Saturday, 27 June 2009

Update: Boobies

Saturday, 27 June 2009
Harmony resorted at Proctor House. 2nd maternity bra arrived in post yesterday. Old faithful -- the best nursing bra on the planet. Doesn't morph gazongas into funny shapes.

If you don't know about these already, you should:

They're like sports bras, no underwiring and very, very comfortable. They also have a handy little able-to-be-operated-with-two-fingers catch which opens the boob-panel part for easy feeding access.

Pricey-er than my other one (which came from eBay) but immeasurably preferable.

I just might go a bit nuts and order another one in leopard print.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Balconette. Push-up. Strapless. Enhancing. Minimizing. Triangulizing?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Well, 37 and a half weeks of scrapping, and up until now no one could say I hadn’t put up a fairly reasonable fight, but today the postman delivered the final blow. Here I am, sprawled on the canvas after a thrashing defeat, listening to the tolling of the death knell of my sexuality. Today my recent purchase off eBay arrived – the first of two maternity bras.

OH. EM. GEE. Believe me, the melodrama isn’t just a literary technique to help set the scene, it’s a completely crucial and necessary ingredient of my narrative of horror. YOU SHOULD SEE THIS THING.

It makes my boobs triangular! No joke. They look like 59% Polyamide, 35% Cotton, 6% Elastane white DORITOS.

GAH! Up until now, despite all my whining and complaining I suppose it would be fair to say that I like the shape of my body while I’m pregnant. There are lots of fringe benefits to having a big, fat belly:

  • Thighs look thinner in comparison
  • No requirement to suck in gut while walking past mirrors in department stores
  • Can waddle around in flip flops every day and not have to wear ‘proper’ office clothes at work

There is definitely something empowering in having a belly swollen with a baby that lends itself to a bit of extra self confidence, I think. “YAH THAT’S RIGHT, PEOPLE, “ I think to myself as I walk through the supermarket, “Get me! I’m building a whole new person. Boo-yah.” But that extra self confidence definitely took a hit when I tried on this maternity bra this evening to see how it felt. Comfortable: sure. Functional: undoubtedly. But DANG BROTHA, this thing is ugly. It’s sexless, forces my bouncing Buddhas into a ridiculous geometric shape and makes grown men wince with anguish, as Jason demonstrated with much protestation tonight as I stood looking at my reflection, puzzled, looking into the bedroom mirror just now.

“MY KNOCKERS LOOK LIKE EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS, “ I lamented to my husband. “But I guess they’re still the same underneath, “ I continued. Testing the water with an offer he usually can’t refuse, I said, “Go on, give ‘em a mash, then.”

“Er... I’ll pass thanks. That thing DEFINITELY looked better while it was still in the envelope.”

Monday, 22 June 2009

Yabba Dabba Ewwwww!!!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Well, here I am at 37 weeks + 1 day. I can’t believe it’s almost all over! I can’t tell you how many sentences in our house start with, “This time next month…” It’s all very exciting.

I think I am about 90% ready. I’ve packed my bag for the hospital! I went and treated myself to a few new pairs of pyjamas, and I’m sure it goes without saying that there was boundless amounts of joy and satisfaction to be had from filling up my overnight bag with teeny-weeny toiletries that I might need while I’m in hospital. Teeny-weeny shampoo! Teeny-weeny shower gel! Teeny-weeny deodorant, even! Bliss. I scored a bargain maternity bra off eBay today so as soon as that arrives I will officially be zipping the suitcase up. Hurrah!

Generally I’m feeling mostly okay, if I had to give you an update. That is to say, I’m not ILL or anything, but man: am I fed up. Here is my fed up checklist, for your reading pleasure:

Fred Flintstone Feet
I’m officially retaining water. This distresses me; I’m not exactly renowned for my dainty feet or anything... I know, I know... let’s get some perspective – I’m not a SHOE MODEL whose livelihood is under threat because of pregnancy-related ankle swelling but still! This is doubly bleak because not only do I look like I’ve just done a hundred miles in that car with rocks for wheels, I can’t actually reach my feet at this point to make them look a little better by painting my toenails or going at them with a pumice stone or my “Ped Egg”. AND... my toe rings are only still on because I can’t actually get them off. Sexy. You know, the other day I actually took a picture of my feet but as I type this I wonder if it’s reasonable to post it here. Some of the people reading this blog are amongst those I actually like!

Wonky Pelvis Bone
This has escalated to Defcon 2 in the past week. Rolling over in bed at night is particularly troublesome. Poor Jason... the guy can’t get a solid night’s kip these days. Because for some reason I feel compelled to give him a Running Commentary of Night-time Discomfort as I complete the rolling over manoeuvre:

I always start by tapping him on the shoulder, as if he needs some official advance notification of what’s about to happen.

“OW OW OW OKAY I need to roll over.” (grunt)
“If I could just... get this leg... a little more towards the... (groan) window!”
“Just need a pillow between my knees... higher, higher, yes okay! There! There! There!”
“....and... rolling! Almost there, almost there... almosttherealmosttherealmostthere!”

Then comes at least a full minute and a half (minimum) of dramatic sighing, exclamations about the level of difficulty of this rollover as compared to the last one, etc. I’m so unreasonable. I know. It’s terrible. Jason is a saint; all he does is sympathise and cuddle and placate me with "don't worry's" and "it'll all be over soon's" and "But you're having our baby; that's a wonderful thing's". The man deserves a knighthood for services to pregnancy. All I am doing is complaining and he's borne it all like water off a duck's back. Love the lovely Jason.

In happier news... I had my little ‘leaving do’ from work last week. It was really lovely; we all went to this nice Italian place last Thursday lunchtime and had a nice leisurely lunch. I got some fantastic presents from my team, including – wait for it – a gift certificate for a pedicure at the spa! I almost wept with gratitude. At least there will be one part of me that will look pretty in the stirrups!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Stupid Nesting Instinct Destroying Our House

Sunday, 7 June 2009
Note to future pregnant friends: when your wacko pregnancy hormones tell you it’s a good idea to clean out the medicine cabinet in the bathroom at 8.30pm on a Sunday night? Go and eat some chocolate in bed, instead.

Grrr... just now I thought it would be a good idea to check all the expiration dates on all the medicines and creams and lotions we’ve got in our bathroom cabinet. “Very practical, Nicola!” I hear you say. “How sensible, “ you might praise. How wrong you’d be! As it happens, just so you know... if you drop a GLASS bottle of expired cough medicine into your PORCELAIN bathroom sink, it’s not the £2 medicine that you were going to throw out anyway that comes off the worse for wear; our lovely white sink now has a helluva spiderweb of a crack in it.

I’m totally pissed off with myself. Anyway – thankfully the nesting instinct runs to silicones and mastics as well, because I have sealed the WHACKING GREAT HOLE in my sink with that until we can get another one. To pay for a new sink, I wish the nesting instinct could supplement my bank balance relative to the level of frustration I’m currently feeling. GRRRRRRR.

Be that all as it may, in happier news: I was at the midwife on Thursday. The Lovely Lynnette was brilliant as always; everything was all as it should be with the exception of slightly higher blood pressure. (Maybe in some psychic pre-emptive suspicion that 3 days later I would start smashing up the entire house, brick by brick, with an almost empty bottle of Tixylix). But probably because of the heat and humidity of the last week. “Nothing to worry about, “ says Lovely Lynnette. I’m still measuring big – 4cm big to be exact (same diameter as spider web crack mark in aforementioned sink, if anyone’s keeping track) – but she had a good old poke around and she says that the baby feels a perfectly normal size.

In heartbeat related news – she now thinks it’s a boy. What a tricky kid I’ve got! Heartbeat was only 138bpm and didn’t sound horse-ey anymore... was most definitely train-ey. The suspense is almost killing me! Stay tuned... 5 weeks and counting.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bet Your Bottom Baby!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009
To help pass the time while we're waiting for the baby to come, we've set up a Baby Sweepstake!

Click on the link below to register your vote for the baby's gender, weight and date of arrival. You could just win a very exciting prize. :-)


39 days to go. 22 days left at work. Let me tell you, Internet… this lady is ready to pop.

My girth (aka my planetary status) has in the last couple of weeks been elevated from a nice, respectable Mars/Venus right through to borderline Jupiter territory. Lovely Lynnette will tell me exactly how corpulent my belly is when I see her tomorrow; is it too much to hope that the visit goes like this?

Me: Good afternoon, Lovely Lynnette… may I present my gigantic tummy for you to measure?


Probably not going to happen.

But in other news, I have officially started ‘nesting’. Its onset has only been mild so far, but it was sufficient enough to kick me in the arse and make some progress on getting the baby’s room ready.

This is pretty big news, dear readers… you may remember that Ben was born in November of 2004. It was April 2005 before we moved him into his own bedroom. And the decision to move him out of his tiny little Moses basket into his big cot was forced upon us; he outgrew that Moses basket and it was only at the point when the poor kid looked like he was squashed into a half of a walnut shell that we decided we had better get his bedroom ready. Honest, we’re not neglectful parents! We were just. So. Tired.

So… the fact that we’ve had the bedroom ready from a full 7 weeks prior to the estimated arrival of this baby is a pretty spectacular achievement. Jason did all the painting, and with the help of this fantastic fabric called Fabler from IKEA, I sewed some curtains and cushions and other lovely treats. This is a nice segue into a topic on which I’d be grateful for some advice under my ‘Things I Will Do Differently This Time’ umbrella: “Sleeping Arrangements.”

With Ben, he was in our room for so long that we had total nightmares getting him to go into his own room. Honestly, the whole bedtime routine was such a shambles; we had to cuddle him to sleep (even at 8/9 months old) and the minute he was put down he would wake up. We had this ridiculous Bedroom Exit Strategy which took about 20 minutes from start to finish and saw us being slave to the following painfully laborious 12-step programme:

  1. Feed child. Enlist assistance of co-parent in advance switching on of all baby monitors, preparing of blankets, drawing of curtains, etc. prior to commencement of attempting to get child to fall asleep.

  2. Burp child.

  3. Cuddle child.

  4. While cuddling child, mute the TV and switch on the subtitles so you can ‘read’ the dialogue from Coronation Street to eliminate any superfluous background noise that may disrupt the child’s easy slip into gentle slumber.

  5. Establish that child is asleep. Listen for regular breathing, rhythmic rise-and-fall of torso of child.

  6. Stand up, very slowly. Once you reach a full standing position, FREEZE. Just in case the movement may have yanked the child backwards on his journey to Dreamland. Hold your breath for added effectiveness.

  7. Walk to the bedroom in slow motion. Enter the room and FREEZE. Ascertain whether journey from living room down the corridor to the bedroom disturbed the child in any way.

  8. Put the child down in his cot, but DO NOT remove your hands from beneath his body. FREEZE. Ascertain level of sleep/wakefulness before proceeding to Step 9.
    Slowly remove your hands from beneath child’s body, taking vigilant care not to interrupt or agitate the child. FREEZE: keep leaning over the cot so the child can still sense close proximity of parental body heat.
  9. Stand up only when you are sure the child remains asleep.

  10. Take a deep breath: you will need to hold it for the remainder of the Exit Strategy. Now, walk out of the bedroom – in slow motion, and also backwards.
    Turn the door handle to a ready closing position. Grit teeth to ward off potential squeaks.

  11. Pull the bedroom door closed, release the door handle in slow motion. FREEZE. Exhale slowly and quietly.

  12. Establish whether any movement can be heard from within the room. Cross fingers to invoke aid of fairies, kindly spirits, gods/goddesses or karma and only retreat to safety of the living room – in slow motion – once you are certain the child is fully asleep.

I’m NOT doing that this time… so our temptation is to put the baby straight in the cot and bypass the Moses basket altogether, unless I am in a bad way physically after the birth and I need to have the baby right next to the bed.

Is that mean? Will banishing my newborn to its own bedroom straight from the off give it some kind of complex or other in later life? I’m conflicted. Maybe I should use the Moses basket for a few weeks, and then move the Moses basket to inside the cot, and then gradually take the basket away so the baby is just in the cot. These are the things that keep me up at night.

… and my constantly full bladder.
…and my aching wonky pelvis.