Monday, 28 November 2011

35 Weeks

MUMMY

Another slightly late post I'm afraid and sincere apologies to those of you who sit around every week twiddling your thumbs until the next post comes in to brighten your day (poor Liffey) but jeepers, last week was such an incredibly busy week and by Sunday evening I was utterly pooped and didn't want to rush a post out feeling as tired as that so I thought I would wait for today - my first day of maternity leave (hoorah!).

So, last week was my last week at work, a week I had been waiting for for about 8 months and it's a very strange feeling when you approach something you have been looking forward to for so long. It's human nature to notice the bad in the things you have got and the good in the things you haven't got sometimes I think (well, it's my nature anyway - perhaps some other people are lucky enough to be all round positive, happy beings all the time) and  actually, as the end of the week approached, I was starting to think (a little - and don't tell any of my work colleagues), hmm, I'm actually going to miss this quite a bit. I do genuinely enjoy working and I like what I do for a living. I don't always like the company I work for or all the people I work with but on the whole, they probably aren't as bad a bunch as I have been making out and, actually, I very much enjoy being a smart @ss and bossing them all about and just generally being the person everyone comes to when they don't know how to do something. Their stupidity bothers me considerably on a daily basis but then, if they were smarter, I wouldn't get to sit around feeling smug about how smart I am so I suppose that has its pluses too. It won't be anywhere near as satisfying feeling smug about being smarter than my little boy!

As it approached the end of the week, everyone at work was being increasingly nice to me and I think they are genuinely starting to realise all the things I do there and are keen for me to go back and on Friday, my last day, I felt really quite emotional at how nice everyone was being from start to finish. I had the very unusual experience of a seat being given up for me on the tube on both journeys (which gave me a warm feeling inside) and then when I got to my desk, my lovely colleague, Linh had decorated my desk with baby pics...


... I had a pleasant lunch with my colleagues and then I had some lovely presents and nice words at my leaving gathering around the desk thing so, all in all, I was very touched (and I also love presents!). I felt sad leaving as I went home on Friday but, in some ways, I am quite glad to know that I will be going back to work so it is only temporary (even if I don't end up making it back to the same job, I will definitely go back to work). It's obviously weirder at the moment because I don't have a baby to occupy me and am just sitting at home so I've no doubt I will feel differently in a few weeks but today, on my first day of maternity leave, I feel ever so slightly strange and a little, hmm, what the hell am I going to do with myself. Already this morning, I have opened up my good buddy Excel just to stare at its little ribbons and feel at home! What spreadsheet can I create, I thought, and then realised that everything I own / know about / want to own or know about is already contained in some sort of list in an Excel document that I have created and I fear I may have exhausted all list avenues. Just look at it - what a thing of beauty.

Excel-ent (do you see what I did there?)

I just hope I still have room in my heart for Shrimpy!

As equally as people sometimes find it easier to see the bad in what they have got, as I say, the same is true but in reverse for thinking what we don't have is better than it really is. I realised today as I watched Jeremy Kyle that it only seemed like a treat when I have watched it before because it was such a rarity to be able to do so but now that I can watch it whenever I like, I have realised it is utter b0llocks! Damn, even The Judge might not seem as good when I catch up with her later - how terrifying that it might be the case that daytime television is really not actually very good!

All that said though, I am starting to feel so uncomfortable and exhausted that I really don't think I could have carried on commuting in to London and working for even one more week. Last week, whilst more pleasant than most weeks at work, completely finished me off (particularly the long commutes) and I think it will take me all of this week to recover. Also, I actually have heaps to do before the little Shrimp arrives and lots of Christmas shopping to do as well having not even thought about it yet (I am normally so organised that my Christmas shopping is done by the end of November) so it will be nice to be able to focus on that properly and once I have got over the shock of not being at work, I'm sure I will be wondering how I ever had time to fit a job in around all the other stuff.

I have to moan briefly about my midwife again I'm afraid. I saw her on Tuesday (when I was exactly 35 weeks) and she really excelled herself this time in uselessness and I left feeling incredibly angry with her and wondering whether I really should be considering asking to switch to a different midwife. She, as ever, did the absolute minimum that she is required to do (take my blood pressure, check my urine and listen to the baby's heartbeat) but this week, she barely even spoke to me as she had a work experience pupil in with her (a 15 yr old girl) who carried out these three essential tasks. They looked at my blood pressure and my midwife wrote something down in my notes and I was like, erm, excuse me, hello, I'm just over here - is it possible to tell me what my blood pressure is? She said it was a bit low but from her memory my blood pressure was quite low before when she first checked me out so she thought it was probably OK, so that instilled me with confidence. She then got the student to feel my tummy and she asked the girl if she could feel which way round the baby was, to which the girl nervously giggled and said no (I wasn't asked if I minded the student doing my checks at this late stage of pregnancy by the way) and I said, well, can you feel and see because I would really like to know if the baby is in the right position. She said it wasn't necessary as there was plenty of time for the baby to move around still and that she would check at my next appointment. I was shocked! Yes, the baby can move around but my next appointment isn't until 38 weeks, which is right in the baby coming early period and to think I might not even have any clue until then which was round bubbs is is frankly really annoying as there are lots of exercises I could be doing if Shrimpy isn't head down. As ever, she then stood up and asked if there was anything else she should know and I said, well, I guess nothing other than the usual pregnancy aches and pains. She didn't ask what these were and said, OK, good, see you in three weeks and noted that we had discussed aches and pains in the notes and I thought, well, hardly! So, I was very miffed from Faversham on Tuesday.

On to those aches and pains then. I continue to become more uncomfortable by the day generally. As previously mentioned, the main symptoms just carry on but get a little more severe. The leg cramps are so bad sometimes, one of the episodes I had last week has left me limping a little ever since and my whole body is so swollen now that I can't wear my watch anymore and even my face looks like a big chubby beach ball so I am feeling probably the most unattractive I have ever felt. The most unpleasant of all the symptoms for me throughout, the being short of breath all the time, continues on as my little stomach continues to get more and more squished and I definitely started to feel pretty fed up with it all towards the end of last week as even eating isn't fun anymore and I kind of just feel like lazing about on my @rse all day long. Of course, the need to go to the toilet every ten mins also carries on and I am just hoping that this 'lightening' I hear about when the baby drops down lower in to your pelvis, which is supposed to make your lungs and stomach feel much less squished, happens soon. Shrimpy has definitely dropped down, I can see that clearly, so hopefully any time now I'll be able to have a meal without feeling extremely uncomfortable and a little faint.

I was discussing with some other new Mums at 'Bumps & Babies' this morning the whole pregnancy thing and how people, rather annoyingly, always tell you to enjoy every moment of it, and we were saying that, as it isn't a particularly enjoyable feeling for most people, this just isn't possible (and enjoyment of something isn't really something you can control, you either enjoy something because it is pleasant, or you don't because it is not!). I was saying that people seem to confuse being happy about being pregnant with enjoying a pregnancy when the two things are actually very different. I am overjoyed at being pregnant and have felt very blessed to have the little Shrimp baking away in my tummy and do feel very close to him already even though he is just a foetus but on the whole, no, I haven't enjoyed pregnancy as it hasn't been a particularly fun thing to go through. I haven't been able to do much exercise, which is very important to me, I haven't been able to drink with my buddies, go out for nice meals and enjoy them, go for long walks in the countryside with Ron, clip my toenails / shave my legs without extreme discomfort etc. etc. and I will be quite pleased to have my body back in a few weeks to tell you the truth. So, I say all of this because I think it is wrong for people to put pressure on you to 'make sure you enjoy your pregnancy' or make you feel bad if you aren't / haven't when, for some people, pregnancy is very tough. I have found it hard and mine has been far easier than it can be for a lot of ladies. So, I'm just saying, if you're reading this and you're not enjoying or didn't enjoy pregnancy, don't feel bad, it sucks major buttage a lot of the time so why should you enjoy it?! Just do what I do and poke people in the eye who tell you to 'make sure you enjoy it' (there are a lot of people in Faversham and London who wear eye patches now but I hear the pirate look is 'cool' anyway so I'm sure they will thank me eventually).

Moving on to the weekend now, I had my baby shower this Saturday and whilst I was utterly exhausted from work and wasn't sure if I had the energy to have guests in the house, it was so fabulous to see all my friends that came along and I really enjoyed catching up with them. I haven't been able to do much on the social front for a few weeks now and am normally quite a social butterfly so have been feeling very hermit-like for a while now. All the girlies that turned up had made such an effort and most of them had driven an hour or two to get to me and all had brought such lovely and generous gifts (I was very pleased that they had all chosen to ignore the section in my friend's email inviting everyone stating that 'bringing a present wasn't essential' - phew) so I was very touched by their efforts. I got some great little outfits for Shrimpy and a particularly unusual gift from my friend, Amber, who bought me a pregnancy bump casting kit - something I had never come across before so I'm quite looking forward to doing that, although I have no idea what we will do with the cast of my bump and boobs when it has been cast (fruit bowl?)! A huge thank you to my special friend, Meave, who took the time to organise it for me.

On Sunday, we went to meet my brother, his wife and two daughters in Bluewater as it was our last chance to see them before Shrimpy pops out and actually the first time I have seen them since having a bump. It was lovely to catch up with them all and it still made me chuckle that my brother is convinced he has guessed Shrimpy's name. I still can't work out whether he still thinks he has got it or whether he has realised he has picked the wrong late 80s film. I feel like I can have some fun with this for a few more weeks though! Here's me with my brother and his little munchkins:


And then, here we are, as I approach the 36 week mark and realise I potentially have just a few weeks to go. It is starting to dawn on me that Shrimpy is going to turn in to an actual living, screaming being and I'm getting pretty nervous about it all and suspect I will continue to right up until I see his little face for the first time. I still can't believe we're going to be holding our son soon. Scary veg!

This is going to be a very strange week as Ron is off to Russia early tomorrow morning for work and I won't see him until late Friday evening, which is by far the longest we have spent apart since January when Ron went to New York with work for a week. I am going to miss him desperately, which I think will be exaggerated by not being at work, but I am going to use the time to get as much sleep as possible so I am not as grumpy when he gets back. Poor lad, he is a saint putting up with me. Hurry back, flower, and don't get too cold in Russia!

Current Symptoms:
  • Sciatica
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Tiny bladder
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen everything
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing

DADDY

No Daddy post again for now for the usual reasons but he's doing very well and is much more relaxed than me about a baby arriving. He'll write soon when he can and sends his love.

BUMP

I'm about 46 cm tall now and just getting a bit porkier by the week really. I noticed this week that all the hair that was previously covering me and most of the gloopy white substance I had all over my body has pretty much all gone now. Of course, all that cr@p is just floating about here in the fluid bubble and I keep swallowing these bl00dy hairs though, most uncomfortable. Apparently, all that hair, sticky substance and some of the fluid I keep swallowing accidentally will all come out in some pretty nasty poops over my first few days of 'life on the outside'. Ha, that will serve Mummy right for giving me so little room in here AND forgetting the flashlight, home entertainment system and spirit level.

In fact, speaking of entertainment, the only entertainment I get in here, seeing as I can hear pretty well now, is constant, constant Christmas songs! I have heard Mummy say to a number of people that as her Christmas has been sort of cancelled on account of me popping out and stuff, she is trying to celebrate it early so has put up the tree already and is going to play Christmas tunes from now right through to Christmas Day! Woman, it is not even December yet. I don't know how many more times I can listen to Mariah Carey belting out what she does and doesn't want for Christmas. I hope Daddy's music taste is better than Mummy's or I've got no hope.

Anyway, I am 'fully baked' as they say and pretty much ready for the outside world now so I'll give it a few more weeks to plump up I think and then start making my way down the little tunnel to freedom. I haven't decided yet exactly when I'm going to make the exit but I think I'll know when the time feels right. Until next week my friends...

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