Sunday, 20 November 2011

34 Weeks


I felt like last week's blog post was the dullest post in the world but not much had really happened last week and I only had about an hour to come up with something before leaving for holiday so apologies for that. Fortunately, this week, I have a little more to say and a little more time to write as I find myself posting from our beautiful balcony in Gran Canaria as we near the end of a wonderful holiday.

Firstly, might I just say that it has been lovely not being at work for a week. I feel terribly relaxed and have hardly been irritated all week (of course some things still irritated me, I wouldn't be me without a few minor irritations and I'll get to those later, but most of the irritations aka 'work colleagues' did not feature in my week). I have had some time this week to think a little more about not working for the first time in about 20 years this week and it dawned on me one day as I lounged by the pool when I was hit by a slight pang of panic about not working exactly what it was that I would miss. Excel. Oh, how I love Excel and creating over-complicated spreadsheets that are beautiful in both form and function and do wonderful things at the click of a button and I realised that I'm going to have very little need to create such spreadsheets whilst not at work, unless ... unless I can somehow come up with a way of keeping this dirty little habit going. I've not yet come up with a foolproof plan to do this so, in the meantime, as a favour to me, please send all your spreadsheet requirements to and I will be very happy to work my magic for you. For free.

Back to this week then. Well, what a glorious week away we are having. We are staying in a resort called Anfi, rather cleverly designed and built by Norwegians, and it really is just what we needed. I had never heard the term before but these final holidays before the chaos of a little one arrives are apparently called 'Babymoons' and what a great babymoon it is. My parents bought a form of timeshare a couple of years ago here and I berated them both for being so incredibly foolish at the time but I must admit, whilst I still wouldn't enter in to such an agreement myself, I am grateful for their foolishness this week as Ron and I are benefitting from one of the weeks that they 'own' and very nice it is here. Thank you very much Mum and Dad.

As I think I have probably mentioned every week, things have been so hectic with work, DIY and generally preparing for the little Shrimp, we just haven't had time to relax and enjoy each other's company as we would have liked to and we deliberately haven't made any plans this week to allow us to do this so mostly it has just been chatting, slowly walking around (very slowly - I'll get to this shortly too) and lounging by the pool in the glorious sun. It's the kind of holiday I didn't think was really my cup of tea as I normally prefer to be more active but at the moment, it's so exhausting doing pretty much anything at all, it's been perfect. Mostly, I've been particularly happy here as I'm so uncomfortable with this enormous bump and the only time I feel , well, normal, is in the water and happily, I've been able to be in the water for most of the day almost every day this week. I have a new found respect for water actually and can really see why this water birth thing is becoming more and more popular. It's an amazing pain reliever and when I am in the water, I don't feel any pain or discomfort at all, I feel pretty good actually. It has strengthened my desire to try to deliver Shrimpy in the water so I hope he will allow me to do so.

So, a little bit about the pregnancy symptoms this week as there have been some distinct changes since I last wrote. Firstly, my bump seems to have popped out again and I currently feel absolutely enormous. I feel fit to burst and even my maternity clothes no longer fit me comfortably (I'm not sure they ever did but this is a new level of skin-tightness). I refuse to buy any more clothes with only just over 5 weeks still to go  and with only one week left at work and the very real proposition of sitting around in my PJs at home for the next 5 weeks, it just seems like a waste of money but I feel pretty undesirable on the whole right now and must apologise to anyone I see between now and Shrimpy arrival time. Here's a picture of me and Shrimpy in the morning (when my bump is at its smallest) ready for a trip to the pool.

Me and Shrimpy on the Balcony
Other than everything getting a little more uncomfortable (even more trips to the toilet, throbbing feet, being swollen all over etc. etc.), this week, I started getting Braxton Hicks contractions. For some reason I thought I was going to avoid these, I guess I thought they would have started by now, and when we went to the NHS classes where all the ladies were a few weeks ahead of me, only one out of about eight ladies thought she had been having any but my, when they come, you certainly know about it! These are supposed to be practice contractions for the real thing and differ from the real thing only really in that they are irregular, apparently can stop if you change your position (I have sadly not found this to be true) and are slightly less painful than the real ones. I've no doubt they are less painful than the real ones but ouch, they are really quite crippling still. I started getting them at the airport and thought, ah, cr@p, I'm going to end up having Shrimpy in the air and I only know now that they aren't real contractions as they haven't been followed by Shrimpy coming out. It is very hard to describe how they feel (I always thought this was a bit ridiculous that no one could really describe them but I now see for myself that they are indeed very hard to describe) but you are left in no doubt that they are happening. Basically, your whole tummy goes rock hard on the outside and on the inside you can feel your whole womb sharply contract and it almost feels like the baby is on his way out. When they happen, it literally stops me in my tracks and I have to stop (hence the walking very slowly on holiday), I can't really breathe through them and sometimes I double over a little. They have been very frequent and strangely they always occur where we are walking along the promenade by the sea to get to the restaurants and shops. It is almost like Shrimpy senses he is near his true home and is trying to make for a quick getaway. Anyway, I just hope these don't get increasingly worse over the next few weeks as I'm in for a rough time if they do. Body, I am well-practiced now so lay off a little how 'bout.

Other than that as I say, all symptoms are just very much the same just a little more severe!

We have noticed some strange goings on whilst being here and are wondering if they are cultural or just things people feel it is OK to do on holiday. There are very few Brits here at the moment and it turns out that it is school holiday time in Germany and Norway and the resort is awash with both. The thing we have found a little weird is the constant staring. Both sets of people quite obviously stare at both Ron and I everywhere we go and they don't even try to hide it, even when we look back at them, they just carry on and sometimes nudge their partner and point at us! Now, I don't know if it is just that having spent years living and working in London, I have learnt that it is far safer to walk around looking at the floor as if you catch the wrong person's eye, you're likely to get your head kicked in, or whether it is just that British manners are a little different but I find it really rude and uncomfortable. What with the constant ogling at Ron's tattoos and my bump, we are both feeling a little like part of a freak show at the moment. I tell you, next time someone ogles at me, I'm going to poke a dirty stick in their eye. This leads me nicely on to my current list of Top 5 Pregnancy Irritations (I'm not happy unless I'm complaining about something so I had to slip something whingey in).

  1. Waiters / waitresses constantly trying to fill my wine glass for me despite me asking them not to (politely at first, getting increasingly less polite towards the end of a meal) - I find this highly irritating. I have hardly drank anything over the past 8 months but every now and then I like to join Ron in a cheeky glass of wine and it is kind of critical really that I know exactly how much I have had and that my glass isn't filled up without me noticing. This kind of behaviour annoyed me even when I wasn't pregnant (like I can't fill up my own blinking glass, you irritant) but I find it infuriating at the moment and it happens a lot. Please, waiters / waitresses, particularly if a lady is pregnant and even more so if she has asked you not to, stop filling up her glass with wine!
  2. People staring at my bump like I am an alien - for all the reasons already stated. This happens at home a little as well as here and I find it staggering, for something that so many people go through at some point, that people still stare like it is unusual.
  3. People touching my tummy - this just isn't cool all round. Anyone who has been pregnant will say the same, it's really no different from someone stroking your @rse and saying, ooh, look at you. I can just about tolerate this from family and VERY close friends but it's certainly not something I enjoy so if you have a sudden urge to grab a pregnant woman's belly, just don't!
  4. People saying I must be nesting when I am doing a spot of housework - this is another weird one where whenever you mention to anyone you happened to do some hoovering or dusting, they are like, ooh, look at you, you're nesting, how lovely! It's like, nesting, why on earth do you call it nesting just because I am doing my usual weekend cleaning chores because I happen to like to have a clean and tidy home? So, I'm not nesting people, I'm just cleaning my house. Just like I do every weekend and have done ever since my Mum rather annoyingly stopped doing it for me (when I moved out of home, of course)!
  5. There, I can actually only think of four things that currently really irritate me so I must be mellowing as I approach motherhood, oh, no, wait, another one has just popped in to my head, yes, that's a good one, people sharing their labour stories with me! I have noticed that people who have had a nice labour never share their stories with me, only those that have been rather horrific. This is of course about the last thing in the world I want to hear about when I am fairly close to going in to labour myself so, people of the world, if you didn't enjoy your labour experience, how about keeping it to yourself, especially when around your mates who are pregnant.
There, I think that's this week's moan out the way. Ah, that feels good.

Pregnancy dreams, wow, these are weird. Barely a night passes where I don't have some messed up dream that is almost 100% of the time either about something strange baby-related or Ron leaving me. Last night, I dreamt (for the second time actually) that Shrimpy came out looking exactly like one of those little troll things with the crazy brightly coloured sticky up hair and this time, he had really bucked teeth as well. I looked at him as he popped out and thought, damn, boy, you ugly. I wonder if this is because I am always making fun of other people's ugly babies (not to their face of course and obviously I wouldn't think that about any of my friends' babies - honest guv) and it would be karma's way of slapping me in the face for my evil thoughts. I hope not. Sorry karma, I promise, I won't make fun of anyone ever again for having an ugly baby if you just make sure mine doesn't look like one of those trolls.

Anyway, it's time to slope off to the pool and enjoy my final day on this wonderful holiday with my boy.

I'm dreading next week as it is going to be super hectic at work and I have to go in nearly every day but by the end of the week that will be me done, so, hoorah, I'm looking forward to that and grateful to then have some downtime to finish getting ready for Shrimpy (as I feel nowhere near ready at the moment).

Oh, you'll be relieved to hear that I still have an innie too. I don't think it will turn in to an outtie now so well done belly button, excellent work holding on to your inwardliness. You have done me proud.

Current Symptoms:
  • Sciatica
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Even tinier bladder
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen everything (I can't even wear my watch anymore with my chubby wrists!)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing
And now, I'd like to introduce a special person who has been missing from the blog for a few weeks. I can't promise he'll be back every week but at the very least for this week, it's ... Daddy!


Hello again everyone! It's been quite a while since I've been able to write here; It's been a crazy time! As Natalie has mentioned, we've had a week away and since I've been able to completely ignore all things related to work and DIY and all the other time consuming (and stress generating) things that have kept me away from the blogging keyboard, it's nice to be able to jibber on about my thoughts now that we're getting into the final stretch.

It's been a hectic travel time recently, hectic in a good way though with going to Venice with Natalie and my middle daughter to visit my side of the family and now in Gran Canaria with just the two of us. I think we've really needed this pre-birth break. I was actually scheduled to go to Moscow for work when I got back to the UK on Tuesday, but that has been pushed back a week now so I'll be able to acclimatise a bit more gently to the freezing weather over there by suffering the freezing English weather first.

I'm particularly happy about being in the UK on the 23rd though since it's my oldest daughter's birthday. It's amazing for me that my first little baby is going to be 18; legally an adult. It's such a landmark and such a weird psychological thing as I vividly remember when she was born, trying to imagine what she would be like when she was "all grown up", and here we are! It really does seem like no time at all - but then like all the time in the world - being a parent is a crazy mixed up thing.

It's a bit scary starting this all over again but it's such a rewarding thing too that I really can't wait. From now on it's all about getting ready for the birth and all the sleepless nights and dirty nappies and crying and ... hmmm - being a parent is an odd thing. I'm actually looking forward to all these things that are generally unpleasant as well as seeing that first smile, first step, first laugh and watching him growing into a wonderful person. It's so amazing and I'm so happy to have the chance to do it all again.

So just as my oldest baby is becoming an adult, my youngest baby is becoming a person and I'm a very lucky man indeed.


I'm about 45 cm tall now and continue growing at a steady pace. I am quite relieved this week actually as I heard Mummy explaining to Daddy that by now, my little body is mature enough that it is actually ready for the outside world and if I was to make an early exit, I would almost certainly be OK! Phew. That's not to say my lungs wouldn't benefit from a bit more practice but I'm pretty much there.

I gather I'm in yet another country this week and I have sensed I am near somewhere very close to my little Shrimp heart - the sea. I can actually hear the waves crashing from in here and it makes me feel very calm and relaxed. It makes me want to come out and see it for myself too but I know it's better to wait for a few more weeks and just continue 'maturing' in this ever decreasing space. It's cramped in here my friends, really cramped. I stretch regularly but I'm getting a little fed up with it as I want to properly stretch out in a star shape and I'm upside down the whole time so the blood is going to my head a little too (I'm wondering if I made the 'turn' a little too early now but I think it is better to be safe than sorry).

I think Mummy has been lazing about in jacuzzis again as well as it's been pretty bubbly and shaky in here. I quite like it though, it's just always a bit of a shock when it first starts up and when I'm sleeping, it's a little annoying.

There's not much more to say again, I'm just starting to play the waiting game really. I'm pretty bored on the whole so I'm really looking forward to seeing the world with my own two beady eyes (after the horrible labour bit anyway) so I'll just keep cooking away.

Weird, I noticed my hair was getting really long and sticky uppy. I wonder what that's all about ...

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