the less said about my childhood relationship with my stepfather, the better.

In a specific sense, because Himself didn't have a "daddy" the way little boys do in the movies. He only had his father around for the first eight years of his life, and when questioned he says that they didn't really play or spend time together even when he was there. The rest of the details aren't mine to share, suffice it to say that Himself was just as fatherless as I was growing up.

In a specific sense, because Himself is going to be an awesome dad. Madam is going to have the father I always wanted for myself, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't envy her the tiniest bit. He'll be there for the first steps, first words, first day of school. He'll be there to teach her how to ride a bike, to help her with homework, and to help her be silly. He'll be there to support her at whichever lessons she decides to take, be they dance or gymnastics or karate, simply because he loves her just as she is.

She's a lucky little girl. I intend to help her understand just how lucky she is when she finally deigns to make an appearance. Not sure yet how I'm going to explain why she doesn't have grandfathers, but she'll have plenty of grandmothers, great grandmothers, aunts and great aunts to make up for the lack, same as I made up for fatherlessness with a grandfather and grandmother, mother, stepmother, aunts and greataunts. And hey, I turned out all right, right? *grin* Right.

07 September, 2011

I only scare the people that love me.

Namely, The Mimi. And Himself, of course.

On Sunday, I woke up in the middle of the night. I assumed it was because I needed to pee (which is usually the case). I handled that, then got back into bed thinking I'd go back to sleep as usual, only to find that the reason I was awake was actually because my stomach was twice as hard as it usually is and hurt like bejeezus. Madam was flipping out in there as well, more frantic movements than I've ever felt, and constant ones as well. I knew it wasn't Braxton Hicks, it was more a constant pressure from just under my boobs to my bellybutton, nothing lower down, but BOY it hurt. The only thing that seemed to make it a little better was sitting up, so I would sit up for five or ten minutes then try to lie down, which made it hurt all over again. I finally ended up propping up with all my pillows and half sleeping sitting up... not the most restful state.

I managed not to disturb himself too badly, which is a bonus in itself because the man sleeps lighter than The Mimi does (which for those of you that know The Mimi, you know is a big deal) and finally fell asleep again around half six in the morning. On Monday night I flopped into bed, completely exhausted from my lack of sleep the night before heaped on top of a fairly busy day at work, only to find that my stomach still hurt too badly to get comfortable. It was a patchy night's sleep yet again, so on Tuesday morning when I got up I called the doctor to try and get an appointment to find out what's going on in there. True to form, there were no available appointments, but the lady at the surgery's reception told me I should call my midwife rather than just let it go. The midwife suggested I come out to the hospital after work to be checked out just to be safe, so I toodled home, collected the car and my medical notes and headed off to Hillingdon.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with a fairly hectic scene. Apparently every single preggo in the borough had decided yesterday was the opportune day to go into labour. No joke. Triage was full, there was a girl (and I say girl for a reason, she couldn't have been twenty years old) in the examining room because there were no available beds upstairs in the ward who got to five centimeters dilation before they finally found a place to put her, and there were no doctors to be had. The poor triage nurses, all two of them, were rushed off their feet doing all they could (namely checking urine, blood pressure and fetal heartbeats) and trying to explain to a number of angry husbands why their wives couldn't be whisked off to a private room somewhere. Having waited for three hours, I finally decided that if there were no doctors to be had, I'd be better off waiting at home, and as my urine/blood pressure/Madam's heartbeat were all totally fine (and in the case of her heartbeat, very strong and regular) I was allowed to leave based on my promise to get a doctor's appointment today.

So this morning I called the surgery again, explained what had happened last night, and was given an "emergency" appointment. I got a different doctor than the one I normally see, which was actually sort of reassuring because I'm never sure if my regular doctor is just telling me what I want to hear (he's got a permanently amused face). This doctor heard my tale of midnight awakenings and had a quick examination of The Bump (which Madam did NOT appreciate, and proceeded to kick him at every poke, to which he exclaimed "she doesn't like to be fiddled with!"... ya think? *lol*) and took my blood pressure again. He declared her heartbeat to be strong and regular, mentioned that my heartbeat and blood pressure were remarkably steady given the weirdness my body's putting me through at the moment, and said that everything feels fine. His verdict? My hypermobility is rearing its ugly head in new and different ways. *sigh* He says that my muscles are overcompensating for the fact that my ligaments are letting go, so they tighten up randomly in an attempt to hold my body together. Like at four in the morning. Which means the pain I'm feeling now, post-episode, is simply a strained muscle. He also mentioned that he wouldn't be a bit surprised if Madam made an early appearance, and made me promise I wouldn't undertake any major exercise or shopping trips. Lucky the nursery's pretty much done, eh?

So, forgive me if I frightened you, Mims. I will do my best not to do it again, and I will make Madam apologise to you as soon as she gains the power of speech. *grin* So back to work with me, to answer phone calls with my feet up. Happy days.

04 September, 2011

Pre-motherhood trips of the guilty variety.

I've been an excellent pregnant person. Well, from the side of being responsible, anyway, Himself might have a different opinion about how excellent I've been... *grin* I eschewed my beloved blue cheese, my constant companion sushi, and given up booze and caffeine. I started eating things like kale and flax seed. I drink two litres of water a day, and take my pregnancy vitamins like a good girl. All of this I have done for the love of the wee one I'm incubating.

That said, I'm just about ready for her to be OUT OF ME.

Her hiccups are annoying. I don't care how many women tell me that they loved the feeling of their unborn lovelies when they got the hiccups, you're not going to shame me into lying about it. It's bloody hard to go to sleep when Madam decides it's time for uterine gymnastics, which normally occur around about the third bathroom trip (3am ish). My stomach is so tight it feels like I'm about to burst like an overripe melon, which my midwife attributes to the fact that I haven't gained any fat during the pregnancy and also to my apparently strong abdomen muscles (wasn't aware I had any). I'm out of breath all the time, my hips hurt, and I'm only comfortable if I'm sitting upright and crosslegged (which my chiropractor has expressly forbidden) or lying on my left side.

(I'm now having to regather my thoughts, as Himself's cat has just left her perch on his lap to walk directly across my abdomen and settle on the arm of the couch near me.)

I know that when she comes out of me, it will all fade. I'm not promising that I'll forget it enough to embark upon this insanity again, but I'm sure I won't take it out on her. Much. *grin* And please don't mistake this mini-rant as "everyone tell me how sorry they are that I'm not enjoying being pregnant", it's more "my memory is terrible so I've captured this particular time in my life on the blog so I can't forget it later".

In other news, the mural in the nursery is finished. Himself has truly risen to the occasion, and I'll admit I've been put to shame by his artistic abilities. He can look at a picture and copy it, and I mean, copy it exactly. So, JB will come home to a nursery which hosts the Cat in the Hat, Calvin and Hobbes, Simon's Cat, Stewie from Family Guy, and (my personal favourite) an enormous Totoro. We're waiting for a replacement piece for Madam's bed, but it's meant to come tomorrow, and I'll post pictures when it's less "bomb site" and more "baby's room". As it stands, I don't think I've every seen a nursery I liked more. It's turned out to be everything I hoped for but on a grander scale. I heart it majorly.

While I've been less productive in the house lately (lack of breath tends to do that to me), I've gotten a little done today. All Madam's clothes and blankets have to be washed with sensitive skin products before they can be used, so I've begun rotating everything through the wash. I'm on the third load for today, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a little soppy pairing all the tiny socks. I'm still having a hard time believing she'll be so small when she finally deigns to relinquish her hold on my insides.

I'm still temping at Coca Cola through the 16th of this month, and the baby shower is on the 17th, so the next little while will be a little frenetic with work and preparations. I'm genuinely looking forward to getting everyone together for one last shindig before Madam takes over our lives, and as The Mimi knows (because she got to me young), I do love to throw a party. I've been driving himself batty with talk of decorations and food. Ask me whether he cares one way or another? The only opinion he's offered is that he'd like cheese and pineapple on sticks and little sausages... it's times like these that I'm reminded of how much I adore that man. *grin*

So that's life as we know it for the mo. I'm going to go fold some more tiny clothes. And I won't be getting weepy over them. Not even a little. So there.