Monday, 29 April 2013

Two plus two equals five

I don’t know how pregnant I am.

Ok that was an exaggeration. I know exactly how pregnant I am (23 weeks and six days, I could do hours but that'd just be boasting) but I don’t know how pregnant I should tell people I am.

Back in the day, before I started on this whole trying to conceived thing, I had very vague notion of pregnancy (I hope you are impressed I can remember that far back). I knew women were pregnant for nine months. So when I asked people how pregnant they were I’d get a bit flummoxed when they would respond in weeks.

Five months meant much more to me than 20 weeks.

This a problem that followed me after the birth as well. Why did people bother with telling me their baby was 18 months when “a year and a half was” a much more manageable figure to get my head round. Don’t get me wrong I can do the maths, sometimes even in my head without the use of my fingers and toes, but I didn’t see the need. “One” is anything between 11 and 13 months, “turned one a few months ago” will get the baby through to 15 months, then progress onto “nearly one and a half”. I didn’t need a to-the-minute age.

The upshot is, when I got pregnant I decided to just use months (unless talking to someone who had given birth and therefore understood the significance of getting past the first trimester or that 20 weeks was a big milestone for the second scan).

All was fine until I was asked how pregnant I was today.

24 weeks – give or take. Divide that by four and you’d think I was six months pregnant.

But I’m due towards the end of August – it is the end of April now. So end of May should be seven months, end of June would be the eight month mark and that magical nine months ... Tadah ... End of July.

Hmm not so much.

Ladies, we’ve been sold a pup.

Pregnancy is approximately forty weeks (although admittedly this includes the two weeks between finishing your period and actual release of sperm into the right orifice / having the embryos popped back in). So one's pregnancy is actually ten months rather than nine – this is based on four weeks in a month.

Thank goodness no one is nosey enough to ask about conception, because they’d probably be very confused if I explained that happened back in February 2012.

This was a full year and a half (give or take) before my due date. Which if Doug was in the womb for that whole time wouldn’t quite take me to the dizzy heights of an elephant’s two year gestation period but puts me on a par with the Dolphins.

Oh there's a thought, maybe I should call Doug 'Flipper'.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Naming the kid

I had a moment the other night.

The husband was sitting on the sofa reading out girl's names. Not perusing his little black book but contemplating what to name our daughter.

Our daughter!

Holy shit.

I hope that every single one of you gets to have this conversation. It breaks my heart that not everyone has. It was fun.

Naming is a minefield. (Look at the picture above. I have no words).

There are definite fashions and amongst the London middle-classes, (of which I cannot deny I am a fully paid up member), there is a trend at the moment for harking back to the traditional names of our grandparents. I'm down with this. I like an old fashioned name. But as with all trends you need to be careful.

A mate of ours of the left-wing persuasion named his daughter Florence. A lovely name. A couple of months later the right-leaning leader of the Conservative party gave his daughter the same name. He wasn’t happy (the mate, I doubt old Dave C gave a damn, he doesn’t seem to care about much).

Then there are the hundreds of tales of friends who think they have seized upon a unique name for the apple of the their eye (oooh! Apple there’s a name!) only for the kid to start nursery and find they are one of five Oscars/ Archies/ Lilys/ Tabithas.

Back in the day you could try and mark a bit of differentiation by a “special” spelling. Why have Daisy when you can have Daysee? In fact I know two people whose names are spelt wrong because their dad’s screwed up their birth certificates. Once this wouldn’t have been too problematic but now you've got the dual consideration - an unique spelling can render any email address unworkable as people are inclined to stick with the traditional spelling. On the plus side, when you set up their website (come on aren't all parents registering a domain name along with their baby name nowadays?) your less likely to find it has already been snapped up.

The husband has put two strict rules on any name he will contemplate. It can't start with an A or end with an A. This is because our surname starts with an A and he isn't happy about our daughter's initials being AA. (Can't think why, I'm a fan of the Automobile Association.) And he thinks that ending one name with an A and starting the surname with another will prevent the name rolling off the tongue.

So my favourite name was vetoed.

Then there is my natural inclination to have a bit of fun with this name.

If Posh and Becks see fit to name Brooklyn after where he was conceived surely Petri, after the dish our embryo started its life in is a shoe-in for a name.

Or Ivy. Ivy is a nice name, and I could couple it with a middle name in memory of my Mum. Frances. So Ivy Frances - or for short: Ivy F.

I know what you are thinking - that I'm a fucking genius.

You aren't wrong.

For some reason the husband isn't buying it.

Finally, however, more through a process of elimination rather than choice, we have arrived at a short list of names.

The next stage is to test these names out in the field. But that is a post for another day.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I've Changed

Now that I am half way through my pregnancy it is time to discuss the changes that I have experience since getting up the duff.

There are the normal things:

Never having been bulimic throwing up on a daily basis has been a novel experience – and the one that keeps giving. I am no longer choosing my breakfasts based on the likelihood of it easing the nausea (it doesn’t) but more on the degrees of revolting it is on its way back up. Toast = good. Yoghurt/ dairy = bad.

I am getting fatter. To the untrained eye I wouldn’t say I look pregnant just stoutly girthed. As a celebration after my 20 week scan I bought a pair of maternity trousers. Not because I couldn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy togs but because I have spent so long putting off buying new clothes “in case I get pregnant” the strides I have been wearing for the past few years finally fell apart and I felt it would be indecent for me walk around showing my arse off to all and sundry.

My boobs are weird. They have grown (much to the husband’s delight, a few weeks ago before they grew he was muttering about wanting a refund – which was frankly greedy as they have never been small). But the nipples have grown too, and got darker. I found myself gazing at them in awe in the mirror the other day in much the same way one does when leafing through National Geographic, you know with a scientific, anthropological bent.

All of these things should, I know, make the pregnancy feel more real. And I guess they do. I have no doubt I am pregnant. The idea that I will have a baby at the end is still too much to contemplate and difficult to associate with these bodily changes.

Oh and the other day, in the supermarket, a jar of gherkins caught my eye.

I had a little giggle to myself thinking, now I'm pregnant I should be craving these.


Ha, ha.


Mmm ... tangy ... crunchy goodness.

They went in the basket. I have yet to couple them with ice-cream, but I'll keep you posted on that culinary delight.

The most dramatic change however has been my ability to start to 'look' again.

A couple of weeks ago I walked past a woman with a young baby it was only as I peered into the pram (as I strolled past not in a creepy getting all in the crib type way) that it occurred to me I hadn’t done that for a very long time. It had become instinctive to look away from a pram. It wasn’t even a conscious thing, but now I am looking at all these gorgeous, chubby-cheeked youngsters again I realised how long I must have been averting my gaze whenever I came into contact with a stranger’s baby. Not with friends, obviously, because that would be odd - going round to a mates see a new kid and blanking it wouldn’t be considered polite.

Mind you I am going to have to have words with the wombmate at her insistence at calling me with “face-time”. I love seeing my little nephew but don’t enjoy also checking myself out in the thumbnail picture in the corner, and she does have an annoying habit of telling me how he was just giggling but can’t understand why he has now stopped. Just a guess, mate, but possibly shoving a camera in his face with a close up of a bedraggled looking Aunty Lizzie has scared the shit out of the little dude....

Monday, 8 April 2013

On a serious note

This is quite a hard post to write, but it needs to be said.

First off my baby is fine, this isn’t that kind of post.

The thing is, I have been blogging for coming up to five years. In all that time I have never once had a troll. Virtually every comment has been incisive, or supportive, or funny, or all three. On the few occasions where someone has disagreed with me or questioned something, they have done it in a way that it couldn’t possible offend or upset me. (I am, of course, choosing to ignore the spam that has forced me to use captcha - sorry about that.)  

Unlike the majority of the commenters who generally leave messages under YouTube videos, Daily Mail articles or on toilet walls I felt that I had a better class of reader. In a way I thought of you as friends, some I know personally, many more I don't but I still thought we had a connection.

It would be an exaggeration to say that I thought that over the years I had earned your respect, but I hoped that I'd engendered some degree of affection in you.

So it was a bit of a shock to see your responses to my question about whether you thought I was having a girl and a boy.

Most of you were making a decision based on a gut feeling, but you'd also read this post - the one where I said I thought I was having a boy.

What do I get from you lot?

70% deciding that I am having a girl.


It has been a real body blow to see how little my opinion really counts.

You are right of course.

We are having a girl.

Which I am ridiculously excited about. I'd be excited if it was a boy too, but now I know she is a she it feels right.

I'm going to have to buy her a tutu and stripy tights, aren't I?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

What is 'it'?

"A boy steals your health; a girl steals your looks." A girl at work told me recently, leading me to conclude I'm having a hermaphrodite.

Today's 20 week scan was all good. Again it took a long time and the scanner managed to obscure my view for most of the scan with a combination of her arm and hair.

Once she'd ascertained that we did want to know the gender she said that she'd check the sex at the end. Which meant whenever I did get a glimpse of the baby I tried to work out the sex myself.  At one point I was pretty convinced I'd seen a juicy pair of testicles. "And there are the eye sockets" she explained.

I was also fairly confident I'd spotted the belly-button until I thought through the biology, so pretty quickly stopped navel-gazing.

We saw fingers and toes and left and right ventricles. The brain was in the skull and the spine looked, well, spindly.

Eventually we did get to the money shot. We now know the gender of the womb's inhabitant.

I know it would be easy just to tell you now, but who wants easy? Let me know in the comments what you think is in there.

Here is a clue.

It is definitely one of the two main genders.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Almost 20 weeks

I've been away.

I spent last week in Spain which was perfect timing, not least because the UK hasn't worked out that it should be spring so is doing a pitch perfect impression of Narnia during the White Witch's reign.

I hadn't been sure if my crippled nipples were a result of the freeze causing them to implode or the pregnancy sharpening them up ready for a sucky little mouth. Judging by how much they continued hurt even when warm I am guessing the latter.

My morning sickness however has been clearly affected by the cold and early mornings, as for three days in a row whilst on holiday I wasn't sick. Coming back yesterday after getting up at sparrow-fart o'clock to get to the plane it struck back with vengeance, on the plane, train and taxi. Luckily I'd stocked up on sick bags on the plane. EasyJet paper puke bags for the win!

The best moment happened on Friday.

Good Friday.

I hadn't quite been sure whether I'd felt the baby move previously. You know when someone starts talking about nits, or fleas, or Piers Morgan and you start to itch? Well, I wasn't sure if the sensations I thought I was feeling were actual movements or a manifestation of my hopes. I knew what I was supposed to be looking out for - something like bubbles or butterflies in my uterus. Or maybe something that could be mistaken for indigestion.

Instead, on Friday night, I felt something more akin to tectonic plate movements in my uterus. A huge shift of something. And that something, I am guessing, was Doug making it's presence known.

I hope to see a bit more of Doug soon, on Thursday, I have a 20 week scan - after which I can start to refer to her or him rather than it. Which is nice.