I think my iPad has forgotten what this app is, seeing as I haven’t posted on here in over 2 months (21st December in fact).
There hasn’t been one main reason for my hiatus, just a few contributory factors.
Number 1: I simply haven’t had time. But now I do (more on that below). Being in my line of work, there isn’t much time left over for hobbies in your “spare” time, let alone when you’re pregnant and tired.
Number 2: my 2nd trimester passed so smoothly that there was simply nothing to update on as such. I just kept plodding on with life throughout January and February, doing my job and y’know, growing a human. I had no reportable symptoms other than heartburn. I couldn’t think of a witty enough post to write about heartburn. So best to keep quiet.
Number 3: nothing massive in my life was really going on at the time, apart from supporting Dave with his mental health issues and us attending (and completing) a 6-week course of antenatal classes. I’ll write about those another time.
Number 4: I wasn’t sure if anyone was even really that bothered about my blog anymore, now that I was pregnant. This was always started as an outlet for my emotions at trying to get pregnant. People identified with that. But do they identify with someone once they’ve achieved their dream? Well my view count still kept going up every day so people were obviously still checking in to see if I had posted anything, so I guess my readership was still there.
Number 5: finally, it was one of those things where the longer you left it, the harder it was to get back into it again. I once wrote to a prisoner on Death Row in America for several years (looooong story, let’s not even start it!) and when my adult life just got busier I found I had less time to write to him. Weeks turned into months turned into years and in the end I wrote to the organisation to cancel my membership and apologise. It was simply too awkward to start again, that’s even if he was still alive (although I figured I would have been informed if he had been executed or died of old age – he was in his 70s the last time I communicated with him). Anyway, I digress. I didn’t want that to happen with my blog. I wanted to keep up this diary so that one day our son can read it (if he wants to) to see just how much he was wanted before he came into our lives.
Yes. You read that right. We are having a little boy!
So we found out a few days before Christmas what the gender was. Originally it was meant to be a surprise to be revealed to Dave and I on Christmas Day by my sister-in-law, but because the hospital had a policy that didn’t allow them to write it in a card to give to my SIL, it ended up being the case that we found out ourselves and then we revealed to my family (and the rest of the world!) on Christmas Day (we did it in the garden – burst a black opaque balloon and let blue confetti fall out). As it happens though, we still would have known regardless because his willy was as plain as day on the scan photos!
Dave, of course, was over the moon. I am thrilled too, don’t get me wrong, but it meant so much to Dave to have a little boy (long story short – he can undo history and not make the mistakes with his own son that his dad made with him, and hence is the cause of all his mental health issues now). I can’t wait to see him with our boy. He’s going to make the best dad.
Deciding on his name was a story in itself. I had already been set on the name Harrison for a boy, which goes really well with Dave’s surname as it also begins with an H. Dave said he couldn’t stop thinking of Harrison Ford though so it was a no-no from him. The evening after our scan, Dave and I went to a cinema that was a 40 minute drive away. This allowed for a lot of… heated discussion… in an enclosed space about what to name our child. Now, the problem is, being a teacher there are dozens of names that are vetoed for various reasons. It was so important to me to have a name that I hadn’t taught before so that I didn’t have any previous connotations (positive or negative). The problem with Dave though, is that he doesn’t offer suggestions to help. Dinner to eat, films to watch, he will say no to everything I suggest but when I ask him what HE wants, he just answers “I don’t know”. It’s fucking infuriating!
So during this drive, as quick as I threw names at Dave, he swatted them back even faster. As he was driving, I was googling for inspiration. I do remember there was even a ten minute stony silence as we were both so pissed off (funny now, but not at the time when Dave suggested turning around and driving all the way back). Eventually, just as the curtains rolled back in the cinema and the film was about to start, a name popped into my head.
“What about Ollie?”
“Ollie…” Dave immediately loved it, and the name stuck. And the best bit is, he’s compromised and allowed me to have Harrison as a middle name. Boom!
Since then, we’ve been calling Ollie by his name. I do miss Cub though. I keep trying to get Dave back into the habit of saying it but he falls back on Ollie more. I don’t mind really – it’s helped the bonding process. But Ollie will always be my little Cub.
We had to go back for a rescan on the 2nd January because Ollie wasn’t cooperating in the previous one so we couldn’t get all of his heart measurements. It was a little nervewracking over Christmas as we waited but we needn’t have bothered worrying as everything was fine. And we got to see him all over again! For the last time unfortunately, which makes me sad (we’re not having a 4D scan, although I am a bit tempted). But it just means we’re so excited about meeting his little face in May!
Over Christmas I also felt Ollie move inside me for the first time. In all honesty, I was dreading this moment because I have a bit of a complex about the thought of a baby physically inside me as it is, and thinking about the sensation of it moving around gave me the heebie-jeebies similar to that when you stick a finger in your belly button (No? Just me? You can blame Alien for that one then…) But when it first happened, and I realised that was what I was feeling, it just made everything feel so real. Now I love feeling him kick and prod, because it doesn’t actually feel like a baby doing it. I’m thankful for my anterior placenta in this situation because if I ever saw an actual foot push up through my skin I would FREAK. THE. FUCK. OUT.
I also had my gestational diabetes check in late January. Equally worrying as I didn’t want to have to face modifying my diet (obviously I would have if that’s what it meant) but again – I didn’t need to worry. I didn’t meet any of the risk factors anyway – the nurse administering the tests was confused as to why I was having it done. But there we go.
In mid-February we attacked the nursery. Of course, there was another “discussion” about the paint scheme (light grey – I won!) but there was no negotiation needed about the theme… of course it had to be bears! We have the white Lulworth furniture set from Mothercare, light grey curtains from Dunhelm, matching grey stars blinds and lampshade from B&Q and various white/grey touches and linen from different supermarkets. I put up the collage of framed bear pictures on the wall and Dave did everything else. I also put together the pram system when it was delivered and fitted the car seat and car seat base on my own. If we keep up this shared responsibility of jobs then I’m sure we’ll manage just fine with divvying up parenting duties.
But last Wednesday night, at 4:45am, on a trip back from the bathroom, my hip gave way and I fell to the floor. I’d been having bad hip and back pain for the past 10 days prior, and after mentioning it to my midwife at my 28 week appointment, she recommended I see the physio at the hospital. Fortunately I managed to get an appointment for the very next day. She confirmed what I’d always known: all my life I had suffered with hyperlordosis (excessive curvature of the lower spine), weak spinal ligaments and short, constantly taut psoas muscles (lower back). This means my bum sticks out a bit, making it look bigger than it actually is, simply because I have a bit of a shelf where my back merges into my bum. Standing up for long periods of time makes my back sag and hips ache, and the only way to relieve and stretch out my muscles is to bend forwards and touch my toes, or lay flat on my back. Being pregnant, I obviously can’t do either of those things. Pregnancy has exacerbated my condition, which I always knew would happen because of my hereditary history of spinal issues in my family. But I wasn’t expecting it to affect me so much and so soon. Sleeping on my side causes so much hip pain for me, and last week, it was doing just that which caused me to collapse I believe. My left hip just couldn’t support my weight anymore.
So back to my physio appointment, she couldn’t really help other than give me exercises to do (which I’d been doing anyway), give me a roll of kinesiology tape to strap my back up (didn’t really make much difference I don’t think) and told me to rest up and take each day as it comes. So with every day at work my mobility got worse and worse. I was hobbling about it looked like I’d broken my leg and had a hip replacement. It was miserable trying to do my job with a smile on my face whilst in pain and physically incapable of performing how I once did.
Then Wednesday night happened. It terrified Dave. I was screaming and crying on the landing and he ran out expecting to see me giving birth, or losing the baby, right there. He had to physically lift me up off the floor and carry me into bed. I was in so much pain. I called in sick and went to the doctors that afternoon. My dad chauffeured me and brought me my late grandad’s walking stick to help me. The result of my appointment was that I got signed off from work for the rest of this term. He deemed me too high risk for future falls, could see I was physically incapable of doing my job properly (and in pain) and didn’t want me driving long distances. The decision was out of my hands. I am collecting my crutches from the physio tomorrow.
Whilst I was relieved that I could rest and not put my body through any more pressure or strain (which is only going to get worse as I get bigger), the teacher guilt is eating me up massively, having left my team in the lurch at such short notice. I won’t be returning until after my maternity leave finishes, which will be in January. That’s a looooong time to be away from work, especially without having said any proper goodbyes or tying up loose ends.
It is what it is though. And as people keep telling me, school will survive without me and mine and Ollie’s health are the priority right now.
So this means I have just over 10 weeks to go until my due date. I have a stash of magazines to work through.
And plenty of blog posts to write…