I’m 30 and a half weeks now, and that feels pretty weird. This week has been weird generally what with the election result and the frankly mindboggling news that Donald Trump is the president of the USA. There’s so much to say and yet there are no words. I’ve said some of what I felt on fb, but it’s not enough. So this won’t be a post about that, but it’s not to say I’m not thinking about it and hurting for all the people for whom America must seem like an awful place to be right now.
Tomorrow is the biggest baby milestone I can think of that’s actually visible to the outside world: my baby shower. All the other milestones are these kind of in-your-head milestones that don’t really register to other people. One of the things I did this week was have a long chat with my brother-in-law about my sister’s IVF treatment. They are currently going through cycle 2 and that’s why she’s not coming to my baby shower. (I completely understand and never expected her to. She sent me a lovely and insanely expensive cashmere blanket and toy for the baby and a scented candle for me. I literally can never have enough scented candles. Tbh I wouldn’t have been minded if she’d sent nothing. I know the battle she’s fighting.)
What I explained to my BIL is that it’s hard to understand what the woman is going through because there are so many milestones/hurdles and it feels like a neverending marathon. For my sister, the next one is whether their frosty is going to defrost okay. We never had any frosties – for us with our live cycle it was to see if I produced any eggs. And then if they fertilised… And the transfer… The two week wait… The first ultrasound… The second ultrasound… The twelve week ultrasound… 16 weeks… 20 weeks… 24 weeks and viability… I am really hoping that their frosty is the one and she’s going to be pregnant with my niece or nephew before B arrives. I know it will be so horrible for her if it doesn’t work. Trying not to think about that.
I am three quarters of the way through pregnancy. I’m in the third and final trimester. I have a mahoosive bump which even today has gained new stretch marks. (Turns out that my skin which I’ve always thought was nice and supple is actually completely unstretchable… boo…) Also, I had an annoying experience about my gestational diabetes today. I was working from home, which I tend to do on a Friday (awesome to spend the day with Dog snoozing on me… I don’t think I could love him more!) and the post came through the letterbox. I opened a letter addressed to me and it was my bloody appointment for two hours before!!! What kind of bloody stupid department sends you an appointment letter that arrives after the appointment? I tried calling them a few times but of course no answer.
I was pretty upset about this and of course called T to vent, and he suggested maybe I head to the hospital and see if they could squeeze me in. But I wasn’t dressed (work from home day!) and it also takes like half an hour to get there on public transport. So I was going to do that, and then I thought I’d call L (super midwife who also works at that hospital) and see what she thought I should do. She said not to go to the hospital as she thought it’s a morning clinic, and she’d try and get through to them and text me. She did, and it turns out the letters were sent by a temp who was supposed to call up as well to confirm. As a result, only two women turned up for clinic today!
I was so mad. I mean, it’s the NHS (National Health Service – UK healthcare) and that’s public money, and that temp not doing their job properly meant that nurses and doctors were sitting around today waiting for people who never came. What a waste of public resources. So frustrating. Also it means for another week (they’ve rescheduled to next week) I have to wait and still not know the results of my gestational diabetes test or what I should be doing. Anyway. They can’t think it’s that urgent so I’ll try not to worry about it. (I’m not really, after I read all the literature and realised it’s mainly about big babies rather than anything else.)
In other news my mum had an op yesterday, which means she can’t come to my baby shower either, as she is recuperating. I am really okay with this as I don’t think I’m a baby-shower-zilla or anything! I mean, it’s a totally optional thing and it’s also a sort of half celebration of other stuff so it’s more of a girly get together. T’s mum and sister are coming, so that’s nice. Mum is fine, but a member of our family is dying (cancer, bloody cancer) and so she’s ended up sitting by that person’s bedside whilst dosed up on painkillers. Probably not the easiest thing to do after a big operation. (She is okay but it’s sore.)
The dying person has actually been a real… not nice… person for their entire life so I find it hard to be really sad about them dying. But my mother is the kind of person who doesn’t want someone to die alone, so she’s sitting at the hospital as we speak and my dad’s probably trying to persuade her to go home. (That must make me sound heartless. I don’t wish the person ill. I just can’t muster up a huge amount of sadness for someone who was so nasty for their entire life.) I guess it’s sad that on your deathbed that you aren’t surrounded by friends and family because you pushed them all away. I would go but last time that person was really ill, I went and they were just as nasty as ever! I really thought on your deathbed you got nice, but I guess it doesn’t happen for everyone. I’ve sent cards, but sometimes distance has to remain. I feel really sad for the person but I can’t go to them.
So in a way it seems callous to be excited about my party / baby shower when there are so many other things going on. Like my friend with cancer. She’s had her first chemo treatments and is feeling sick but still seems upbeat and we are trying to cheer her up. I guess that is how life balances out. We have to have moments of fun in dark times. And for me, this whole pregnancy has been a really strange experience and of not knowing whether it’s okay to be happy or not. Believe it or not, even at 30 weeks I still worry. (Although I did get told by the doctor that they consider “term” anything after 37… WTF? That could mean Christmas!) I still feel uneasy at being “the pregnant lady” – but I am excited to see a bunch of friends I haven’t seen for a while, because I haven’t been socialising much.
T’s away this weekend for a boys’ weekend… probably the last he’ll be going on for a while! It’s not strictly speaking a normal boys’ weekend but him and another friend taking out their friend who has some additional needs. This guy has some physical and mental health problems so they try and take him away for a weekend every now and again so he can feel a bit normal. He sometimes comes to stay with us too, but in our new flat there isn’t really any room as it’s tiny. So I have a whole weekend that’s just me and Dog, and the baby shower.
I’m actually kind of enjoying the fact that I don’t have to do that much other than snuggle with Dog! I keep looking at him and wondering what it will be like when B is here and whether I will be able to give him the same amount of attention and make him feel happy and loved. Maybe this is what people feel when they have a second child? I keep trying to explain to him but he doesn’t speak good English and just licks me!
The best thing about the baby shower tomorrow is I get to see my BFF, who doesn’t live in this country. I’m super excited to see her and also my other friends. Since we moved and I was pregnant, I haven’t been socialising as much, mainly because we were really busy with moving and unpacking (umm, still not finished) and then I wasn’t going out drinking. So it will be great to see people. I think there are about 20! We have a room in our local pub booked for Christmas dinner. I love Christmas. It’s my favourite time of the year! It will be my first Christmas dinner of the year!
T and I decided we would open the baby shower presents that had arrived before he left, so last night we opened a bunch of them. We already have loads of stuff from my mum, and some clothes we had bought, and of course Tiger. So we opened other presents people had sent. In the UK, baby showers aren’t really a thing – they’re very optional. And people don’t really do big presents like in the US (from what my American friends tell me). They tend to do clothes or toys. So we’ve tried not to buy many of either and somehow still managed to accumulate a few!
We made an amazon list just in case people wanted ideas and also to remind us of things we were going to get, and so last night we opened a bunch of those. People were really generous! We had a baby bouncer, a light and music mobile, gift card, pram toy… and one of my friends got the insanely expensive Steiff toy of Dog (or lookalike) which we had totally not expected anyone to get! Which was so nice. So now B has a Tiger, Dog, hippo, bear and rabbit to choose from! We realised we don’t really have many big ticket items to get now. (My parents paid for the pram, car seat, carrier and sling so we are sorted for that.) We need the cot (I finally decided on the Snuzpod) and a baby changer, which we are probably going to get from IKEA once we have the car. It’s crazy as we have probably forgotten something important!
It feels weird still but I’m hoping that everything goes okay for B’s arrival and that the gestational diabetes is the only complication. I find myself worrying that something bad will happen but I try and close off that option in my head and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. The thought of four months off is nice! Although I’m sure maternity leave is probably more physically gruelling than holiday! Everyone keeps remarking how calm I am about the whole thing, and I’m like… I’m sure many people have done it before and it’s not like he’s the only child who’s ever been born. (Also I think, I have waited and hoped for this for so long… I’m not going to feel like it’s an awful thing. I’m sure childbirth is kind of a slog, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it! Same goes for the sleepless nights!)
It feels like work is on slight wind-down mode. My boss decided I was so good at the previous work party organisation that I could organise the Christmas party – so I booked that today. Bit annoying I’m not going to get the full benefit of the mixology (cocktail making) class and dancing, but at least I’ll enjoy another Christmas dinner! We are going out in the west end of London which is the slightly swankier area. I booked a bar where we can do all of it without changing venue. I can’t believe men arrange things so late! I told my boss next year I will be booking it in June!
When I went to check out the venue, it just so happened that they were doing a shopping event with 20% off in lots of shops so I got some presents for T, because he’s really fussy about the shops he buys clothes from and they were included in that promotion. I had to try and remember what shoe size he was, and was relieved when I got home that I was right! Phew! And I got him a winter coat too from his favourite shop. It was kind of comical as I got two of the guys in store to try it on and see if it was the right size! It cost a lot so 20% off was a great stroke of luck! Here’s hoping he likes them. In our tiny flat now there is literally nowhere that’s not in sight, and we don’t currently have any wardrobes or anything I can hide them in, so I managed to hide them under my side of the bed!
Other news this week – Starbucks got the red cups in! Christmas season can begin!