Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Trying to book the scan

MrM and I are not very patient with officialdom and today there seems to be lots of it including sorting out some road tax for him and arranging the scan for me. While sorting out road tax should be straightforward, we've waited almost a month for our documents to arrive, meaning that we haven't been able to drive the car for a month.

While MrM has to actually drive to the DVLA and announces that he is the 31st person in the queue, I call the hospital to book a scan. I am on hold for just over an hour, listening to the same message again and again. It's with a jolt of realisation that I realise that an actual human is shouting at me, asking if I'm here. She yells at me so loudly, that I can only pray that no-one can overhear her end of the conversation.

Firstly, she asks for my name and address and then repeats my surname at me in such a sneering tone that I wonder if I'd accidentally said: "Mrs Toilet-Paper-Flu-Bursting-Foam".

She then yells a date at me and tells me quite loudly and unnecessarily that this was the date of my last period. I suppress a laugh with a loud snort that she takes to be a confirmation.

She then offers me an appointment at the hospital (which is in walking distance of my house). The appointment is a month away (the end of June) and I can't make it. I tell her that I have to work as the real reason is unlikely to go down very well.

"But you have to get this done before the 14th as you've left this so late!" she shrieks. "So why have you given me an appointment two weeks after that date then?" I ask, perhaps a little unreasonably. "Hmmmm. You'll have to go to the other hospital. How is next week?" she asks. The other hospital is 30 miles away. I bite my tongue and agree but it seems the damage is done and I've already annoyed her. The appointment is at 8am.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


I've given up yoga; even my wonderful yoga teacher says it's bad for a pregnant woman. Particularly the standing-on-your-head bit that I do a lot of.

I am still swimming and doing a bit of running. I signed up for the Race for Life about a week before I realised I was expecting.

However, the biggest drag is that I can't go to my Monday and Thursday class. For about 6 months before I got married, I did the Lotte Berk method, the famous ballet exercise classes that are still run by Lotte's daughter, Esther. She is an amazing woman and though she put me through agony, I loved her classes and I actually lost weight and toned up so much that even my husband noticed....

I called her and asked if I was correct in assuming that I couldn't do her classes which involve a lot of muscle tone and sit ups. "I will not allow you to!" she said authoritatively, adding; "also, I'm not having you give birth in my class. You know how fond I am of my carpet."

She adds that she'll expect me back in January and I decide to forgo a glass of chocolate milk instead....

My boss

I have been dreading telling my boss. We're a very small business, so my not working for 6 months could make a drastic difference. Mind you, I've not done any work for the last five years, so half a year more won't make any difference.

I wasn't going to tell him for a long while yet, however, there's a very loud lady in my office who happened to be away, so I leapt in to take advantage of the empty office.

Stuttering away, when I finally finished what I had to say, my boss was genuinely thrilled for us and wished us the best of luck. "This is what life is about!" he said. "You're going to be a family - that's so much more important than writing press releases for a living!"

And, he is right of course, but what a relief and what a lovely thing to say!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Happy, happy, happy, panic, happy!

In the last few weeks, my hormones have been raging! I am an emotional person at the best of times, so at the moment, things are totally out of control and my wild mood fluctuations are even annoying myself! Most of the time I am ecstatic about the littlin, but then I will have a moment of panic where I think "WHAT HAVE I DONE?", "how am I going to cope?" "I am going to be the worst mum in the world!". The last thought disappears very slightly when I hear a mother telling her toddler to "f*** off" when I am on my way to a baby equipment sale later in the week.

But generally, there is a feeling of life about to change for the better. However, the panic returns later in the week when my "nesting instinct" (I dislike that phrase, but it's succinct!) kicks in. I am desperate to get the "spare" bedroom ready, and while I have painted three walls, the fourth needs plastering. A guy agrees to come and give us a quote, saying he'll be there at 5pm. I have a work meeting in Guildford at 2pm, so hammer home and make it back at about two minutes to five, turning up at the house at the same moment as MrM who didn't think I'd be back in time, so left work early.

The plasterer doesn't turn up, so MrM calls him. "We've both left work early to meet you at 5pm".

"I got there early at 4.45 and there was no-one in", he says.

Anyway, my nesting (I said it again!) entails lots of cleaning, and trying to get all of my mum's stuff out of the living room and into our bedroom (our bedroom is a storeroom - totally unuseable!). Unfortunately, when carrying a load of boxes of my mum's stuff up the stairs, I slip backwards and the whole damn lot lands on my stomach. I cry and cry and cry, however, there's no bleeding but the guilt of the damage I could have done will never leave me.

So combined with my isolation, MrM and I discuss whether to move house before the baby arrives. I think yes, then I think no - it's not fair on MrM who already has quite enough on his plate at the moment. But it looks like a "yes"...


I am very fortunate in that I work from home, so I can arrange my day to fit in the many appointments that seem to be required. The first one is moving doctors. I am so reluctant to do this (a couple of years ago I broke my finger and went to the local hospital who wouldn't see me because my doctor is miles away. "You have no right to access our health care services," I was told.

At breakfast, MrM tells me to stop whining and meets me later that day at our nearest surgery. I walk in first and a receptionist lowers her half moon glasses to peruse me. "Good morning," I say. No reply. I let out a huge breath, and MrM decides he will handle this before I turn around and leave. (If you haven't gathered at this point, I am hugely impatient! In my defence, I lived in Japan and Canada for a few years; so my expectations of customer service in the UK are constantly unfulfilled!).

The receptionist seems to be happier to deal with MrM, and asks him what his wife's name is. I answer. She checks that this information is correct with MrM....

Finally, she tells MrM that there is an appointment with a GP available for the following day. She asks if 3pm is acceptable. He asks me. I check my diary and say yes. He passes this affirmation onto the receptionist.

So the next day, MrM is busy and asks if I can be trusted to attend my GP appointment on my own. Amazingly, I do. I turn up again at the GP's surgery trying to be discreet (I never like people to know that I am not superhuman and occasionally need to see the doctor). I can hide all I want behind my newspaper but my name comes up on a screen at the front of the waiting room!

I go and see the doctor who stares at me when I enter. I tell him why I'm there. "I think I'm pregnant" I whisper. I think that might be the first time I've used the "p" word....

He stares at me.

And keeps staring.

"I thought I was meant to see the doctor", I add by way of explanation.

He stares a bit more and then finally says: "you don't seem pleased".

"Oh, I am pleased, but I just don't want to get too excited as it might go wrong," I say.

"How far along are you?" he asks, turning to his computer. I lean over to see what website he's on, and notice that he's putting the dates I'm giving him into "google" of all things. He then walks over to the corner of the room, and in pure Dr Spaceman of 30 Rock style, screams like a girl, and screeches; "spider, spider, spider!"

This isn't the reassuring manner I was hoping for. I ask him if he's ok and he asks me to retrieve some pregnancy leaflets from the pile of boxes in his room, before telling me to make an appointment to see the nurse, to ask at reception for a "Bounty pack" and staring at me a bit more as I leave the room.

I do all of these things and the previously foreboding receptionist magically dissolves into smiles when I ask for a Bounty pack. I get it home and it's full of marketing material, so gets put under a pile of baby books that I've currently got out on loan from the library.

The following week, I meet my sis and lil H for lunch and make an effort not to get my wee sample out of my handbag after carrying it around all day. It's like CHristmas as sis gives me a bag that contains a tent (which turns out to be maternity pants), loads of books, cream and other exciting things. Thank you!

Later, I return to the nurse, and as I hand over my wee, make some comment about my ongoing denial. She apparently had the same feelings, so tests it and according to the medical version of the test, I am indeed expecting. I think the fact that I haven't had any morning sickness is part of my denial - but I am grateful that I've escaped it all the same!She takes my blood pressure and is so gentle and reassuring that I feel better.

My next appointment is with the midwife. As I sit down, she asks, "where are you having the baby?". I haven't even thought about this and shout "home, no, hospital, no, home, no, hospital, no, home, no, hospital..." until she makes me stop, saying that it can later be changed.

She then gets out some forms and asks me the following questions:

"Are you Caucasian?"
"Are you pleased?" (here, she writes "pleased")
"Is your husband pleased?" (She writes "pleased" again).
"Are you and your husband related?"
"Do you want a Downs syndrome test" - this is a big question. I thought it was to do with a needle test, but she rolls her eyes and asks me if I haven't read the information they gave me last time.

Again, she takes my blood pressure (which is marginally higher than it was when I came in) and then makes me go to the toilet for a protein test.

I go home and stuff my face with biscuits.....

Friday, 27 May 2011

3 months in

Welcome to my blog!
I already have three others going on various topics, but thought I would chart the next six months of my life so I can look back and laugh at myself!

You see, I will be three months pregnant next week and have struggled to make much sense of what's happened in the last few weeks! However, from next week, hopefully, the odds stack up more favourably and things are (touch wood, touch wood), less likely to go wrong!

So it all started towards the end of March when I suddenly started feeling tired all the time. I am usually a bundle of energy from the moment I get up to when I go to bed. Until quite recently, I had two jobs and volunteered a few hours a week for a local charity. And then BANG - sleep, sleep, sleep.

Something was UP!

I did a pregnancy test. There's something quite unladylike about weeing on a stick, but there was no time to think about that as after 30 seconds or so, the control line had turned blue, and the line to tell you that you're pregnant was kind of....I couldn't tell. So I had a cup of tea and did another test. Same thing - frustratingly pale - was it there or was I imagining it? So I had to call MrM into the bathroom to check - still in a most unladylike pose.

I called him in to give me a definitive answer either way, but he responded by crying which I found equally confusing....

He said he thought it was positive, gave me a hug and said he loved me and was very happy (still blubbing!). I was happy but terrified; I am not cut out to be a mum. I went to sleep and had dreams about losing babies on buses and in the desert.