Thursday, June 28, 2007

let her eat cake?
It's odd. The whole thing is very strange to me. TA has responded to my pregnancy, the gift of a special maternity recipe book and my inability to face cooking with compulsive baking. So far, we've had two mammoth carrot cakes, a batch of chocolate brownies and poached pears with chocolate sauce. Plans are apparently afoot to make flapjacks. He hasn't bothered to explore any of the book's savory recipes.
Meanwhile, even without TA’s help, I've reconnected with carbs. Guilt-free carbs have been absent from my life for five years now. In the frantic nine-week period when we decided we were getting married, I divorced myself from carbs in an attempt to be the fairytale size ten in time for the big day. I achieved it too, dropping to less than nine-and-a-half stone and looking rather skeletal in the process (I'm 6ft tall for goodness sake - I'm not supposed to weigh that little). Since then my weight has gone up and down and my diet (as in the foods I eat, not a weight-loss regime) has changed considerably - she who marries Australian, eats Australian - but my carb phobia has remained.
Now I eat carbs and, unsurprisingly given my condition, I'm gaining weight. It's difficult to work out where one cause ends and the other begins though. I'm definitely getting all-over fatter, which has me a bit miserable and TA (who describes himself as fat phobic) a bit itchy. I was flicking through Emma’s Diary last night as the end of the first trimester looms and I wanted to reacquaint myself with what's meant to happen next. Inevitably, interleaved with all the useful information, every other page was an advert for some must-have pregnancy consumer good. At least half the adverts were for strangely glamorous maternity wear modelled by annoyingly skinny ladies.
Me: "Look at that! It’s all well and good for normal clothes to be modelled by skinny women, but surely they should have the decency to have podgy ladies model maternity wear."
TA: "I dunno, I’ve seen a lot of skinny pregnant women around recently."
Me: "Shut it! I’m going to be an obese pregnant lady, I just know it."
TA: *groan*
Me: "Well stop baking me cakes!"
You’d think the pressure would lessen, but actually I'm feeling it more and more. I’m pretty much hungry all the time. I try to eat almost all healthy food, but the sheer amount I’m getting through - five pieces of fruit a day, chewy nut bars, breakfast, lunch, dinner and pudding - means that I’m still heading for an appointment with a film crew for a "winching the fat lady out of her house through the window with a crane" documentary.
My mother’s advice? Eat celery. Bitch. I came very close to shouting "What do you know, you’ve never even been pregnant!" to her. I refrained, just.
I would write more but I’m ravenous and I need to secure myself a pre-lunch snack before I start retching with hunger.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

a stitch in time
Patchwork. For me, it’s right up there with weaving as an archetypal female act of creativity, something I blame Alice Walker for. Ironic then, given that Ms Walker turned out not to be such a role model for her own daughter, that I’m preparing for motherhood by making my first quilt. It’s monotonous, pernickety work to stitch a quilt by hand, but I find myself drawn to it.
While I patch my thoughts turn to Sprout and I have little chats with the fast-growing interloper: helloooo baby! I’m going to try to be a good mother. I’m really sorry that we don’t have a nursery for you, but I hope you know you’re loved. I try to put into coherent words the idea of who TA and I are or were before Sprout came into our lives. I have little daydreams about what it’ll be like to have Sprout on the outside; some of them look like nightmares.
I write mental lists of things to ask TA to fix before January - rip up the remaining carpet, install laminate, build floor-to-ceiling shelving and cupboards in the living room, switch round a couple of the kitchen units so that we can fit a full-size fridge-freezer in (even though TA has already told me this is beyond his DIY skills)...he looked alarmed beyond belief when I told him why I wanted to upgrade to a bigger freezer. We’ll need to start freezing breast milk so that you can feed Sprout if I’m not here, I explained. TA looked rather milky at the thought.
The quilt is growing very slowly, in fact I’m less than one-twelfth done, but I’m sure I’ll get it finished before the big arrival. With every stitch I’m sewing my hopes and perhaps growing a little bit into the role of mum. I hope I’m ready in time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

look, no hands
For a reformed bulimic I sure am throwing up a lot. Having survived the three-week onslaught of morning sickness, on Friday I accidentally made like the Queen Mother and choked on a fish bone. I’ve always thought that was a bit of a joke, but no it’s actually quite scary. At first it just tickled and then the tickling started to sort of prickle and then the vomiting started. Ah, I thought, that will have cleared it - I poked around in the still-recognisable fish, bread and peas, but there was no sign of the bone and the tickle was back.
More choking and a rising sense of panic, but no matter because TA - my hero - rode to the rescue. "Swallow a bread ball," he said. Now, not one to do things by halves, I rolled myself a bread cannon ball and sure enough it worked!
I’ve learnt my lesson now - no more carelessly munching through unfilleted fish with a devilish abandon. I wonder why no one ever told HRH about the bread roll trick.

Friday, June 22, 2007

to be filed under: who knew?
This just in from the BBC's excellent, if frequently deeply disturbing, pregnancy calendar:
The foetus can now urinate and the urine is discharged into the amniotic fluid.
Just wait until Sprout comes out - then I'll have my revenge.
In other news, tonight TA and I are bussing across London to pick up a small, second-hand "antique stain style" cot. Woo! I love me some Freecycle action. If you see two people struggling on a rush-hour bus with a not-so-small-after-all cot, please lend us a hand.
This morning lying in bed, while I was in denial that I that today was a work day and I should have got up an hour ago, TA cuddled me and said, "I am glad you're pregnant." And for a moment the world melted and went all fuzzy; that said, I started sobbing last night at the sadness of Radio 4's news, so perhaps this was just yet another example of the terrors of preghead.
Finally, yesterday's entry was supposed to be funny. Apologies it it appeared that I'd lost not only the plot but also the programme and was busy hunting for stale popcorn at the back of the seat.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A: er, um...
I'm learning that people lose all sense of propriety when faced with an up-the-duff woman. I'm not a hugger or a sharer in the workplace; I'm friendly but not intimate with my co-workers. That has been no bar to certain individuals and I find myself tormented by the subtext of their comments and questions.
Q: How far along are you?
Trans: When did you have sex then?
Q: Was it planned?
Trans: Been using contraception have we?
Q: Is TA pleased?
Trans: [where do I start] Did you trick him into it then? Is it his? Will he be sticking by you?
Q: Have you started shopping yet?
Trans: Wait a minute, you two are poor as church mice aren't you, how are you going to afford this?
Q: When will you be moving?
Trans: That hovel you live in isn't fit for small human habitation.
Q: When are you coming back to work?
Trans: Are you a lucky slacker or a Daily Mail-baiting irresponsible mother?
You'll be a great mother.
Trans: I have no idea what kind of mother you'll be, but I don't know what to say next after only now realising that I've just interrogated you.
The worst thing is - I think I've done the same to other women in the past. I'm dreading people wanting to touch up my belly - ugh!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

nine and a half weeks
Well, what a relief! I’m not being or feeling sick anymore and the tiredness has become much more manageable. Phew - even for me, going to bed at 7pm seemed a bit early. On the downside, I’m beginning to be a bit on the tubby side and my feet have a tendency to swell up - it’s only going to get worse, isn’t it?
Yesterday I scored a series of complete blinders - I managed to win some Converse All Stars shoes (now all I need is a long stripy scarf) by filling in a survey at work, was rewarded for long service with 50 dollars, finally managed to persuade my manager to buy me Adobe Creative Suite 3, got a book from Amazon courtesy of same manager to thank me for my long service AND picked up 20 prefold cloth nappies for free via Freecycle. On the way home from Brixton on the bus I realised that the park opposite the Sett reached all the way to Camberwell, something I had previously been dimly aware of but had never explored. I hopped off the bus and set off, hoping that the signposts wouldn’t run out before I had reached a part of the - evidently enormous - park I recognised. They did run out, but I guesstimated right for once and made it home halfway through Front Row, much quicker than the TFL journey planner had predicted.
To top off the day of unexpected pleasures, TA had made me a lovely dinner and we spent a great evening eating, chatting and playing with the pupster.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Don’t want to be a fatter woman
(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a pregnant woman
Time will change me
As I can’t turn back time
As Bowie might have sung if he’d got himself in my condition. Christ, it’s bloody hard work and it’s only just begun.
In addition to all the physical changes, there are the unexpected changes to my priorities. I’m quilting at weekends (finally got my hands on a few of TA’s shirts) and keeping a special journal for the sprout to read in many, many years’ time. I’m scouring freecycle for baby goodies. I somewhat impulsively bought double glazing for the Sett on a Sunday afternoon (don’t want the Sprout getting a cold from a draft on a cold January morning). However, my most stupid moment came when I nipped into a tourist shop to buy a toy westie puppy with an ickle tartan coat. So sweet! Unfortunately Sprout won’t be able to play with this puppy – named Cloud by TA – for three years, due to choking hazard.
I blame it all on preg head...