Tagged: NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo roundup

Well, I did it! This is my final post for NaBloPoMo, the blogging challenge for November. I can’t quite imagine how, but I’ve managed to bore you post every single day in November. Wowsers! (Now I can go back to the usual blogging-every-few-days thing and stop the 11pm panic setting in…)

Things I blogged about in November:

Whether I should tell my ex that I’m pregnant (my most popular post in November) – answer: I haven’t as of yet, and have no immediate plans, though I’m pretty sure it’ll come up

How not to react when someone congratulates you on being pregnant – about pregnancy after loss and the emotional implications (second most popular post)

Going to my friends’ (gay) wedding – a beautiful Scottish weekend and how #loveislove as far as I’m concerned

Different kinds of love – how people react to a gay wedding, and a small story about my dad, and an ode to girlfriends

DNA testing for adoptees and my experience of getting my head round it, and a bit on adoption in general, because that’s partly what my blog is about

How I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes (ugh) and dealing with it

Being pregnant (quite a lot of what my blog is about right now) and thinking of other people going through infertility and IVF

A very shocking turn of events at my baby shower and how two people’s hearts stopped within 24 hours

Some stuff on the US election (it’s just too depressing)

Some cakes!

And a bunch of other stuff. Because I really did manage to do it every day (UK time, anyway!).

 

One of the bittersweet things I notice from the stats is that my all time most popular post (other than the homepage) is from June 1 last year. Entitled “Day 53: Not so Clearblue”, it was my first ever experience of a positive pregnancy test. I was so happy that day!

One year on and quite a lot wiser (though still fairly headstrong and stupid), I know that a positive pregnancy test is only the first step. That pregnancy – my first ever pregnancy in all my 30-something (closer to 40) years, ended in a physically and emotionally painful miscarriage. This time last year I was holding a deep sadness in my heart, rather than a baby. In February this year, my first baby’s due date, I really thought my heart was breaking.

This November, I feel a lot different. Reading those posts, I want to give 2015 Me a hug. And tell her it will be alright (so far). Today I am 33 weeks pregnant with a little fat guy who’s currently taking up residence in my uterus. B (for Baby – I couldn’t bring myself to give him a cutesy nickname like our last one had) is due mid January 2017 and with each passing day I feel like he’s more and more likely to make it.

(The little bugger keeps kicking my innards and bouncing on my bladder, anyway.)

I’m thinking of 2015 Me and Last November Me and all the Mes who’ve been and gone and are still partly here. The bruised Mes, the hurt Mes and the Me who’s still here in November 2016, who never quite believed and yet is still somehow still going. And all the Not-Mes too who are going through their own hardships – the pain of infertility, the complex feelings around adoption, and all the other things we find hard to put into words.

A year ago I already knew you, my blogfriends, and I knew how much you’d saved me. I don’t know if you do. Blogging gave me an outlet to try and put those feelings and experiences into words, and to understand I wasn’t alone.

So, thank you to BlogHer for the blogging challenge – but moreso, thank you to all my blogfriends for being awesome.

You mean the world.

#NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Advertisements

Tired

Not much of an excuse, but today I spent 5.5hrs straight at a conference and I’m tired. I’m also almost 33 weeks pregnant and realising that things are changing in the way of I really don’t feel as sprightly as I used to! I don’t feel ill in myself, but I just feel like I’m lugging about a lot of weight/bulk and (for probably not the first time) I feel like staying at home and lying on the sofa rather than dragging myself out!

Also it seems like Winter’s well and truly hit today – we finally reached 0°C (which is freezing point of water – for those of you who measure in Farenheit!) and it’s absolutely chilling! I got home this eve and took Dog out for his walk and even he didn’t seem that keen! (He has the most gorgeous little coat that makes him look adorable but he dislikes putting on!)

Anyway, here’s the view from the conference… Pretty cool!


This morning I had my doctor’s appointment and also saw my amazing midwife who came to speak to the doc with me. They said that B was measuring big, but consistently big, as expected with the GD, but nothing to worry about right now. Also I’ve been doing a pretty good job managing the GD so far (although I have an appointment with the diabetes nurse on Thursday so we’ll see what they think) – I only went over the recommended limits a few times, which for my first couple of weeks monitoring isn’t too bad. You have to try different foods and see what affects your blood sugar. For example, they recommended no sugar Alpen (muesli) for breakfast but that just sent my blood sugar up and up. Whereas full fat greek yoghurt with a bit of (sugar!) cereal added keeps it low. Go figure.

So the conference was all about women and technology and how awesome they are (which I knew already!). It was pretty good, and any other time I would have been super into it. But now I think I’ve just reached a stage of tiredness (even with iron tablets!) where I need more rest! In fact my pregnancy apps / emails have suggested at this stage I should be considering having catnaps during the day and swimming for relaxation… It’s a bit annoying but I think they just assume that all pregnant women don’t work. Or that they’ve given up by now!

The mat leave thing is interesting… I really never knew that people went off on maternity before the baby was born. I kind of figured they might just work until the due date or the baby arrived. I suppose I’ve not paid much attention to it. So far I’ve planned to leave a week before my due date (39 weeks) but I am thinking I should have left when I leave for Christmas, which will be around 36 weeks! But I don’t have paid maternity leave so I’ll have to try and maximise the planned leave of 4 months, and it makes sense for B actually to be here rather than me just lazing around! So I think I’ll just work from home in January! 

I can’t imagine going on the tube / public transport at that stage. Even tonight I didn’t get a seat (despite wearing the Baby on Board badge) even though I’ve got a massive bump and the train was really crowded. I got one after a stop or two had gone by but it did mean standing for a while on a very crowded train, which makes you feel kind of vulnerable. Fortunately I think people understand when I say I want to leave on time / early, but I don’t think I really understood before how tiring growing a human is. I certainly don’t take it for granted as I never thought I would be able to do it. I’m just super tired right now!

Within spitting distance

Today is the day I decided to spit in a bottle and hope one day it might lead me to my biological family.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that 1) I was adopted as a baby, from overseas, in a closed (no further contact) adoption, and 2) I was given an anonymous donation via a forum for transracial adoptees so that I could buy a DNA test.

The DNA test from 23andMe has been sitting on our coffee table for days. Probably weeks. It’s a weird thing, if you’re adopted, the promise of maybe being able to tell you a bit more about your genetics… the other stuff that people take for granted… to maybe know what your ethnic makeup is… to maybe know what your medical history might be… and the biggy – to maybe get in touch with some of your biological relatives.

For me, I have had a complex, layered, interesting life that I’m pretty happy with right now. But I wasn’t always. I had a tough time growing up, feeling and looking different in a mainly white world. But – I’ve come through it okay. I love my (adoptive) family. I love all those people who are part of a family with whom I share no genetics and don’t look anything like. To many people I’m one of those “Happy Adoptees”. (A label that people use as if adoptees can only be happy or angry, not recognising that most of us are neither, or both, all of the time.)

The other thing I want to say is that wanting to know more about your biology / genetics / first family is not a reflection of having a bad life, hating your adoptive family, or whatever. It just isn’t. Take my word for it. I don’t want to keep having to apologise for this but think of it this way: Imagine not knowing anyone in the world you look like. Imagine always having to say, “I don’t know” when the doctor asks you about your medical history. Imagine never knowing anything about your parents and being expected just to forget about them and not wonder. That’s what it’s like being an adoptee. 

For me what has brought all this to the fore is this baby, B, I’m carrying and am due to give birth to in January. I can’t escape the feeling that he will get half (or more!) of my looks and genetic makeup and I’m completely inequipped to give him any notion of what it is to be [our race]. That makes me feel really sad. And I guess it’s doubly a big thing for B, because he has two parents who were adopted, so he’s the first of our line. That is a really weird thought. He will be biracial with no idea about one half of his racial makeup, because I can’t give him that.

I grew up feeling a pull between being completely assimilated into my parents’ predominantly white world (I grew up in the “colourblind” era) and feeling kind of ashamed of my race. There are a lot of negative stereotypes with being non-white. And for me, it has taken me a really long time to even identify with being my race. And I feel like I look that way but I have no information, no frame of reference, no language or culture or love of the food or anything else that non-adopted people grow up with.

Anyway, for some reason I decided today was the day.


The DNA testing kit comes in a small box. Inside is a little tube you have to spit in up to a certain line. It looks like a lot, but actually it didn’t take me too long. (I guess I have a lot of spit?) I kept worrying I probably wasn’t spitting right, but then how does one spit right? 


Once you’ve filled it to the line with your spit, you click the temporary lid on and a liquid comes out which mixes with the saliva and presumably preserves it long enough to post it. Then you screw the cap on and bag it up, ready to post back in the box it came in. Clever, eh?


I liked the way it says Biohazard on! My saliva, the chemical weapon!

So now I have it boxed up and ready to go by the front door. The box handily comes with pre-paid postage but I figure I’ll take it to the post office to post it, just in case.

And then it’s a waiting game. (Where have I heard that before?) There is a website where I can track whether it has been received by the lab, and then they analyse it and I’ll find out if they can get anything useful out of it.

I don’t know what I’m more interested in really – the idea that I might find out more about my genetics, my medical history, or some distant relatives. 

Or maybe it’s just a typical adoptee dream that I’ll log on and it’ll tell me that my biological brother / sister / parents have already registered, and they’ve been waiting for me to test.

Yeah, it’s probably that.

I know that it’s completely unlikely that they would have done this, but for now I can dream…

Small acts of love

When I was younger, I spent quite a while away from my family at school. It was back in the days where we didn’t have email, but postal mail – which wasn’t known as “snail mail” but just “mail” (or “post” in the UK).

I was brought up by fairly traditional parents where my dad was the breadwinner and my mum was a stay at home mum (although she did do some part time work as we got older). They were also traditional in the way that my mum was the more nurturing one and my dad was a bit more – not cold, but slightly more distant. (Although my mother liked to think she could say things like, “Wait till your father gets home!” if we were naughty, she never cottoned onto the fact that he was a lot less scary than she was!)

So generally my mother was always the one who gave the instant feedback and the “I love you” and compliments. My dad was more of the, “What are you going to do for a career?” and, “What did you score in that exam?” and, “How many people were ahead of you?” type. It’s not to say he wasn’t proud of us, but I knew his pride was quite conditional on doing well. Which I duly did.

As is typical for a lot of families, if we ever spoke on the phone, it would be picked up by my dad who would exchange brief pleasantries followed by the inevitable, “I’ll get your mother.”

My mum was the one who took us shopping, brought us to appointments, and took us to the doctor if we needed a doctor. Most of the time, my dad would be working. Because they were quite traditional in their roles, you’d be forgiven for thinking my dad wasn’t the lovey dovey type.

And yet.

When I was away at school, every few months I’d receive an envelope. It would be stuffed, slightly. More than a letter.

And inside, there would be a stack of comic strips. Every day I was away, my dad would take a pair of scissors to the newspaper and cut out my favourite comic strip and add it to the pile. And every few months he would send me the pile of comic strips. Just that – maybe a short note, but certainly nothing flowery or demonstrative… apart from a small reminder of how he had thought about me and remembered the comic strip I loved, every single day I was away.

And what was the comic I loved? It was called Adam – about a suburban dad who loves his family.

It’s taken me 20-odd years to realise that that bundle of comic strips was my dad telling me he loved me.


   

In pictures: Christmas beginnings

Today we had a local Christmas festival to mark the opening of the Christmas season. I love Christmas! And so great we got to see it all on our doorstep. Strictly speaking, I try not to think too much about Christmas before December, but it’s too much fun to avoid!

So here are some pics of today. It was freezing, but we bundled up Dog in his little jacket and braved the cold. It was worth it! Lots of fun! 

Creepy big santa puppet…

Fireworks! I love fireworks! Dog didn’t mind them at all. He’s grown up hearing them so luckily he doesn’t care at all.

School lantern parade. I felt really emotional seeing them all with their home made lanterns! It was so sweet.

Creepy Santa on parade!

A *cough* diabetic treat!

Our local celebrity opening the Christmas show.


All in all, we had a lovely time. Every year we go to Paris for our pre-Christmas Disney and Christmas markets trip, and this year I’m not traveling in December because it’s too close to B being born, so this kind of makes up for it!

Almost time for Christmas countdown to begin!

Little buddha and the big screen

A quick update for today, as we’ve been out late at the flicks to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was good I think, although I’m tired today (as seems to be my default state now and 32 and a bit weeks) so I had a bit of time in the middle where I was falling asleep! It’s quite funny as one of the things they said at NCT (antenatal) class was that you need to make time to nurture your relationship, and we were meant to name things we did together and we said we go to the cinema a lot. I think when you’re getting to the heavily pregnant stage and you’re not drinking, it’s nice to go and sit in the dark and relax!

We have an Unlimited card which means we can go as many times as we like in a year, which is cool! We’ve seen so many films we probably wouldn’t have bothered seeing if we didn’t have the cards. I know everyone has widescreen tvs now and Sky and cable and so on, but there’s something magical about the cinema. It’s true escapism. When we are at home we’re always doing something else as well as watching! I was talking with someone at work about it and she said she never cries in real life but she does cry watching films, and I’m exactly the same! (Well, apart from when I’m shot through with pregnancy hormones!) T and I were saying how we were going to take B and he can inherit our enjoyment of cinema!

Anyway, FBAWTFT had been recommended by quite a few people so we thought it was worth a watch. It’s not my normal sort of thing but it was entertaining. The best bit was the beasts, which judging by the production credits at the end were the largest effort involved. There are some fairly stunning visuals in the film and some big names, but I’d say I’m most looking forward to seeing some of the new films coming out. I saw the trailer for A Monster Calls for the second time which is based on a book I really loved by Patrick Ness (who also wrote the amazing Chaos Walking trilogy). I cried for the second time! Just at the trailer! Definitely pregnant!

My usual Friday was somewhat diminished in relaxation time as I had to go to one of our far away offices to do an interview, rather than working from home as I usually do. And to start the day I had an ultrasound, so I had to battle rush hour public transport and the school run to get to the hospital in time. I was hoping to get a good view of B, but it turns out he was head down in my pelvis and the sonographer didn’t even think she could measure him. Eventually she managed to get the measurements by me turning on my side and that meant I could barely see him. No pictures today! Which was a shame as T was at work. Hopefully we’ll get some final decent ones next week at our final private scan (where he takes a lot longer to get the measurements and a picture, unlike the NHS where they’re pushed for time, understandably).

Anyway I then got sent to the midwives for them to interpret the results. I had to wait for quite a while as it’s the Day Assessment Centre where people go if they are worried about the baby not kicking, etc. It didn’t do much for my confidence to hear people getting investigated for their babies not moving… but thankfully no emergencies happened (although I think one lady was getting induced!). Eventually I got to see the midwife and she said she wasn’t worried about the measurements as he’s consistently big. No need for a further scan. Phew!

Then as I was leaving I ran into L (my amazing midwife!) so she took a quick look at my notes and the scan results and said again she wasn’t worried either. He is consistently big – around 95th percentile for all measurements and a bit less for his head – but she said that’s kind of to be expected with the gestational diabetes and it just means he’s going to be a little fatty! I texted T and said that he’s going to look like a little Buddha!


Later this afternoon I had to schlep across town to our other office and do an interview. It was kind of annoying because the interviewee asked to push everything back by 15 min as she had an urgent call. And then turned up 5 minutes late (and my part of the interview was only 15 minutes!) so it was fairly limited in usefulness. The other people interviewing her didn’t think much of her either so it seemed like a bit of a waste of time. But it’s handy to go back to our offices now and again (as I usually work on client site) so a bit of networking wasn’t an entire waste. I spent more time catching up with people than I did on the interview!

On the plus side, despite the time constraints today I managed to sort out a bunch of admin stuff, including picking up my prescription for iron tablets and the diabetes test strips. This is harder than it sounds as you have to get to the surgery during opening hours to request your prescriptions and then to the pharmacy when it’s open, too. It was really nice as I had a chat with the pharmacist and when I mentioned that the test strips run out really quickly, she gave me an extra two boxes for the same prescription! Sometimes you have a day when people are nice!

My GD testing today went pretty well and I had some of my lowest scores since I started testing, despite even having a (whisper) Starbucks hot chocolate! Not sure how that happened, but I think it was because of the cream. When you combine other stuff (fat, protein) with carbs, it reduces the effect of the carbs, or something. Anyway it was freezing today so the fact I could have a hot chocolate on a cold day really cheered me up.

And finally on the nice people side, I went and chatted up concierge about parking permits, and they sorted some stuff out for me (boring admin!) after I promised to bake them brownies! They also made a total fuss over Dog who was looking super cute in his new winter coat. (I can’t post a picture for anonymity but I can tell you that there is a clothing line for dogs that is similar to Canada Goose, called Canada Pooch! So funny.)

So all in all, I’m still completely knackered but the feeling of going into the weekend – long lie in tomorrow – is quite blissful. I even have Monday off and I’m seeing my folks. Hurray for weekends!

Rites of passage (32 weeks)

I’m absolutely knackered. I think the lack of carbs is making me sleepy or maybe it’s just that I’m now 32 weeks pregnant. Today was pretty tiring, and the whole gestational diabetes and trying to control my diet probably doesn’t help. I’ve been controlling it pretty well with diet, which means my blood tests have mainly all come back within range, but the side effect is that I don’t have much energy. Although I think my bump has grown more this week so maybe it’s the effort of lugging that around!

This afternoon I had a workshop for three hours. Being fairly heavily pregnant, sitting in a hot room for hours and listening to people talk about fairly unexciting work stuff whilst feeling carb deprived and sleepy doesn’t really make for a pleasant afternoon! Anyway, I was fairly engaged until right at the end where they were droning on a bit too long. I was looking at my phone when one of the presenters (that client who did the racial slur on me when drunk) tried to call me out in front of the other people there.

I thought this was kind of funny-peculiar (not haha) because it seemed a really schoolteachery thing to do. It was like she wanted to try and embarrass me by asking me what I thought of what they’d been discussing, because she thought I wasn’t paying attention. Of course I had been half listening so I answered the question and provided an explanation. Anyway, I thought that was a weird and sort of combative thing to do, to try and put me on the spot like that. Also, who picks on the heavily pregnant woman and how does she know why I was looking at my phone? Her boss looks at his phone pretty much solidly throughout any meeting. And it wasn’t a meeting, it was a workshop with lots of tables and loads of people and I wasn’t the only one looking at my phone.

Not to weigh too heavily on it but I wonder if it’s got back to her that I mentioned the racial slur. (I didn’t make an official complaint but I did mention it to the PA I’m buddies with and I kind of didn’t care if it got back to her boss because she was waaay out of line.) Who knows. All I know is I don’t need a combative client to deal with at this stage of pregnancy. At least I’ll be off for a few months so I can avoid her for a bit! 

Anyway, I had to leave work on time (early! On time is the new early!) to get to our very first NCT class. I can’t even remember what it stands for, but these are basically antenatal classes (which you have to pay for!) for a few weeks before the birth. You end up in a class with other couples who are due around the same time as you. As one of the dog walking guys told me, “You’ve got to do it because you’re basically paying for pregnant friends!” I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it and quite honestly could’ve gone to bed as soon as I got in from work, post Dog walk.

In the event, the NCT class is held about 5 mins walk from our place so there’s not much excuse not to go, and it was actually quite entertaining. We were in a class of 7 couples of which 6 turned up tonight. What I found interesting is the comparison between couples that you naturally do when you meet new people… or is that just me?

Out of 6 couples:

  • Only 2 couples were white British. We live in a very diverse area and I’m so glad we moved there. I really like the idea that B won’t be an odd one out in his class or where we live.
  • One couple was the exact same racial mix as we are. And they live down the road!
  • Everyone lived really close together so in theory if we make friends with any of them, we’ll be walking/bus distance to all of them.
  • 4 couples were foreign or interracial. So for once I wasn’t the odd one out!
  • Everyone is due within a few weeks of each other. In fact at least 3 of us are due within a few days. I’m due second out of the class – 4 days after the first one. And another lady’s due 4 days after me. So it’s anyone’s guess who’ll be first!
  • I think we are the only ones having a boy!
  • 5 of the couples are planning to have their babies at our hospital.
  • I think I had the biggest bump… and I was paranoid that I was the fattest. That wasn’t the best feeling but I don’t think there’s much I can do about that.
  • All the women worked. It’s good to know as I sometimes feel the pregnancy advice seems to be geared towards women who don’t work. Which is fine but this week it suggested I take up swimming and catnaps during the day… I can’t really do that in the office!

 

I guess tonight was an intro so we went through some stuff about pregnancy and supporting your partner and whatnot. A lot of it was understanding where everyone else was at, what their plans were and finding out some commonalities. Probably not that interesting unless you’re having a baby. But it wasn’t bad as an initial intro session. I think the aim of NCT is for people to have a positive childbirth experience, so I guess that’s a good aim. Also it gets the men more involved, which I’m sure is nice for them as so many things are aimed at the woman. (T enjoyed it that we got to demonstrate pregnancy / labour massage on the men!)

The one thing I found worth holding onto was the following acronym which is meant to help you if you want to understand the reasons why you might be being forced down a certain treatment path and how you can make an informed decision in the heat of the moment.

B – Benefits – What are the benefits of this course of action?

R – Risks – What are the risks associated with this course of action?

A – Alternatives – What are the alternatives to this course of action?

I thought that was quite good as it’s a less confrontational way of asking why they want you to do something (like induction, etc). Apparently there’s a longer one called BRAINS but that is way too much to remember!

The other interesting thing was seeing lifesize cross sections of a woman’s body during pregnancy and how my stomach is apparently now up under my ribs! Who knew! I guess I thought it was underneath baby or something. Ha.

So all in all, worth doing. 

Tomorrow I have my NHS ultrasound which will be the first one since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I’ll be interested to know if B is still measuring big. I’ve started realising why people go on maternity leave early… I am definitely feeling this week that I have grown more and am tired with traveling around. I worked out this week I only have 3 more weeks of work before my Christmas break, and then after that I only have just over a week before I’m due to go on maternity leave – or less if B comes early. That is a bit mindboggling! We’re nowhere near ready!

Happy turkey day

Sneaking into NaBloPoMo today with a bit of long overdue baking. I haven’t really made anything much since we moved to our new place, but T works for an American firm where they do pot luck. (We don’t really do this in the UK – the only time I’ve ever experienced it was when I was on a work trip to the US for thanksgiving. I loved it for the food and friendship side and not so much the problematic history.) T outsourced his contribution last year to me, and I’m kind of competitive when it comes to baking, so apparently the turkey cake caused a stir.

This year, despite having not much time and being quite a lot pregnant, T’s coworkers were asking what he was bringing (what I was baking and whether it would be as good as the turkey cake). He said don’t worry about it, but that’s like a red rag to a bull as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s tonight’s efforts… Enjoy! (Everything is piped out of vanilla buttercream onto vanilla cupcakes.)


Hopefully they’ll like them!

It’s not always about me

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it is always about me. I mean, that’s what stuff is like in blogland, right? Unless you have a blog that’s looking at specific issues or topics, it’s most likely a stream of consciousness open journal thingummybob and mine is no exception. (I’m so vain, you probably thought this blog was about me…)

Anyway, today I wanted to talk briefly about girlfriends. As a younger child and adolescent and – probably – in my twenties, I failed to see the attraction of girlfriends. As someone who was very badly bullied at school, I really didn’t trust girls. I mean, they were the ones who treated me terribly and made my life a misery and changed from day to day how they felt about me (usually: most hated or second most hated – boy, did I live for the days when I was only second!). Girls are kinda fickle. Or at least that’s what I thought.

Fast forward a few years. (Twenty – cough.) And I’ve somehow transformed over the years from “one of the lads” (British term for being one in a bunch of men… often used in a semi-complimentary way to describe females who hang out with men) to being one of those women (possibly I’m a bit too old to be called a girl any more – oh, sod it) who has a bunch of female friends as her main friendship group.

I’m not sure exactly when it changed… I think for a while when I was in the screwed up years, I purposely cultivated a big bunch of male friends, most of whom had some fairly dodgy ideas of what friendship was. (Mainly: shagging.) And I still love men – I really do. There’s something to be said for the kind of male camaraderie you get in a big bunch of men, but of course I only ever get to experience that as that female, one of the lads… so I’m sure that’s a slightly artificial situation. What I mean is, I have female friends who have come and gone, but some have really stood the test of time and I’m pretty sure will be friends for life.

Take my first friend: my sister. I mean, she’s completely aggravating in the way that only sisters can be, but she’s mine, and I’ve known her for the longest time. She’s the only one who knows almost as much about what it’s like to be us as I do. (I claim eldest rights here!) She’s crazy and talented and I don’t know if we’d be friends if we weren’t sisters because we are sooooo different, but we are a lifetime pair.

And my best friend: I’ve known her since we were in junior school and even though we live in different countries, we speak on Whatsapp at least every few days. She’s pretty much the nicest, kindest person in the whole entire world, and I won’t hear any different. Put it this way: I’m not the only person who thinks she’s my best friend. I think there are many who’ve claimed her, but I started calling her BFF a few years ago and I make sure those pretenders know it! I know she would do anything for me… I would do anything for her, but she’s so together that I can’t think she’d ever need any crappy help I’d give! She’s like the most serene, funny, gorgeous person in the world.

Thing is, I have a whole bunch of these girlfriends and together they are the most amazing bunch of women I can imagine. Even though they are a complete mishmash of people I’ve met over the years. Some through school, some through uni, some through work, and even some through friends of friends (that special thing where you see someone else’s friend and think, “I’ll have her!”). They are amazing women and as a tormented adolescent I couldn’t see that’s what women could be.

And the thing I have realised over time is that everyone has their sh*t. I mean, as a twenty-something, I used to get absolutely heartbroken when my female friends would let me down for social occasions and meet ups. I took them really seriously and I couldn’t believe it when people cancelled. It was a bit tantrumy, really. I’ve never been good at controlling my disappointment! 

But as I’ve gotten older I realised that people wax and wane and you move closer together and further apart. I used to think it was like planets in elliptical orbits. But I think it’s probably less regular than that. Thing is, I’ve had my own sh*t and I’ve had my times of having to move away from people (infertility is a b*tch, amirite?) and it’s made me more forgiving of other people’s previous moving away. I am also OLD and I know that the good ones come back! And sometimes the good ones also stay away, but I can be philosophical about it and think, I enjoyed that while it lasted.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m grateful for my girlfriends. Each and every one of them contributes something to my life. And increasingly (because I’ve always been a leetle bit self-interested, I admit) I have tried to look for ways I can contribute to theirs. I realised that everyone is fighting their own battles or experiencing their own joys and whilst it’s sometimes hard to understand where they’re at, as friends we can do our best to be there through the good times and bad.

Right now one of my friends is fighting cancer.

Right now my sister is fighting infertility and going through IVF.

Right now one of my friends is dealing with crippling anxiety.

Right now many of my American friends are in fear of what is to come under a Trump presidency.

I can do my bit and be there for them as best I can. And I’m just one in a big support network which spans their friendship groups and beyond.

But it’s not just for the bad stuff. Friends are there for the good stuff too, and sometimes we get so hung up on our own sh*t, or other people’s sh*t that we forget to celebrate the good things.

Right now three of my friends are planning weddings.

Right now one of my friends is in a new, exciting relationship.

Right now one of my friends has a great new job.

Right now one of my friends is drinking wine and wondering why I’m not there!

So here’s to being there through the bad times and the good! Cheers to girlfriends! (Non-alcoholic for me. One of my best friends made a special cheat to get me through my “Never drink alone” phase and would sit on the end of the phone and have a glass of wine whilst I had one my end in a different country, so I wouldn’t have to drink alone – now that’s friendship!) 

Because friendship isn’t about supporting each other through the bad times, but also about laughing along with you through the good times. (When we think about it, we have more of those than we think!) I’ll be there for you (as the song goes) when the rain starts to fall… but I’ll also be there when you need someone to go wedding dress shopping with.

Just don’t blame me if you end up like this…

(I have terrible dress sense.)

In friendship,

N x

Eek, we are grown ups!

Today we picked up our new car. We’d been meaning to get one for a while but the imminent arrival of baby B encouraged us (as we need some way to get him home from the hospital and somewhere to store the pushchair, rather than carrying it up 8 flights of stairs every time!). And of course we want to be able to take Dog on some trips too. He is used to this car as we usually get it when we hire one, so he’s given it his seal of approval.

We decided on a Nissan Qashquai in gun metal grey. When we arrived at the garage, we were instantly like OMG it’s huge!! But it’s awesome. 


So shiny!!

The funniest thing is that I left the spec up to T, so we ended up with the highest spec one, which means as we travel home I currently have a nice warm backside as we have heated seats! So funny. 

It also has some handy bits in case I ever decide to drive it. Like parking assist… Cameras (which is super cool) but also an automatic parking thing where it will steer you into the space! Ha. We think we may try this in a clear car park first!

Also, perhaps in a cynical attempt to get us to give them good ratings in the post sales survey*, they furnished me with a bunch of flowers…


(*It totally worked.)

Before we headed home, we went to a furniture place so we could check out a sofa we were thinking of getting. 

Like, how grown up are we?

The sofa we want is a mini one because our flat is quite small! It is like a chesterfield but it’s smaller, so two people can sit on it but quite close together. It’s called The Snuggler. How cute is that?

So now we’re on our way home. We feel very grown up!