Sunday, 6 November 2011

32 Weeks

MUMMY

I am ecstatic to report that I actually have some positive things to say this week and whilst my body is feeling pretty rubbish, and is expected to for the remainder of my sentence, I'm feeling much better about a few things.

Let's start with the not so positive though. Work, of course, being the main culprit. It started off really badly again this week and I continued to feel very under pressure with everything I have to do in terms of handing over, supervising the new dudes (who are lovely but interrupt me literally every two minutes to ask if it is OK to get a coffee / go to the loo / make a call to their company etc. etc. and every time I am interrupted, I lose my flow so it's a little irritating) and trying to get testing on this new project. I had hinted so many times to my pair of genius managers that I really needed to work from home more often and neither one of them had encouraged me to do so and after a particularly difficult day on Wednesday when I had stood on the tube for a change both ways, stood for some of the train journey and then discovered both of the toilets were out of order (which is critical when you need to go every 20 minutes), by the time I got home exhausted, with a very painful bladder and feet the size of hot air balloons, I decided enough was enough.

The next day, I decided to call in sick and emailed my two managers and stated very clearly that I had to work from home for most of the remainder of my time at work and that I had to bring my maternity leave forward by a week or I would end up being off sick and not being able to work for any of my remaining time. This was agreed to and I can't tell you what an enormous weight off my mind it was - particularly the bringing my leave a week forward. I had been reluctant to do it as I kept being reminded that the project deadline for the release of a project I am working on was the 2nd December and I needed to make sure I got everything done before then but I am so glad I decided to put myself before the stupid project. Ron would be able to tell you but my personality has completely changed since agreeing all of that (well, actually, it has reverted back to how it was before I went back to my current evil workplace) and I finally feel more like myself again - i.e. less angry and frustrated all the time. It is clear that this particular job and these particular people are not good for me at all and I find it actually quite poisonous so I will be thinking long and hard before deciding whether or not to go back there.

So, I'm ecstatic about finishing work on 25th November as it now gives me a whole month until the due date so time to chill out, get some Christmas shopping done and finish off this pesky DIY before the little Shrimp arrives which feels so much more doable. Obviously, everyone is different and some of my friends have been able to work until a week or two before their due date but I really would urge anyone who gets tired easily, has a long commute or a particularly stressful job to think about taking a little more than two or three weeks leave before the due date as towards the end of this pregnancy thing, believe me, it gets pretty tough!

The only other negative thing I want to talk about this week is my current pregnancy symptoms really. My friends had warned me about the onset of sciatica which is extremely common in the latter stages of pregnancy and is generally caused by the baby's head putting pressure on the sciatic nerves. I had hoped I was going to escape this as nothing had happened thus far but it started about two days ago and blimey, is it painful?! It's a very odd sensation. It usually only affects one side and this is the case for me also and basically, I get shooting pains starting in my lower back, going through my right buttock and down the back of my right leg and then my leg goes all numb like it does if you get a dead leg and kind of gives way. On Friday night when this started, it was happening probably about every 20 minutes. This is going to make travelling on the tube even more of a killer so it may be time to insist on asking people in the priority seats to move for me, which I HATE doing and really shouldn't have to but it became apparent some time ago that relying on the good will and manners of London commuters was not going to get me anywhere.

Other than the sciatica, everything is really uncomfortable at the moment (completely expected and as per the norm though) and my body continues to inflate more and more each week and I also noticed this week that I could actually feel my pelvis separating and extreme pressure being put on all of the joints. One of my weekly emails told me I would probably be waddling by now. You weren't wrong Mr Huggies, I most definitely am waddling! My rib cage appears to have been pushed out as well. Essentially, at the moment, I feel enormous!

I keep bumping things with my big fat @rse as well which is a little frustrating. You know the first time you drive a van when you are used to the dynamics of driving a car and you normally have a little bump or few to begin with while you get used to the extra width? Well, that's what it is like for me at the moment. I need to learn to give myself a wider birth but I regularly hugely under-estimate the size of my posterior. This can be embarrassing.

I saw the midwife again this week. It was the usual disinterested state of affairs but I did ask her if she could feel which way round Shrimpy was (obviously I didn't call him Shrimpy to her) as I had heard that some babies start making the 'turn' around now. She said she couldn't be sure but she thought the baby's head was at the bottom, his back was on the right side and the legs and arms were on the left side. This is good, I was convinced Shrimpy was still head up from all the random kicking and punching pressure points but I think he must just be punching upwards (well, downwards if he is upside down) or learning to headbutt like the Glaswegians.

Now, on to the good stuff.  NCT classes started this week and I have now been to a session with Ron where all the couples were there and a girls only one later in the week. I am pleased and quite relieved to report that everyone in the group seems super smashing lovely. The NCT classes were very important to me from a social point of view as I don't know many people in my area and was really keen to find some other local Mummies to hang out with. I am pleasantly surprised to observe though that the sessions are already becoming a bit of a therapy session for me, which has provided far more comfort to me than I realised I needed.

Having attended the NHS two session course and now two classes of the NCT course, I can see they are geared up to achieve very different goals. The NHS course, which was really good, was very much about the information only. It was fairly intense and there was very little opportunity to talk to anyone else in the group at all and really just went through the fundamentals of labour and the essentials of what to do when you bring baby home. The NCT classes, however, go in to the details a little bit more but significantly they go more in to the emotional side of things so it's not just about what happens, it's about how you might feel when it happens and how things might affect relationships with various people - your partner, your own parents, your friends etc. I have been so busy with work and DIY that I hadn't really taken time out to think about these things so I am finding it a very well spent £168 so far! It's a relief to know that pretty much everyone has the same fears and worries, is going through the same things as you and basically, that no one has a clue what they are doing or how on earth they are going to cope being responsible for a little being! Most of all, I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone at the class a little more.

The week continued to get better and better and Ron took me out on Friday to a wonderful restaurant in London called La Cuisine and afterwards we stayed at the Waldorf Hilton which was really quite amazing actually. I felt like a VIP and am so grateful to Ron for arranging this for me as it was much needed and very precious given we won't be able to do anything like that for a while (at least not in the first few months of Shrimpy's life). We had a lovely time and were able to take some time out from the usual rushing around working and DIY'ing.

On the way back from London, we decided to pop in to Build-A-Bear in Covent Garden to make a special bear for Shrimpy who would become his first friend! I had been very excited about this as it seemed a very special and momentous thing to do. After selecting the type of bear, getting it stuffed, putting in a beating heart and a couple of keepsakes of mine and Ron's and selecting some appropriate clothing (just a hat as it turns out), we then went to create the bear's birth certificate. We had to type in the name of the recipient of the bear and it was the first time I had written down or really said Shrimpy's real name out loud since we decided upon it (which feels like months ago) and I found it all incredibly overwhelming seeing the little man's name in print and burst out crying like a baby. I turned round and Ron was crying too! They weren't tears of sadness, they were tears of happiness but I guess it was just weird thinking about Shrimpy actually being here rather than being just an in-built kickboxer and it made me come over all emotional! It was very embarrassing as the shop was full of screaming kids and there I was being comforted by Ron as I sobbed like a child for quite a few minutes before I could compose myself enough to pay. The t0sspot at the till then spoke to me for a good 5 minutes as though I was actually a 5 year old, so I almost punched him over the counter but other than that, it was a very special experience that I don't think I will forget. Who would have thought a trip to Build-A-Bear could do that to a grown adult?!

Anyway, meet Shrimpy's first friend, who we also decided to call 'Shrimpy' (as Shrimpy won't obviously be called Shrimpy when he enters the world and I didn't want to forget this special part of his life - the bit where he was being put together and becoming so special):

Shrimpy's BFF - 'Shrimpy' - travelling illegally without a valid train ticket

We also picked up the pushchair, car seat etc. from Mamas & Papas yesterday so the house is becoming more and more cluttered but we are well prepared and almost have everything we need now so even if Shrimpy decided to enter the world super early, it wouldn't be a disaster.

Today, we have spent the entire day painting and decorating and whist it has been exhausting, it is looking great and it's one more job ticked off the list.

Most of all this week, I'm just so ecstatic to have put my foot down at work and now feel so much more relaxed. I wish I had done this earlier like some of my friends urged me to but it's done now so happy days.

Next week brings a busy week at work - but most of it working from home - more NCT and no doubt a few more aches and pains. Most of all, it brings me one step closer to meeting my little man, and that makes me very happy.

Oh, yes, I think I mentioned that I'm enormous. Here's the proof. Ouch, you can almost hear those joints straining can't you?!

A Giant Sized Woody
Current Symptoms:
  • Sciatica
  • A bladder the size of a garden pea
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen everything
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing

DADDY

Daddy as ever has been working his little socks off but will write if he can. He says hello again.

BUMP

I'm about 42½ cm tall now and weigh not far off about 4 lbs. The most significant thing this week is that I have turned head down. At least, I think I have. It's hard to tell in here as there are no spirit levels but I hope I've got it right as that's the way round I have heard I need to be for an easier exit (if there is such a thing).

I've been getting a little miffed this week as I am totally running out of space in here so exercising has become more difficult. I persevere though and use whatever little space there is to stretch out.

I've got a full head of hair and yeah, I think I look pretty good. I can't be sure as it's pitch black in here but it feels pretty well styled anyway. I can't tell you what colour my hair is as I don't know but I can feel that it's there and mostly now, I'm just going to keep getting fatter just like my Mummy.

I continue to hear things clearer and clearer and last night, Mummy and Daddy were watching something that I think they referred to as 'The X-Factor'. On the whole, most of the songs weren't bad but there was this one guy - I think they called him 'Frankie Cocozza' - God, he was bl00dy awful. What utter sh1t! Listening to him actually hurt my newly formed semi-circular canals. I gather it's an elimination type process so I hope and pray he will get voted out this week so I don't have to endure such a horrible sound ever again. If I do, I'll just have to keep kicking Mummy until she presses the mute button!

Anyway, folks, see you soon and I'll fill you in with any more interesting goings on next week.

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