Wednesday, 31 December 2008

In 2008...

For me, it really has been the most incredible year.

I think I've finally succumbed to the 'baby mush brain' part of pregnancy, so this year's round up will not be as detailed as last year's. But there are a few enormous things worth mentioning:

In 2008 Adriano and I went through 2 unsuccessful IUIs.

Adriano's mum was diagnosed with cancer and is currently fighting it brilliantly. In fact it's her birthday today: Happy Birthday Jen! We love you.

I had the shock of my life: after 3 years of trying to conceive, we got pregnant naturally (unless you count possible residual Clomid as a contributing factor). The sickness from week 6 to week 20-ish was a complete bitch, but now it's gone. As I write this, our baby girl is kicking me in the ribs. I am starting to admit to a growing terror of the impending birth, but we are both so excited about meeting our daughter. Sometimes I just sit and cry because I'm so happy! When the serious lack of sleep kicks in I'm sure my tears will have a different chemical composition entirely, but until then... I've never been so happy in my life.

We got married! And we're still glad we did! I didn't stop smiling all day; it was wonderful. Thank you, my best friend and love, Adriano. x o x o x o x

We went to Wales, and Kefalonia.

I continued doing Salutes to the Sun most mornings (when not sick) and also went to some ante-natal yoga classes. I'll carry on with those in January.

In reference to last year's hopes and dreams, I didn't get a cat, or move to Brighton, but I do think I have grown up a bit more this year. I'm still working on taking responsibility for my own feelings and sometimes I think I actually manage it. It's a lifetime's work I reckon.

I still did almost no gardening. Oops.

I carried on cycling to work a couple of times a week until I felt too vulnerable (because of the baby bump) to continue.

I started working in 2 new schools as well as staying part-time with last year's one. It's been a bit hectic, but knowing that maternity leave would kick in after a term has helped me survive.

I started to learn to drive! This is HUGE for me. I've been avoiding it like the plague for many years. It has come as a pleasant surprise that I'm not totally crap at it. Hooray!

In 2009 I'd like to see more friends than I have this year. In fact I'd like to make some more, locally. This has every chance of happening if I get myself to those mother-and-baby groups in the coming months.

One of this year's looming challenges (for both Adriano and me) will be coping financially with my loss of earnings. I am planning a part-time return to work in September, when the baby will be 6 months old. I'm hoping it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Of course the most incredible thing of all : if all goes well we will meet and learn to care for our daughter in 2009. I cannot truly express how I feel about that. It's just the most amazing and awe-inspiring and longed-for thing. I'm not sure who or what to say thank you to for that gift, but I'm certainly bursting with gratitude. Make no mistake, the gratitude is mixed with fear, but I feel so alive! Life is so intense! I like it like that.

There's just a handful of people who read this blog, but you are all very important to me. I wish you a fulfilling and superb 2009, stuffed with fun and laughter and excitement and peace and happiness.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Gratitude

I am so thankful to have this time of relaxation. I went to a family gathering yesterday with quite a nightmare journey to and from the venue, but apart from that I have just been at home with Adriano chilling out and it's been gooooood. I can have kips when I need to. Adriano cooks lovely meals (and I endlessly wash up). We even play a few X-box games together, much to A's delight.

Excuse me, I feel another nap coming on.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Saturday, 20 December 2008

I'm freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Four piano-playing concerts later, school has broken up for the Christmas holidays. My maternity leave officially begins on the day school starts in January. So that's it. No more school for me until September. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehah! I am so relieved. At times I have felt a bit of a fraud, finishing work when I still have weeks and weeks of my pregnancy to go...but then at other moments in the last few weeks when I've felt dizzy, faint, uncomfortable, and exhausted, suddenly finishing right now seems downright sensible. My mum tells me that in the 'olden days' pregnant women would all finish working at 6 months even if they felt wonderfully well, and I'm now 7 months, so...

As I write this Adriano is eagerly playing Gears of War 2, which you may just recognise on the TV behind me in this pic.

Putting socks on is getting harder by the day.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Have now had 9 driving lessons. Theory test is booked. Not ready for practical test yet but still enjoying learning. Always get a bit scared before the lesson but seem to be making a little bit of progress each time.

My arms are itchy almost all the time. Why?

I'm 29 weeks pregnant today. Have been feeling niggly pains and very dizzy at times today but other than that am healthy as far as I know, and the baby is kicking. Still not sleeping deeply but if that's my only real problem I am lucky. Counting the days until maternity leave begins. Officially it's not until I'm 33 weeks pregnant, but because of glorious 'end of school term' it means I actually stop going into work in 11 days time. Thank god, work tires me out like nothing else. Except possibly shopping on Oxford Street...which I always avoid like the plague.

Went on a Ghost Walk at the weekend. Was a bit naff but enjoyed it anyway.

Occasionally feeling a bit panicky about how isolated I'm going to be once the baby is born. In spite of living in this area for 5 years now, I have no local friends at all! I am hoping that I'll make some through the NCT classes we're having in January. I will certainly join parent & baby groups etc but I'm more thinking of when I've got flu or whatever.

Have made a huge long list of things to accomplish on maternity leave. Let's hope I feel well enough to do at least some of them. Is weird having to take things so slowly all the time. Am so excited to meet our baby. Terrified, but excited. Still feel a bit in a dream. Like it's all happening to someone else; this is someone else's story. I (and we) wanted this for so long. It's a strange feeling to allow myself to be in the present moment, and the present moment involves me-with-a-growing-baby-bump. Incredible. (Photo taken a few days ago, at 28.5 weeks)

Monday, 1 December 2008

A hurried update

I had a lovely birthday yesterday. It pissed it down all weekend but hey. Blue skies today.

Adriano took me to Rochester for the night, and we had a gorgeous evening meal. We heard the choir rehearsing evensong in the cathedral. The next day (my actual b'day) I was spoiled rotten with fab and funny presents, and had lunch with A's parents too. Later we had a Thai meal. There was an awful lot of eating now I come to think of it.

Have to do the washing up then go to bed. 12 crazy days of teaching left.

I'm 28 weeks today. Third trimester here I come!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I'm having a catch-up day today. I should be in school teaching, but I had hardly any sleep (again) last night, along with a sore throat where the pain shoots to your ears. Well, my ears. So I phoned in sick and I'm glad I did. My throat feels better for resting, and I slept until 11am. Lounging around in pyjamas is exactly what I need to do. In fact I'm still in bed now.

I am so looking forward to starting my maternity leave. I have a lonnnnnnnng list of things to get done, but at least I won't have to go to work as well. 14 working days to go.

I'll be 35 on Sunday. I'm quite shocked.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wow, I can't believe it's been a few weeks since I last posted. Time has flown.

I'm alive and well, and also feeling tired and overwhelmed by all the demands of my life right now. Underneath the fatigue and panic is a deep well of calm and happiness.

In spite of my anterior placenta hiding a lot of the movement, our baby has been kicking more and more strongly, and I'm sure she had hiccups a few evenings ago.

I've had 6 driving lessons now. I'm quite enjoying them so far...

Adriano is weathering my moods and tiredness like a real trooper. This evening he came in with a bar of my favourite chocolate.

I do eat healthy things too, I promise, but here's a picture of a delicious cake I enjoyed with my friend Anna a few weekends ago:

Friday, 24 October 2008

Babymoon

Am off to the osteopath in an hour, in an attempt to sort out this back pain. Have had it a week now and it's not helping my already low sleep levels.

At 3am we're off to Kefalonia for the week!

Better go and do my packing...

Have a lovely week.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Thank you for the lovely comments. *blush*

I haven't really managed to get any proper nice pics of the bump, but if/when I do, I'll maybe put another one up.

I have rotten back and hip pain these days, but still feel like the luckiest in the world!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Sugar and spice and all things nice

I had an anomaly scan today and I am feeling absolutely over the moon!

It was quick and easy as the baby was being co-operative (although breech at the moment) and all looks well as far as they can tell.

And.......*drumroll*....... it's a GIRL!!!

I was so convinced it was a boy (which would also have been lovely) that when the sonographer said "it's a girl" I gasped in a really over-the-top melodramatic way!

I don't think I've stopped grinning yet, and I went STRAIGHT to the shops and bought a girlie polka-dot sleepsuit. Oh my god how many years have I been wanting to do that.

Adriano is very happy too, and I feel like I'm never going to stop smiling.

Oh those beautiful little hands.... and legs delicately crossed at the ankles. Our little baby girl.

Happy days :o)

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The baby has been kicking a lot today and I love it. It makes me smile.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Am feeling a bit better today. I think I have successfully avoided anti-biotics for this cough, which is very good news.

Here's a photo of my godson and husband. I love it that Adriano is the one holding the balloon.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Things I must try to do while off sick

Passport application in new name.
Book driving lesson(s).
The washing - huge piles of clothes await.
Eat sensibly. Lots of veggies. Protein.
Finish wedding gift Thank You cards.
Sleep.
Upload photos from camera.
Make Niece 2's birthday card.
Not get stressed that the schools hate me for having more time off already.
Cough gently to avoid puking (like this morning). Gag reflex still weirdly sensitive.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Honeymoon

All I have to talk about today is how rubbish my cough is making me feel. So instead here are some honeymoon photos.













Monday, 22 September 2008

Not *all* about sick...

I am about 18 weeks pregnant now, and am wearing my cousin's wife's maternity skirt. Luckily we are about the same size.

I have a rotten cough which makes me sound like an alsation, according to Adriano, and makes my head throb. A late afternoon kip, some Buttercup (i.e. wussy) cough syrup and some paracetamol haven't helped much.

I was sick on Saturday. I feel the need to tell everyone I meet that it's still going on! But the constant nausea is largely gone - PRAISE THE LORRRRRRD!

I could not put it off any longer; I have ditched my former over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders for some larger ones. Two cup sizes larger to be precise. Crikey.

Adriano has been working a lot at evenings and weekends recently, and it's not over yet. But this week he is in every night, I think, and he is looking after me so sweetly. By all accounts he's doing stunningly well at his new job, and I'm very proud of him. The word 'husband' is rolling off my tongue a little easier these days, although it's still got plenty of novelty factor too. I vow never to use the hateful word 'hubby'. *Shudder*. I will occasionally allow myself to be called Wifey only because I know how much Adriano loves Sarcastic Gamer, and it's only in homage to it that the word ever passes his lips.

On 8th September Adriano had flowers delivered to me at our house, to celebrate one month of our marriage. I cried of course. He said they were supposed to make me smile. They do, every time I see them. Some of them are dead now but I can't bear to throw them out because he said he's not doing it every month.

We have been accepted for a keyworker housing scheme because I am teaching at the moment. So far the most obvious houses to look at are in hideous, soulless parts of London that shall remain nameless. But our time will come. Soon, we hope. I still mourn our plan to move to Brighton, but I will never give up on it totally.

I can smell the dinner cooking. Now I can hear the smoke alarm. I am sitting up in bed, barking out coughs and holding my throbbing head, and wondering whether I'm going to make it to school tomorrow. I'm embarrassed to have more sick days after not being there for pretty much the whole of July.

Penelope linked to an artist whose work I love: Andy Goldsworthy. Scroll down and have a look. And also look at Walter Bailey's work. I would love to do something like that.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Need sleep please

4th day of headache.  Ow.  
3rd day of teaching.  Argh.
2nd day of... can't think of one.
1st day of Adriano going running.  

Monday, 8 September 2008

Poo

Feeling a bit rubbish today. Had a bad night's sleep with headache. Woke up feeling sick and then finally was sick after breakfast. Now I have tummy ache again. Do not feel up for teaching tomorrow and all this week. Feel like crawling back into bed but must go to 3rd school today and arrange lessons to teach from next week. Am 16 weeks tomorrow, why still feeling so crap? Where is the energy all the books go on about?! Asked my sister when her sickness stopped; she said 25 weeks. *Sob*

Having said all that, in spite of some weird pains (which have gone now, hooray) yesterday, had a lovely day becoming godmother to my friend's little boy J. Had to pretend to be a Catholic - seriously thought about refusing, but too honoured to be asked, and didn't want to take a stand so much that I gave up the 'godmother' bit. I'm a sucker for flattery. Good job I wasn't sick in the font.

Been married 1 month today. Planning 'babymoon' in October half term - trying to decide between Las Vegas and Norway at the moment - feel free to chip in with opinions!

Happy Monday.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

I am still awake 13 hours after getting up. This is unprecedented.

Today I managed to set my alarm at 6am and not to fall back to sleep. For the first time in 2 months. It was a real achievement.
Then I went on 2 buses to a new school, where I will be teaching music on Thursdays and Fridays until my centre of gravity changes and I roll over. Or something.
The school was big and scary. The headteacher there is cross with me for being pregnant. He's a man.
The music room is a cold and unwelcoming hut, separate from the main school building. Broken and dusty instruments are everywhere. Too many tambours, as usual. Not enough xylophone beaters. No seats. Keyboards without leads. Stacks of books from BBC radio programmes in the 1980s.
I had a good look round, then I met the teachers and sat for a short while with each of the 12 (!) classes that I'm to teach in just 2 days per week.
I'm very tired now.
But I haven't got a headache, or a stomach ache, and I still haven't been sick since Saturday. I'm grateful for that.

I wanted to add to my last post (not sure why) that when I felt appallingly sick, I tried ginger, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, Avomine, drinking lots of fluids (found that ridiculously hard - still can't bear the taste of tap water), eating little and often (also v hard to find any food I could bear to put in my mouth). The only thing that helped was the passing of time.

Also, about a week ago I felt the baby move lots for a couple of days. It was AMAZING, and a nice surprise as apparently it was ridiculously early to feel it, especially for a first baby. It was very reassuring. My auntie-who's-a-midwife told me not to worry if it stopped, as the baby may just change position. I haven't felt movement since then, and of course I can't stop worrying now. It was a very bonding experience, and I want to feel it again. Now.

I can still do most of my trousers up, but as the day wears on it gets more uncomfortable. While we were away, Adriano crept out one morning when I felt too horrible to get out of bed, and he bought me some maternity trousers. I'm tempted to live in them as they're the most comfy item of clothing I have ever worn. It was so sweet of him to buy them on his own.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

15 weeks down, 25ish to go.

The words of my dad when I told him I was pregnant: "Good grief, how did that happen?"
I told him: in the usual way. Which after 3 years and 2 unsuccessful IUIs seemed like a miracle. It still does. After all those obsessive pregnancy tests which came out negative, the one time I was not expecting a positive was when the two lines appeared. I only did the test because I wanted to be sure my laparoscopy wasn't going to muck up a miracle. I never made it to the laparoscopy.

I felt horribly sick from about 6.5 weeks until very recently. I am still waiting for a whole vomit-free week, but I feel sure it will come soon. Until about 12 weeks, leaving the sofa or the bed was a struggle. I did a lot of inward groaning. I cried a fair bit because I felt so awful I couldn't even enjoy the fact that I was finally pregnant. Ridiculous. I also cried because I was worried I would feel as bad on our wedding day and through our honeymoon. And because I felt so needy and helpless. I shuffled about like an old lady. Having a shower became a remarkable feat. Cleaning my teeth became an exercise in focused relaxation otherwise my new-super-strong gag reflex would end in you-know-what. And it frequently did.

As you can probably tell from the photos, I felt really happy on our wedding day. I did feel rough, but the occasion carried me along and I managed not to be sick. I was afraid that it would happen just as the registrar was saying 'Does anyone know of any reason these two may not lawfully marry?'....and I would run urgently to the fire door. But thankfully nothing of the sort took place. The hardest part was the pub in the evening, by which time I was exhausted, very nauseous, yet hungry, over-excited, and desperate to enjoy the company of friends who had travelled far and wide just to share a drink to celebrate with Adriano and me. At one point I was totally and utterly ready for bed, but some of Adriano's friends had only just arrived. Somehow I made it to the end of the night. And then I couldn't sleep! It took me days to recover.

During our honeymoon it rained a lot, and I became intimate...with toilet bowls in hotels all over England and Wales. Poor Adriano.

More soon. Mind you I said that last time.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Cat out of the bag: bun in the oven.

























































































Hello. Just a quick post to say I'm married, I'm back from our honeymoon, and I'm 14 weeks pregnant today. Yeeeeeeeeeehah!

More soon!

(Thanks to Michelle for the photos)

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* proud new mother * last child * youngest daughter * tallest sister * favourite auntie * honest lover * furtive photographer * diary writer * compulsive dancer * tree hugger * mooncup promoter * chocolate taster * house plant murderer *

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