Monday, 29 August 2011

22 Weeks

MUMMY

I'd like to start by taking a few moments to express my disappointment in the medical profession this week. On the whole, I think we have a pretty fantastic system in Britain but I have to say, I've not been impressed by GP visits for a few years now and this week, I was particularly miffed.

As I mentioned, I had another appointment with my midwife this week. As per every other visit to date, her phone went off literally every 2 minutes, she was totally distracted and just wanted me out of her room as quickly as possible ensuring she just about did enough to tick some boxes. On doing her standard taking of blood pressure etc., she asked if there was anything else, as if I really had outstayed my welcome already and I said, yes, there is actually, there are quite a few things!

I explained to her about the severe shotrness of breath and fainting episodes and that I had read this could be related to lack of iron so she offered to try to quickly take a blood sample. She failed miserably and after wiggling the needle about in my arm for a good 30 seconds or so (this was very painful) she gave up and said the best thing to do was just go and see my GP and get some blood samples taken there.

I then told her that I didn't feel I had enough information about what would happen next in the local area with regard to classes, options I should be considering for birth, basically, what I should be doing at the moment (as I'm not really doing anything and some friends have asked me if I have registered with a hospital yet etc.). She very hurriedly told me the best person to ask when classes are on is the receptionist as she didn't have the details to hand.

Grrr, so basically, no joy with the midwife. Taking her instruction though, I made an appointment to see my GP where I wanted to discuss with him the fainting, shortness of breath and the ongoing eye infection I am suffering. After explaining to him the three things I wanted to talk to him about, he told me I would need to make an appointment with the nurse to have my blood taken and that with all three ailments, I should just monitor them and go back if the conditions continued. This seems to be a standard line every time I go to the GP. I don't go to the doctor's lightly so normally it is after something has been hanging around for far longer than it is supposed to and having already monitored it, it hasn't gone away.  I would have thought that fainting three times was enough monitoring but apparently not. Likewise, with the eye, which is no worse but no better after about 3 weeks, I am to continue monitoring!  Awesome.

So, after the third attempt and three separate appointments, I finally got my blood taken on Thursday (to give credit where it was due, the phlebotomist was a genius with blood taking and I was in and out within a couple of minutes and I barely felt the needle - a true pro). I won't get the results for a week or so but I get the feeling I will just have to live with the shortness of breath and dizzy spells.

On a more positive note, the lady who takes aqua natal, who is a retired midwife, is really great and I am so glad I have been attending her classes. I have learnt far more from her classes than from my own midwife and she really seems to care about how we are all feeling about giving birth and has divulged some very useful information. I am really enjoying the classes and have met a couple of ladies who are right up my street so I'm looking forward to getting to know them better. I've been really missing normal female company (not something I get in my job) and being myself around people (rather than a very angry work-frustrated lady). My only complaint was lack of jelly babies after the class. It did not go unnoticed. Hmph.

I have one final thing to moan about this week (as if you would expect any less of me!) and then that's it - I think. So, God, yes, work. Did I ever mention that I HATE my job? Blimey, this week, I was ready to walk out. I must work at The Most Unsupportive Workplace in the World. Apart from the fact that the department is full of oddballs (but not the kind of geeky IT oddballs I have very much enjoyed working with in the past - there is a special breed in the finance sector - socially awkward AND extremely arrogant) where there are literally only a couple of people that I actually enjoy the company of, there just seems to be no support or understanding whatsoever from my manager or the project managers (who like to think they are my managers and have failed to identify the distinction between managing a project and managing the people) I work with. People at work only ever ask me how I am feeling, and this is rare, when they are about to follow it up with a request to take on more work, more responsibility, perform a task quicker, stay at work later, work the weekend etc. etc. My response to the question doesn't seem to be have any bearing on the request that follows and this week I have felt particularly under pressure. It's tiring enough commuting for 2 hours each way and dealing with people who are intent on doing IT the wrong way at the best of times but when I am pregnant as well, it is bl00dy exhausting. The department I work in is almost entirely male and I think they have literally no idea whatsoever what happens to a lady's body when she is pregnant. I think they think we are just carrying a bit of extra weight. Well, gentleman, let me tell you something, we aren't just carrying a bit of extra weight. We are doing things like trying to produce an extra 30 - 40% of blood to normal without necessarily being able to keep up with taking in enough oxygen for this extra blood and, well, we are doing a whole host of other things, we are creating a little person for goodness sake so, believe me, we aren't just carrying a bit of extra weight!

Anyway, I am literally counting down the days and have submitted all my forms now to start maternity leave so have an official leaving date of 5th December which absolutely could not come soon enough. It's a shame that it is the place I ended up at when falling pregnant really as I have had some great buddies at previous work places. I keep in touch with people, pretty regularly in some cases, from ALL other places I have worked but I couldn't have ended up in a place with people that bring out the worst in me and make me as unhappy as this particular set do! Still, if I hadn't worked there, I wouldn't have met my little angel so I guess I will have to thank them for that (although I still think me and Ron would have found a way to find each other no matter what).

There - rant over. Phew *sigh*

Other than that, well, I have had some crazy pregnancy dreams this week. I have disturbing dreams most of the time anyway, most of which I could never repeat to another human being so this week's are not that unusual but still worth mentioning. It seems very common for pregnant women to dream about giving birth to animals, dolls and well, anything that isn't human and I dreamt earlier this week about giving birth to one of those plastic trolls with long brightly coloured hair. My child looked a bit like this:


Quite cute really, so I shouldn't complain. I've seen babies much uglier than that! Then, a couple of days ago, I had a really disturbing dream that after birth, the nurses took my baby away and switched it for an evil little boy who was about two, claiming he was my baby. No one would believe me that he wasn't, even though clearly, my newborn baby shouldn't be two, but I was stuck with him and he was like Damien from The Omen and kept trying to kill me. Nasty little boy! I was disturbed for hours!

I've also been doing some research this week on 'things no one tells you about being pregnant', particularly after birth, after only just learning from a friend that your hair usually falls out after giving birth. I had never heard of this before and set about trying to find out what other treats I was in store for that people generally don't tell you about. I found out some quite interesting information and have added a new link to the useful links section.

Two other exciting things have happened this week. Firstly, I have started feeling kicking and lots of it! It's strange, people are always talking about how exciting this is and desperately waiting for it to happen and whilst it is nice to be able to feel your baby moving about, I have to be honest, it's quite an uncomfortable feeling. Today, Shrimpy kicked me really hard when I went to the supermarket and it almost felt like it winded me! The little man is very active though so that's a good sign I think. It will be nice (I guess) when Shrimpy is kicking hard enough for Ron to be able to feel it too.

Also, we came to the realisation that my very old and compact Renault Clio was not going to be suitable for mine and Shrimpy's adventures and my own personal experience of driving with my brother's daughters had taught me that 5 door cars really are a must for family life. So, ironically, we can't afford a second hand car and have had to go down the hire purchase route on a new car - something I swore I would never do but needs must and now we know we have to do that I am actually very excited about getting a new car. We test drove a Citroen C3 this weekend and really liked it so that's what we are going to go for. I can't wait to finally have a car with air conditioning and electric windows!

So, generally, apart from me not feeling on top of the world healthwise, things are good though and Shrimpy appears to be coming along nicely. I continue to get more and more excited every day about meeting him and having cuddles on tap all day long. I like cuddles. Shrimpy WILL like cuddles too.

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Fainting
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • Eye soreness and unable to wear contact lenses anymore - just call me Spoddy

DADDY

This week seems as though it was really short, but it was actually longer than normal; very odd. As usual, Natalie seems to have covered most of the baby related things - from a medical standpoint anyway. Since I have started the new job, I really don't have the opportunity to take much time out during the week and although I get to work from home one day a week generally, I seem to be busier for the entire day than I would be if i were in the office. So it's a bit of a double edged sword in that I miss the non-critical appointments with midwives etc. but I do get to finish early enough on a Thursday to go swimming during the aqua-natal session.

Aqua-natal is really good fun for me - even though I just go for the swimming. There's a couple that does a similar thing to Natalie and I where the husband just does some swimming during the class and I think they seem pretty normal so hopefully we'll have some new friends over the next few months since we will definitely have something in common as their due date is only a couple of weeks after ours.

We live in such a great place, I can't wait to take shrimpy all around and show him these great things and places. I had a chance to see my middle daughter on Sunday and we went to Greenwich to hangout at the market, go for some lunch at Tai Won Mein and walk up to the observatory. All in all, it was a really great day! We picked up some "up-cycled" cat toys for Boog and Zoog that are filled with catnip and they've been going mad for it all weekend. As a bit of a contrast, Natalie and I went for the "Two Creeks" walk and really enjoyed being out in our local area. It's so nice to have the variety of city and country and all within an hour of travelling

As for the kicking, I can't feel anything yet - although I think Natalie might have kicked me in my sleep a few nights ago (kidding!) it's hard to think of the little fella in there kicking away - it seems a bit mean really but it won't be long and it's really sinking in that we only have a few more months left - for me, we're really in the best part of being pregnant and all the time we have really is great. I only wish I didn't have to travel so long to get to work, but those pesky bills just won't seem to go away otherwise!

BUMP

I'm about 28 cm or so tall now from top to toe and weigh about a pound.  I am continuing to explore this week and am much enjoying kicking Mummy and pulling on the giant chord. Sometimes she says 'Ooh', when I kick her so I think Mummy can feel it now but it won't stop me doing it - it amuses me (and what the hell else am I supposed to do in here).

My skin continues to get thicker and everything is basically maturing, preparing me for the outside world. I now have a full head of hair and even have little eyebrows. I have been informed by a reliable source that until Mummy plucked her eyebrows in to virtual non-existence, she used to have a rather severe monobrow thing going on growing up. Currently, I still have two separate eyebrows so I really hope that continues.

I can hear pretty well too now. Mummy swore a lot this week. I am learning new words like 'w*nkers' and '@rseholes'. I'll store them for later though and make sure I say something more predictable like 'mama' or 'dada' as my first word.

Anyway, back to my workout. I feel like The Italian Stallion!

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