Monday, 19 September 2011

25 Weeks


This week, I decided I would try to stick to one moan per blog entry to try and give the overall feel a more positive overtone. And then I spent a disproportionate amount of time considering which solitary irritant most warranted a mention and thought scr3w that. I have enough silly rules imposed upon me in the workplace, why restrict myself by self-imposing another?

So, where to start. Well, it's definitely been a week of two halves. Fortunately, whilst it started badly, it ended on a real high. So, let's start with the lows.

Sometimes, as a woman, I just get a little bit emotional, a little bit fed up and a little bit irrational. Added to the  handicap of being a woman, I also get my nasty bouts of M.E. and then, well, there's this whole pregnancy thing which can send my hormones all over the place so all of these things plus a rather nasty eBay experience led to a pretty horrible first couple of days of the week.

We have been trying to make space for Shrimpy and since moving in to the house, we've had to take a number of perfectly good items to the skip and apart from the fact that it feels terribly wasteful, we need all the money we can get so I decided this time that I would have a huge clear out and sell a load of things on eBay.  I am a heavy eBay user but on the buying side. I've only sold a couple of things in the last ten years of being an eBay member and was (but no longer am) a little naive to the way it works and to how evil some buyers can be! After spending 7 days answering really stupid questions and slightly losing my faith in humanity, most of the items finally got paid for and collected without too much drama but one item - an IKEA picture which was won for a whopping £3.70 - turned in to a bit of a nightmare. I heard nothing for a week after this clearly labelled collection-only item was won and after repeated emails chasing the buyer, I opened an unpaid item dispute. The next day, the buyer sent me a very brief message saying he couldn't collect the item and to just cancel the transaction. I thought, erm, no, I won't just cancel the transaction as I get charged a final value fee plus I've had the hassle of chasing you all week, the item is still sitting uncollected in my lounge and I will have to go through the hassle of listing it all over again, blah blah blah. Anyway, the buyer then got really abusive in his messages, left negative feedback (which I am still chasing eBay to remove today) and, actually, now I write about it, I feel like a prize fool but at the time, being all emotional and such, I got myself in a right state as I had provided the buyer with my phone number and home address so he could collect the item and I managed to convince myself that he would turn up to the house and kill me. Or actions to that effect! I realise now that I was over-reacting a little but I'm telling you, people, hugely restricted sleep for months on end gets to you in the end. I'm now over it and don't think the pesky little scumbag is going to turn up with guns and bombs anymore but it was a very upsetting start to the week and I would still warn against selling on eBay though, unless you really know your stuff first, anyway.

Goodness, I almost forgot to mention the opening of the shopping centre this week! The less said about this experience the better - all I'm gonna say is "DON'T GO TO A SHOPPING CENTRE THE DAY IT OPENS"'

Work was a little strange too. We have a new "leader" (I place this description of her position in inverted commas quite deliberately) and frankly, I'm not sure what planet she is living on. The department has spent the past year attempting to deliver the most poorly designed, managed and executed piece of software I have ever had the misfortune of being anything close to associated with and the "leader" this week called a meeting for everyone who had ever been involved in this disgrace to tell us how incredibly impressed she was with the teamwork involved, how well everyone had worked to deliver the application (erm, nothing has been delivered, lady), one of the most complex and impressive applications she had ever seen. She added that she had never seen so much talent in one organisation in her career (she's been at the organisation for 18 years, however) and basically that we were all awesome (yes, she used that word). She then started to play The Star-Spangled Banner and made us all stand to salute. (OK, so I made that very last bit up). She's American by the way.  This morning, I watched 3 people in my department huddled round a work phone trying to figure out how to forward it for, well, a lot of minutes. I had to walk over and press the 'FWD' button after not being able to witness it any longer. I'll say no more.

Anyway, now to the good bit. Ron and I haven't had the chance to have that many trips away since we have been together and I'm conscious of the fact that in just a few months, we won't have the chance to do that easily again, not for a long time anyway, so we have a few small trips planned before the arrival of The Shrimp and this little weekend soiree to Paris was the first. I hadn't been to Paris since I was about 8 or so so I was really looking forward to visiting the city again and especially with someone so wonderful and handsome! We made the most of Ron's Hilton Gold card that he had acquired from years of work travel and got upgraded for free to a fabulous room with jacuzzi style bath in the 'La Defense' area (France's far more impressive version of Canary Wharf) and it turned out to be the perfect place to stay and we had a lovely time. Paris was charming and the hotel treated us like VIPs so I felt very special for a couple of days. That must be what it is like to be famous!  Here's me 'owning' the beret look. I just don't understand why people kept talking to me in English.

Authentique, non?

Pregnancy-wise, I realised this morning that I was just about to enter the third trimester already! (We're actually a week behind on the blog so I'm almost 26 weeks, but forget that for now). I really noticed a difference this week in symptoms and general discomfort and am coming round to the realisation that the last few months are going to get a little unpleasant. The dizziness and fainting spells have subsided for now but it seems as if as quick as one ailment goes away, another one arrives! The worst thing this week, and I really felt it in Paris as we were on our feet most of the time, is that my ankles have swollen (urgh, I thought that only happened to much older people) and generally, being on my feet for more than a few minutes is really painful - like literally throbbing pain. This week has been particularly bad as I have also developed a giant cyst the size of a watermelon (OK - more the size of a one pound coin but you know what I mean) on my @rse (apparently also fairly common in pregnancy) so now it really hurts to sit down as well! The only comfortable position for me currently is suspension in a gravity free zone and there aren't many of those around so, ouch, ouch, ouch, poor me etc.

I'm a little fed up with spitting out blood every time I brush my teeth or suffering a minor nose bleed every time  I blow my nose and generally, this over-production of blood can be a little unpleasant. I dread to think what would happen if I cut my leg shaving at the moment. A scene from Kill Bill me thinks. Good job hairy legs are back in fashion (they are, aren't they?).

I regularly wake up in the middle of the night to extremely sharp and painful leg cramps in my lower calves as well. It's really unpleasant and quite disorientating when you are half-asleep. It tends to happen when I accidentally roll on to my back in my sleep. I can't control this unfortunately but I guess it is my body's way of waking me up so I roll on to one of my sides. Thanks, body.

Oh, and now I am covered with varicose veins on my legs! I knew this would happen to me eventually (I blame my mother) but there has been a sudden onset, again, I think to this whole lots of extra blood making thing. Urgh - my shorts-wearing days are well and truly over.

Other than that though, being pregnant still rules OK. I still love my bump and I love little Shrimpy already and am rather attached to the little man even thought I haven't met him yet. I love feeling him kick, even when I'm trying to get to sleep, and for all the uncomfortable things that pregnant ladies have to go through, I still look down at my bump every day and think it is a miracle that there is a little human inside my tummy!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Bleeding gums / nosebleeds (only when blowing, mind)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Varicose veins :o(
  • Swollen ankles
  • Lumpy bum!
  • Hot flushes
  • Severe night-time leg cramps
  • No contact lens wearing


Trying to keep to the “mechanical” side of things has proven to be more difficult than I thought this week. Mainly because I haven’t really had a chance to think about or really look at all of things things I thought I should and mentioned last week. As Natalie mentioned in her section, we had a chance to take advantage of all the traveling I’ve had to do for work and have a weekend away in Paris without having to spend much money (hooray!). It makes a huge difference when you travel if you have lots of points and having gold status for hotels and airlines really does make a difference in the way that people treat you. It’s interesting really since having the extra status means that you get much better treatment and lots of extra stuff … but you don’t have to pay for it. I see the appeal of being a z-list celeb now.

It was really very nice to see such a pretty city for a couple of days and just be a couple. It was a bit difficult though since Natalie really did suffer with her feet and lack of energy affected us both. Anyway, we had a very pleasant weekend and accomplished all of the seeing and doing goals that we set for ourselves.

There were a few “baby related” things that I noticed while we were away and the most interesting one was all the cool stuff that is manufactured for young kids; mechanical “jumping around” robots, creative drawing / painting / sculpting things, drums, pianos, all kinds of great stuff. We had a look at quite a few nice kid shops and I have to say I’m really looking forward to playing with some of thee extra cool things.

I have a pretty good list of these interesting and hopefully educatioal items and maybe I can do a few reviews of these things over the next few months if I get a chance. For now though - I’ve run out of time ...


I am about 34 cm tall now and weigh about 1½ lbs. Generally, this week, a lot of things are now fully formed, apparently. I can hear very clearly now and towards the end of the week, I heard an awful lot of "haw-he-haw" sounds. I'm not sure what these were - they were unfamiliar sounds to me.

I'm breathing in this fluid lots too - all in practice for the outside world and it continues to give me hiccups! I don't like these. Mummy suggested I lean upside down and drink water backwards from a cup. Thanks Mum, just a few issues - like no water, no cup, an no control over my orientation in here. Donut!

I'm pretty aware of what is going on now as well and there was a lot of extreme wobbling in the last couple of days (and this wasn't just Mummy walking). I heard Mummy say something about a 'jacuzzi' so I guess that's what it was. It was quite nice actually - relaxing.

I continue to run out of space but I don't let that stop me stretching out. If God didn't want me to stretch, kick and punch, he wouldn't make the walls of this container so malleable. That's my story anyway and I'm sticking to it.

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