Saturday, November 29, 2008

So anyway - hospital...

Sorry for the prolonged silence. I do have a good excuse -promise.
On Saturday last I had what can only be described as a bit of a meltdown. On the advice of doctors I stopped taking my anti-sickness tablet to see how I went.
By Monday morning I was a snivelling "I want my mammy" wreck who could not even keep water down. (It wasn't pretty - really, really unpretty).
So I was dispatched to the doctors at lunchtime and by mid afternoon I was in hospital, attached to a drip and drugged up on a new anti-sickness drug which does in fact work (when I can manage to keep it down in the first instance).
I spent 24 hours attached to a drip while three litres of saline were pumped into my body and I was encouraged to drink as much as possible. The only downside being that every time I needed to pee (which was an awful lot) I had to literally unplug my drip from the wall and push the heaviest stand in the world ever down the corridor to the tiny loo and try to pee without pulling the canula from my arm.
I shared my hospital room with several expectant mums - all of whom in early labour or ready for induction and spent an awful lot of time saying "No, no, I've 15 weeks to go. No I'm just in here cos I'm sick" and freaking out as their pains grew.
I got out of hospital on Wednesday - still dehydrated but tolerating water - and I have honestly felt the worst I ever have in my life in these past few days. I'm prone to anxiety anyway - but couple that with dehydration you end up with pretty much a 24/7 panic attack. Plus I feel so very, very weak.
Good news? I'm now lighter than I was before I got pregnant - although I'm pretty sure that's not meant to happen and at this stage I would welcome some weight gain.
Actually I would welcome being able to sit down and enjoy a decent meal - I'm hungry but very scared of vomitting so living on toast and scrambled egg where possible and averaging about 600 calories a day (which is very not enough!).
So I'm trying to get back into the spirit of writing and being positive and trying to shake this awful bad feeling I have.
I want to feel better - physically and emotionally. I want to get back to work (I miss that place - for my sins) and spend my day doing something more constructive than staring at the toilet.
And I want to start getting excited about this little babba in my tummy - who is kicking away like a good 'un to let me know she's there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When time stands still...

Did you ever get one of those days when things just go soooooo slowly?

It is perhaps because I've been awake since 5.30am (puking then Joseph with random questions) and that I didn't sleep well particularly anyway (very disturbing dream about being in a concentration camp - not pleasant at all) but it feels like it should be about 10pm.

Have been reading news websites to find inspiration for my weekly column and after last week's 'Accentuate the Positive' it has been hard to find happy stories. I've ended up writing about Baby P which has made me feel like crying - but also made me appreciate the questions at 5.30am from the boy.

Five weeks til Christmas Eve - are you ready yet?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm a human being

Sometimes during this merry dance (read that as waddle) of pregnancy you get the urge to stand up, all Elephant Man style and announce that you are still a human being.
Yes, you are also a mum to be. You are, for all intents and purposes, a host or an incubator for a new life and boy do we women know it. From the moment the second line appears on that testing stick your life changes. Out goes the wine and the Nurofen (I miss wine and I REALLY miss nurofen). If you are stressed you are supposed to channel love and light - not mild anti-psychotics and if you are poorly sick you are allowed two paracetamol on an occasional basis.
Another reward for this pregnancy melarky is acid reflux and the treatment that is Gaviscon. What kind of medieval torturous mind came up with that sick in a bottle?

It is hard, therefore, just sometimes not to want to scream that you are in there and you matter too. And you want a nurofen and a handful of peanuts and to be treated as an individual not just someone's mammy to be. At every turn of this pregnancy I've been advised to "think of baby" and much as I know baby is a defenceless little creature who needs me to wear my sensible hat there is a part of me - a selfish part of me - which wants to think of me.

Yesterday I had an appointment at the hospital and for the first time in this pregnancy I was treated like me - just me. While doling out advice the lovely consultant I was speaking to said that while baby was obviously very important his main concern was me and my health - healthy mammy works well to make healthy baby.

I wanted to kiss him (no tongues, just on the cheek) and thank him for thinking of me first for making me feel like more than a host or an incubator which in turn does actually make me appreciate "baby" all the more.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

A friend told me last week that every time anyone uses the expression “credit crunch”, a fairy dies, yet at the moment it is getting impossibly difficult to avoid the doom and gloom in our newspapers, on our TVs and in the general water cooler chatter in the office.
I swear I am reaching the stage where if I hear a single mention of the “current climate” or “economic downturn” one more time I’m not going to held responsible for my actions.
Sure, things are tough out there at the moment for a lot of people - but being constantly reminded of the fact is not making life any more bearable or enjoyable.
I’m not advocating a bury your head in the sand approach to the whole thing - although sometimes hiding under the duvet, putting my fingers in my ears and singing “La La La, I can’t hear you” sounds mightily appealing. What I am, however, advocating is that we all just stop being such merchants of doom and gloom. Life is tough, but it’s not impossible.
A friend and I have decided to make sure we focus on the more positive things in life for a bit. Like most people we are feeling the pinch but, as my friend so rightly said there is some comfort in at least knowing that we (in a High School Musical fashion) are all in this together.
We are all being challenged on a daily basis to think more creatively with our finances and to do the best we can to protect our children from the feeling the strain.
I’m trying my best to remind myself of when we were growing up. Like a lot of Derry families we didn’t have much money - but there were very few occasions when I actually felt deprived.
In fact the only one that truly springs to mind was not having Levi jeans when the rest of my Bros loving friends had them. I made do with the Dunnes Stores, Better Value version.
There was always food on the table, clothes on our backs and plenty of presents under the tree at Christmas. In hindsight - and after talking these things through with my parents as an adult -things were tight on more than one occasion.
There is a story of legend in our house about how my mother fed us wains custard for our tea one night as the cupboards were bare and at least we would be getting something warm in us, and a good dose of milk.
I know my parents spent a lot of our childhood eeking things out and making do - but as children were protected from their financial worries and in fact we found different ways to pass the time. Sure there were no personal computers or games consoles. We didn’t always have the latest must-have toys. (Although I did get a Crystal Barbie one year and was over the moon with myself - she was the most envied doll in Rosemount Primary School). And as I’ve said high fashion didn’t come into it. We were a family clothed in home knits and hand me downs - although there were always new clothes for special occasions and the excitement of new pyjamas at Christmas. (I’m pretty sure we got new pjs during the year, for the record. We didn’t have just the one set to see us through - but Christmas stands out.)
My husband always has a good laugh when I tell him that there were no array of breakfast cereals in our house and we made do with Weetabix or Ready Brek except for at Christmas were there was an annual box of Sugar Puffs - which was a source of amazing excitement.
And as I’ve become a little bit (for that read a lot) obsessive about cutting down on our oil consumption, I remind myself there was a time when central heating was unheard of and the only source of heat in the house was the fire in the living room. (Which was an experience I endured, and survived, again at university in our icebox house just off the Shore Road in Newtownabbey).
The thing is - apart from the memory of going to bed in three layers of pjs at university - none of these memories are particulary bad and they are certainly aren’t painful.
It wasn’t hard to deal with - it was just the way things were. And to be honest I’m pretty sure we were more appreciative of the little things (like Sugar Puffs and a Crystal Barbie) and we certainly didn’t feel deprived.
Perhaps my parents had their share of sleepless nights over it but we certainly were not aware of that. Childhood remained as innocent as it should be.
So even though times are undoubtedly hard for many people it’s time to just get on with it - batten down the hatches, put a smile on your face and cope as best as our parents, and their parents did before us.
There might be a lot to worry about out there, but there is also a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

That sinking feeling..

When you hold off your lunch break til late so that you can attend your child's parent teacher meeting.
And you make your way to school and notice that the classrooms seem eerily quiet.
And his teacher looks at you as if you are slightly demented (which you just actually might be) and then it dawns on you that the meeting was next week and not this.
And you wonder if his teacher suddenly thinks that your poor child hasn't a chance with a disorganised eejit at the helm like me.

I blame working too hard, and pregnancy hormones.

The outcome was okay however. We had our meeting and the boy is a genius - or at least a very capable and lovely student who makes everyone laugh. (Thankfully with him and not at him... unlike his mother).
I did struggle to look his teacher in the face this morning however - even though she said she was glad she wasn't the only one who made such gaffs.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

That writing bug...

I've written about 3000 words this week - and I'm loving it.
It's flowing, it's funny - it feels right.
I'm not brave enough to do NANO but I'm pushing myself on anyway.
Anyway 6500 words down, just (ha!) 103,500 to go!

Oh and I'm also working on a non-fiction piece for Poolbeg on the joys of parenthood.
Feel free to share your best and worst parenting experiences!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's seems a bit stupid..

.. not to post about "the" elections today.
I only hope (and REALLY hope) that America proves itself and votes in the only right man for the job.
It's been a topic for much discussion in our office, as you can imagine. And last week I raised the issue that this will really come to down to whether or not America is still racist at heart.
It's one thing to say you are voting for Obama in an opinion poll, it is another thing to stand in the privacy of a polling booth and vote knowing that no one will know it was you who ticked the box.
One colleague said the race issue didn't matter any more and I have to disagree. It may well be 40 plus years ago that the civil rights movement kicked off Stateside but even though there are now laws to protect people regardless of creed or colour - there does appear to remain an undercurrent.
I've heard that there are Democrats who will be voting against themselves - so opposed are they to the notion of a black President even if that black President holds the same political views as them.
I only hope the record turn out at the polls will prove that the vast majority of Americans are forward thinking rational people who are prepared to give the new man a chance
I will be watching with great interest and I hope that we truly are living in historic times. The world needs some good news.
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