Sunday 30 November 2008

Week 25: A Laughable Hospital Visit and Advent-urous Sunday

Well it has been an eventful week with no real chance to update so expect a longish rambling entry. On Wednesday, we went to see Frankie Boyle at Dorking Halls. I had been looking forward to it for AGES - we love him on Mock the Week and had recently seen him on Arguemental in one of the few episodes that actually worked (it can be a bit hit and miss). I caught the train to Mum and Dad's office and got a lift back to theirs. When JJ arrived we had a delicious Chinese and then headed over to Dorking (in our case, using the long route as we stupidly trusted the sat nav).

The support act was Martin "bigpig" Mor, who was surprisingly funny for a support act. The majority of his act was based on interaction with the audience and he was really funny, quick and clever but coarse. He took the rise out of the young man in front of us, until, that is, he noticed the 13 year old kids who someone had thought would love Frankie Boyle. (A bit annoying as it not only made everyone around them a little uncomfortable and, as I could see them out of the corner of my eye the whole time, it soon became apparent that, despite their mouthy-ness, blatantly didn't get the majority of the jokes). Once he was done, I was really hyped up for Frankie Boyle to come on.

Frankie himself however was a bit of a disappointment. Firstly, and completely not his fault, for the first 1/2 hour or so, there was a intermittent beeping noise going on, sounded a bit like a watch alarm going off. Every time it went off, he got more annoyed and distracted until he was plainly pissed off, and, understandably, it stopped the gig flowing and he was obviously not enjoying himself which stops it being so funny. Eventually, one of the security guards admitted he thought it was the sound system and not some bloke mucking about and that seemed to be the final straw to poor Frankie and he seemed to loose all energy. (This wasn't helped as his style is generally downbeat and coming after the extremely high energy Martin the contrast was very stark). In fact, towards the end, I even got a bit tired (though this should mostly be put down to the monster in my tum). I do think that he made a mistake asking for questions from the audience at the end - he had spent the first half of the gig threatening to kill the person making the beats, becoming more and aggressive and had given no warning that he was going to ask so people were understandably a bit reluctant. He really could have done coming back on for an encore - a really strong finish would have saved the evening, instead it just sort of tailed off. Leaving the halls later, people were quiet and seemed a bit shell shocked, almost a bit sheepish and we didn't start talking until out the hall and practically round the corner.

Secondly, and partially down to the above, the material didn't seem to flow very well, being a bunch of discrete jokes with little to link them. And lastly, having only ever seen him on comedy game shows, I was expecting clever but shocking comedy, as he delivers time after time on MTW (but probably more shocking as he didn't have to worry about censorship etc), but in this, he seemed to have gone mostly for shocking and left the clever to look after itself.

All in all, all this aside, he was still very funny - both JJ and I rated him above the Bill Bailey gig that we saw and overall gave him 6 out of 10. If he hadn't had the annoyance of the beeping, it probably would have been a lot higher. And the test of a good gig is, do you quote it afterwards and a couple of his jokes have been traded and sniggered over by JJ and I in the last week. "Only the ugly ones are found alive..."

The evening did not end well for us - when we got home I nipped to the loo, only to find that I had a small amount of bleeding. I had had a tiny spot of new blood the morning before and decided not to panic as the baby was moving loads and it didn't repeat at all during the day. This was old blood but much more than the day before so we decided to ring NHS direct and get their opinion. They told me to ring Frimley and see what they said and Frimley said to come in and they would check me over. So, JJ stopped the kettle from boiling and we headed off. I wasn't too worried (unlike our other scares) because, all the way to the hospital, the baby practised its pirouettes so obviously was not in distress. Also, I know that, should things go horribly wrong, the baby is at an age where it plausibly could survive which, although I really really REALLY don't want that to happen, does make things a little less scary.

We went to the A and E to ask how to get to the Central Delivery suite as the main doors were locked and the poor woman behind the desk got the wrong end of the stick, concluding with "How exciting!" and we didn't like to disabuse her of the notion. Once in the CDS, we were shown straight into a room and the midwife took my blood pressure etc and then a doctor came into to examine me. Once he had given me the once over and we had listened to the baby's heart to be sure that it was fine, the registrar was bought in to rummage about in my insides. (For the record, saying "just relax your muscles" is almost guaranteed to make me tense). All in all, everything looked fairly fine and they concluded that the bleeding was just the consequence of a low lying placenta (apparently as it moves up the edges can be tugged slightly and as a result bleed a little) and that there was nothing to worry about, but they would keep me in over night just to make sure and I would probably be home for lunch next day.

We waited a while and about 2ish a bed was found for me in the maternity ward and we were transferred upstairs and told to sit tight and that someone would come see to us. After 1/2 an hour, JJ was on his last legs and still had to drive home and it was worrying me so I made him go home (we hadn't had much sleep recently as Thai has been barking at aliens in the night). About another 1/2 hour later, a midwife came in and told me off for being out of bed and to go to sleep. I didn't object as I was pretty much asleep with my eyes open anyway. I was so tired that the crying of babies around me didn't even begin to disturb me.

The next day the nurses poked me until I woke up, I promptly went back to sleep and didn't wake until after someone had snuck in with my breakfast and left it without disturbing me. (I'm pretty sure I snored like a warthog). I then spent what was probably the most jealous couple of hours of my life as the four women around me went through their early morning routine, tending to their gorgeous tiny babies. The baby in the right corner made funny snorting noises like a pig and had a full head of hair and the most gorgeous big brown eyes. The baby in the bed to my right was larger than the others (I think it may have been the only full term baby on the ward) and I got a cuddle with her as, when she was changed, her Mum fumbled things a bit and it got EVERYWHERE so once she was changed, I had held her while she cleaned up quickly. The baby to my left had been born on Tuesday and was tiny. I saw her get her tests done (reflexes etc) and all was well. And the lovely baby opposite me had the tiniest cry of any of them, very quiet and delicate.

I was quite surprised that none of the babies were being breastfed - everyone is so anti-bottle nowadays, I had expected maybe one or two, but I got the impression that either the babies or their Mum's were in as they had been ill after birth, so perhaps that was why.

The midwife soon came in to take my blood pressure and to tell me they were going to move me to the next ward which was all ante-natal mothers so it would be quieter. John turned up quite early (with a change in undies and some other bits) and managed to hunt me down. The midwife had told me we would have a scan this morning, just to absolutely make sure that all was OK and then we would probably be allowed to go home. And so we sat and waited... and waited... and waited... JJ was turfed out at lunch time and while he was gone the midwife popped her head round the door to say that she had moved my scan appointment and that she was just going to find out the new time for me. The only other woman in the ward was transferred up to the delivery suite and kindly(?) left me her copy of OK and The Sun.

JJ got back (I was glad as I was worried that he would miss the scan and that wouldn't be fair) and we again set down to a go long wait. Finally, around 4.30, the midwife came back to tell us that there had been a muck up and no one had booked my scan but if we went down now they would squeeze me in. We only had to wait for a few minutes before we were in, despite the waiting room being very crowded as one doctor was running an hour behind. All was well with the baby and we got a good look at his heart and profile. He is getting quite big now - the circumference of his head is 27 cm and his femur is almost 5cm long now! The pictures we got weren't great, but showed a nice profile and the operator confirmed that my placenta was still low lying, but that she wouldn't expected anything different as it hasn't been long since the last scan.

We headed back up to the ward and handed the notes over and soon the midwife came to tell me that everything looked fine BUT they were going to keep me in anyway as it is policy to keep people in for at least 24 hours after a bleed. I promptly went into tired miserable toddler mode and cried all over poor John and basically sulked for the rest of the day.

I started to get a pain, just under my ribs and, at the midwifes suggestion, we did a couple of laps round the corridors as it was probably due to being too sedentary over the day. It did help a little, but not much, so they gave me a couple of paracetamol in the hope that would cure it.

JJ headed home to get me a nightie (the bird poo nightie, Mum) and other bits so I could be a bit more comfy over night and have a shower etc. He had bought the scrabble in to keep me entertained but unfortunately we didn't really have time to play as I know that, even tired and hormonal, I could have WHUPPED his ass!

We spent the rest of the evening together and then JJ headed home to feed the monsters. I watched tv for a bit and about 10 ish was having trouble keeping my eyes open so settled down to sleep. About an hour later they woke me up to tell me to go to sleep and I was out like a light. Unfortunately, this supposedly quieter ward was now full of women who had come in to be induced who were being constantly monitored so they left the lights on full and people were in and out every two minutes. Whats more, the poor woman at the end of the ward needed a wee every few minutes so set off the alarm so that the midwife would come and unhook her from the machines so she could go.

Despite all that, I felt fairly refreshed when I woke at 6.30am (I, as always at the moment, needed a pee) so I watched some TV until the nurse came to wake me and then headed to the shower - Ahhh the luxury of being clean in fresh clothes (thank you sweetie!)

I had just started breakfast when the doctor appeared to examine me and very quickly gave me the all clear to go home, as long as I took it easy, didn't do any heavy lifting and minimised bending and stretching etc. I wanted to go xmas shopping so checked and he said as long as I took it gently and got someone to carry the bags it would be fine. The head midwife did the final paperwork with me and it was then that they realised that I had been in for 2 days without being given a wristband and she would be "having words" with Serena, the midwife who admitted me.

I left a number of messages for JJ trying to get him to pick me up which he didn't reply to so I didn't know if he had got them or indeed if he was out of bed yet (he was knackered yesterday). I eventually managed to get hold of him just as he was leaving and YAY! I finally got to go to home, after passing off the brainless pap that was the OK magazine on the neighbouring woman (I was too ashamed to pass on The Sun paper). I was a very happy monkey.

The doggeroos were happy to see me, as I was them so we played with them for a bit and gave them some love before heading to Reading to try to start our Christmas shopping. We ambled gently round, JJ sticking to my pace and being very considerate all round. We eventually found a couple of xmas pressies (the present we were going to get for Tina is sold out EVERYWHERE so we will have to rethink) and I got advent calendars for the folks too. We eventually had to head home as I got very very tired and didn't want to push it.

The next day was Saturday and we spent most of the morning in bed recovering from the last few days. In the afternoon JJ went to watch the football (Wolves drew and JJ adopted a grandad) and then we headed to the garden center to get some bits for the advent wreath. It was 10% off day, so we also got dog food and my GOD it was crowded. I got a bit hormonal at one point as it was so crowded that people weren't even observing basic politeness and I got all tearful and silly about it. JJ noticed and sorted me out with a hug. That all basically wore me out for the rest of the day.

Today, we went on a mission to find candles for the wreath as we couldn't find any that we liked the day before. We visited every garden center in the area and eventually found some in Notcutts in Bagshott. While on the never ending candle quest, I realised that I could feel the babies back on one side of my belly and that, if I ran my hand down, I could get my finger tips under his butt, something that JJ had not felt before so I stopped in the middle of the garden center and instructed him where to grope and he was really pleased and people around us were only slightly taken aback...

We then headed home and JJ sorted out his tools (he had a brainwave recently that we could empty one of our multitude of kitchen cabinets and store them in there so they would be easy to get to, so set to it with a will) while I assembled the wreath. It was a bit of a cheat as they had had ready made undecorated wreaths for sale at the garden center, but I didn't really feel up for doing one from scratch as I would normally. It turned out quite well, though there were a few unforeseen complications caused by not custom making the wreath but we solved them.

Then, to celebrate first advent, we lit the first candle and had a very delicious roast chicken dinner while listening to Christmas music. All in all, a relaxing end to a stress filled week...

EDIT : And Finally, Top Gear reminded us that it could always be worse...

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Week 25 : It's all coming together beautifully

At the weekend, John's Mum gave us her dining room furniture as she had decided to replace it with some new lighter colored bits. After a lot of work on sunday, we kinda managed to get them into place (we had to deconstruct the cupboards we had there and store them so JJ can have them in his shed next year) and the dining room began to look more like a dining room and less like a storage room. I spent all Monday tidying and it looks even better (and strangely bigger even though the units are a similar size) and then on Tuesday our new dining room table arrived. It was bigger than I remembered (good thing we did go for the other one we were considering or it would have been HUGE) but in celebration at having a dining room back we celebrated with homemade pizza...

As you can see, John was really impressed at having to wait for his pizza and I haven't quite finished dejunking the dining room - the wire basket and stuff behind the table are all empty and just need storing somewhere and underneath it are picture frames waiting to go on the wall. (Not the best pictures ever - I had the wrong lens on but the food was getting cold so didn't want to spend time swopping things round).

Friday 21 November 2008

Week 24 : SO frustrating

I booked ante-natal classes some time ago at my first official scan. We were told not to leave it until a later appointment as spaces were limited and to ensure a place on the correct course (starting in week 28-30) we should book immeadiately. The classes we were assigned were due to start at the end of the month, a little early, but the christmas break meant we had to start earlier in order to fit them in on time.

I have just had a call to say that they have had some mothers who hadn't got round to booking when told and now have to be fitted in and that I would have to now wait until mid-January for classes, meaning I will not be finishing the classes until week 36. I wouldn't mind this so much, but a baby born in week 36 is considered to be full term and treated as such. So, if the baby is premature it will be here before the classes finish!

The woman I spoke to was the oriental mid-wife that I REALLY dislike who barely let us get a word in edgewise and didn't listen (JJ wasn't too keen on her either) so now I am worried that maybe she is running the classes.

I had been feeling more and more relaxed about the birth cos I knew that the classes were coming up and I would have all the information etc that I needed - now I am a complete mess and frankly fuming. What is more annoying, I know I am being unreasonable - I will only be finishing the classes two weeks later than I would have done if christmas weren't in the way but I still am SO annoyed. And in addition to all that, there was something prowling round the neighbours garden last night, setting off their garden light and so Thai decided to become a guard dog and bark at it all night so I am already tired and emotional.

I rang my Mum at the office and cried at her for a bit and she cheered me up with tales of the switching on of the christmas lights in Guildford, which sounded lovely. Unfortunately, I have missed the switching on of Bracknell's lights, which was yesterday. Damn it!

Thursday 20 November 2008


I was just joking with JJ, via email, about knitting a star trek uniform for the baby. Lo and behold, five minutes later, he comes up with THIS!

I best get on finish my current project so I can get started...

Monday 17 November 2008

Week 24 : On the up

OK so after my last miserable post I am feeling much more positive. I had an evening of irrational anger on Friday (nothing I could do would calm me down and I wasn't really angry at anything in particular - it was quite perculiar) but on Saturday we at least made a start on organising - John tidied the loft so we could pop more stuff up there to store and then in the evening he suggested getting a dvd (something we haven't doen in ages) and we watched the new Indiana Jones which was silly but very enjoyable.

On Sunday I had great plans, but we sat down to eat breakfast and scrapheap challenge was on so we ended up watching until 4, when we headed off to Chris's to make this years christmas cakes. We had a very pleasant evening, playing with the dog and mixing fruit but we had to leave before the cakes were down as we had a way to go and the dogs needed feeding. I did feel a bit bad as baby talk pretty much dominated conversation as I haven't seen any of them since we knew, but I don't think I was toooo bad and did TRY to not chat about the baby too much. We will be going back later to decorate the cakes, so I need to dig out some decorations at some point and need to make the christmas pud next weekend, ready for next year (Mum has kindly donated her recipe).

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Week 23 : Downhearted, dispirited and downright miserable...

Well, not a good day today. Was feeling good when I got up - had maybe coughed only once or twice and was feeling properly human. Packed John off to work and sat down to a hard boiled egg and wholemeal toast, which was delicious, and to watch the news. Finished breakfast, reached for my glass to take a swig and immeadiately, without any warning, threw up. I then threw up another 4 times between the lounge and kitchen sink, in the dining room I threw up, trod in it and skidded into the hall and finally made it to safety. I then threw up until I was just dry heaving.

Clean up was easier than it would have been as I forgot that Thai will eat anything and by the time I had washed my way back to the lounge, she had eaten the worst of it. Hopefully, it was just a pregnancy puke and nothing worse that is going to make her ill too.

It is SO demoralising - I spent the most of the first 4 months throwing up everyday, as I came out of that I caught a cold that made me throw up at least once most days until about a week ago and, yesterday afternoon, I finally started to feel like I was over the worst of it for the time being and had a brief burst of energy, putting up curtains and tidying the lounge, giving the kitchen a once over and actually cooking a proper meal instead of the quick rubbish that we have been eating up to now, only to find that today I am back to square one.

I am feeling down and miserable - everyone I speak to or read about seems to have had an easy pregnancy, sick once or twice in the first trimester and then a fantastic burst of energy and happiness in the second trimester. I am now over half way through my second trimester and still feeling crappy. I am almost angry and feel cheated of the pregnancy I should be having (silly I know). My one consolation is , when I was sick, I managed to hit Johns precious slippers!

To add insult to injury, the program that was on after the news has a really awful chavy couple and they had the same curtains and curtain pole that I just put up yesterday.

Monday 10 November 2008

Week 23 : Craving oddities

Well I thought I was over the baked bean thing - last nght John, feeling left out from the beans on toast craze, decided he wanted them and I really wasn't that fussed and, eating them, found them a bit bland and tasteless. I assumed that I had got over the craving but today I have just been on the wiifit and immeadiately am fancying beans on jacket potatoes... Thing is I really need to up my vegetable intake before I turn into a baked bean so I may push out the barrel and make a proper meal...

Thursday 6 November 2008

Week 22 : WiiWhat?!

So I decided to bite the bullet and get on the wiifit today for the first time since I found out I was pregnant. I braced myself for the weight gain and told myself, no matter how much I had gone up not to worry - doctors weren't too worried about weight gain in pregnancy anymore and I could loose it once the baby was born, after all isn't breast feeding supposed to be good for weight loss?! But to my immense suprise, I have lost 11lb! I can only assume it is a consequence of vomiting so apocalyptically during morning sickness, coupled with cutting out much of the sugar in my diet due to the diabetes fears.

On a different note, the Bank of England lowered the interest rate today by 1.5%! Obviously trying to force the banks to pass on savings to mortgage holders asap. That means that, assuming the rate cut does get passed on in full (unlikely but you never know) it could save us over £175 a month. Which is nice...

Wednesday 5 November 2008


Well, after 8 years of dumbassery, moroniconism and needs-a-slap-itus the americans have finally done it right. I gave up at 2.30 and went to bed fairly sure that Obama would take it, John waited until 5.30 to hear both candidates speeches before coming to bed. John McCains acceptance speech was apparently everything that it should be - humble, gracious and only marred by some scattered booing (quickly sushed by McCain himself) when he mentioned he had spoken to Obama. And Obama's speech was rousing, inspirational and, fittingly in the current financial troubles, had a serious and sensible tone. John likened it to the speech in Independence Day "WE SHALL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT..." (itself a reference to a Dylan Thomas poem).

At the moment, Obama is standing at 349 - just one seat away from what is traditionally considered a landslide.

I just have two negative comments, looking back on things. Firstly, I heard today that the extent of negative campaigning in this election was higher than it has ever been, 4 out of 5 ads for McCain were negative and 3 out of 5 from Obama. This to me is unacceptable and does not bode well for politics in the future. Also, wonderful though it is that a country that, just 2 years ago, would not vote for a Black president has still not seen fit to elect a member of the majority of the population (currently approx 50.7%) - a woman. But that is just sour grapes on my part and frankly I have never been so emotionally invested in a foreign election before and could not be happier - yet another good omen for my baby's future...

Poor Mum has just been signed off work with shingles - very itchy apparently. Most annoyingly it means that she can't sell hotdogs at the bonfire on saturday so poor Dad looks like he may be on his own. I had hoped to be able to help but I am still coughing - still there is still time for the cough to ease off - fingers crossed.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
There is no reason why gunpowder season
should ever be forgot...

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Week 22: Election Fever

I am not well with the horrendous cold that had me up 4 times in the night to cough my lungs up so have spent the best part of the day (except for my trip to the dentist) watching the coverage on the US elections on BBC 24. It is really interesting to contrast the coverage of the BBC, which seems objective and based on reporters observations, and CNN's coverage which seems overly sentimental and a bit scattergun like. I am quite energised by the prospect of Obama becoming president - the atmosphere is very exciting but I can't help but be a little nervous - after all they though Kerry would take it and then George W got back in to everyone's dismay. Hopefully the Americans will see sense and vote in, what seems to me anyway, the only way that they can if they are to salvage their world-wide reputation, even if only in a small way...

On the pregnancy side, I had the first cup of coffee since getting pregnant today (JJ's fault - he sent me this article which started me craving after having quite easily given up coffee completely up to now) and I really shouldn't have bothered - it gave me a massive headache and the baby almost immediately obviously got the caffeine hit as it decided to demonstrate its tap dance technique. I shall leave it, except for the occasional coke, until after the baby is born to venture to Starbucks I think...
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