Monday, March 03, 2008

27 weeks

  • M has been away on business in Lisbon and didn't come back until Saturday night, so I took advantage of my regular playmate being away and spent the first part of the weekend vegging out. I am so tired. I'm struggling through my afternoons at work and keep waking up throughout the night because my growing bump and my aching pelvis makes it uncomfortable to turn in my sleep.

  • Needing the loo and an increasing number of quite vivid dreams are also waking me up throughout the night. Usually my dreams are work-related, around the theme of not managing to get all my work finished on time. But the other night, I had my first ever fantasy-themed dream that I can remember, where I was in a dark, dank forest filled with ancient trees with twisty limbs and ogres with gnarled faces. I wasn't being chased and nothing nasty or frightening happened, but it was a strange and vivid enough environment to awake me.

  • I am really counting down the days to my maternity leave now - a month and a half to go - just so I can catch up on my sleep during the day and generally take it easy. But also because the experience of pregnancy, birth and becoming a mother is becoming more and more absorbing to me. The all-absorption is perfectly natural of course and I'm not really questioning it. Yet because my career has always been so central to my life and I am very ambitious, the shift in focus is rather strange.

  • On Friday night, I snuggled into the sofa alone with a plate of vegetable and prawn stir-fry with rice balanced on my belly, a glass of milk and a DVD of The Hours that had me sobbing uncontrollably. I don't remember crying this hard the first time I saw this movie. Must be all the hormones combined with fatigue.

  • On Saturday, I went out for a walk locally, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning along the way, and buying croissants and the paper which I spent most of the day reading from cover to cover. I fell asleep for an hour; I made up a playlist on my iPod of "happy music", featuring the likes of the Scissor Sisters, Dolly Parton, Nancy Griffith, The Killers, Prince, Beyonce, David Bryne, the Sugababes and Girls Aloud; I ate twiglets and surfed the net; I vacuumed and did laundry. Generally I pottered and drifted and slept.

  • By the evening, though, I was feeling rather bored. Luckily I had theatre tickets booked and headed to the Barbican to meet my sister-in-law for dinner at the Waterside Cafe and a sleek and modern production of Hedda Gabler, which was chillingly good.

  • By Sunday, my regular playmate had returned to London laden with Portuguese almond tarts and goats cheese. We woke up late; I bought a free range chicken and some beef from the butchers; we breakfasted on hot croissants and coffee.

  • And then we traipsed across to east London and The Baby Show at ExCel. I still think it's a little early for us to be buying things for the baby, but we are now deciding what types of breast pump or moses basket or pram or baby sling to buy, so it was nice seeing our chosen products up front.

  • I already have catalogues from Beaming Baby, Little Green Earthlets and Green Baby and want to buy a number of things from each of these so it was great seeing their actual products on show at ExCel and having our delight in the clothes and toys ratified. Really, please do check out their stuff - truly lovely and just a little bit different from the usual stuff you can buy at Mothercare, John Lewis et al. ExCel allowed us to discover another unique mail-order company - Lula Sapphire. Most of my baby wish list will be made up of items from these small stores.

  • I picked up a couple of DVDs there, focussing not just on life with a new baby but also on the birthing process itself because I really need to start thinking about this now! I picked up Miriam Stoppard's Having A Baby and what looks to be a particularly excellent DVD by the venerable Yehudi Gordon, Sheila Kitzinger and Caroline Flint called Birthwise: Your Creation, Your Choice.

  • And from the Natal Hypnotherapy stand we picked up a gym ball that was also being marketed as a birthing ball (which M appreciated a lot!).

  • The best thing for both of us about being at The Baby Show today, though, was seeing all those babies - most of them very cute indeed. Really, now that I am pregnant I am really making up for never having been a broody person and rarely having given a baby a second look.

  • I've really popped out now. I look decidedly pregnant and more and more people are offering their seats to me on the Tube.

  • For the public at least, it feels my belly has a life separate from me. It feels quite odd how some people stare at it as if it is not adjoined to me but is a unique object to marvel at or reflect on or simply to stare at absentmindedly. I feel like waving my arms in front of them and saying, "Hello, it's me, I'm here too, this is part of me".

  • I've been getting my first Braxton Hicks - painless, "practice contractions" of the uterus that become more noticeable as you enter the third trimester. I've only noticed them twice so far. The front of my abdomen suddenly hardens and then pops out for a few seconds. At first I thought it might be Little Planet sticking a limb or her head out against me, but when I read about it more I realised they were the actions of my own uterus. My belly truly does have a life of its own.


Bombay Beauty said...

(1) You should get a Baby Bjorn. No doubt. Don't even think about those wraparounds that apparently work well for the Masai.

(2) It gets even worse after you have the baby. Everyone will ask, how's the baby? No one, will ask, how are you?

Hope you are well and your belly too!



choxbox said...

You might like to check out this bok called 'Birth Without Violence' by Frederick LeBoyer.
Yehudi Gordon was my consultant at John & Lizzies. Great guy. Have you heard about his clinic Viveka?

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

"I've really popped out now. I look decidedly pregnant and more and more people are offering their seats to me on the Tube."

That's nice to know. People don't seem to give up seats a lot of the Tube.

Planethalder said...

Hi BB - Yes, a Bjorn is what I'm going for - the "hippy slings" don't suit the way I dress (and I have to keep up appearances!).

Thanks for the heads up about Viveka, Choxbox.

Yes, it surprises me alot, actually, Tommy. I guess it's hard to ignore a big belly clad in a tight ti-shirt right in front of your face ;-)

Anja, thanks for your lovely email and congratulations again on your little one.

Olivia said...

Oh no, it is not too early to be buying things! Since you're already feeling tired and achy, you don't want to have to rush the purchases later on.

It also occurred to me that your shift in focus from career to baby, the career part must feel like a bit of a distraction.

I know that my mother was ambitious and gave up a great career in media to have me; 30 years ago she had made progress and wasn't done yet. They held her job for a year but she didn't return...her focus had entirely shifted. It helped a lot that my Dad was eager to be sole provider and she was happy to let him. She had such a turnaround from the tough, man-free ladder climber she used to be.

Now I think it's easier to be a career mother. It just all depends on the personality.

Mum was 31 when she had me. I will be 31 this year, and I thought I would have all my kids by now, but I am not even near to meeting a guy. When you're 18 you think everything can happen in 13 years!

Planethalder said...

Thank you O. I think it's more than likely I'll buy everything online now - as soon as I'm settled in the new house and have space for things. Then it can all be delivered to me!

Tee hee, I know what you mean about thinking that everything can happen by the age of 30 when you're a teen. I know people who are still waiting for important pieces of their lives to fall into place and they're already nearing 40.

Life has its own timetable, doesn't it.