A Little Respect

I’ve had to rethink some of my assumptions about myself recently. I was a pretty idealistic teenager. I’ve grown up atheist, liberal, I guess I’d describe myself as feminist. I also describe myself as pro-choice. I started calling myself that before I really understood what I was saying. I got irate about the emotive tactics my R.E. teacher took to tell us it was always horrible and wrong. I got so angry for the women who have been victims of incest or rape or had medical reasons for seeking a termination. But I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and it has changed my mind in ways that have surprised me.

Let me just state though that I am still pro-choice. It’s not my body, it’s not my life and it’s not my decision, but I can’t help but find abortion for anything other than a very narrow set of reasons, totally repugnant. Doesn’t mean I’m going to campaign against it but I think I can support someone’s right to choose without having to agree with them.

I stupidly spent a portion of this afternoon reading the blogs of women who have had abortions (I didn’t google it or anything, I just started reading an article about iPhones and there was a link and then it had other links etc). I guess it was interesting to read, it’s the flipside of this blog where I’m talking about trying to get pregnant, going through a pregnancy etc. My only personal experience of abortions are with women who decided to have them but very much wished that the circumstances were different and that it wasn’t the only option they felt was open to them. It was eye opener to read from the perspective of women who were just so damn angry and unapologetic about their decisions. It’s not that I think someone who has had an abortion needs to ask for forgiveness or go around in sackcloth or anything, but I found the venom directed towards their embryos/fetuses really hard to take. I think they’ve pushed past the point of saying “it’s just a ball of cells” to calling them “parasites” or “tumours”. One blog seemed so enraged that the embryo had dared to be conceived. I just wanted to say it’s not it’s fault, you’re the one who fucked up on the contraception, take your anger out on yourself and your inability to take the pill correctly, have the abortion if you feel that is what is right for you but don’t treat it like it’s not any different to going to the dentist and having a bad tooth taken out, show a bit of respect. It may not be a person yet in your eyes but admit it had the potential to be, and that in itself is something.

Make the decisions that are right for your life and your situation, but please, show a bit of respect.


Doom! Doom! Doom!

My son was only a few weeks old, if even, when the recession hit back in 2008. I’d put the TV on in the bedroom while doing the night feeds to try and keep myself awake. Usually there was nothing on except those god-awful rip off phone in game shows or infomercials, so I’d find myself switching to BBC News 24. That was a bad idea. It meant that at a time when I was highly hormonal and more than just a little sleep deprived I was on a constant loop of “doom! doom! doom!”

The recession scared me, probably because it coincided with the time when I first started to properly act like an adult, the fact that it is all still on-going and it looks like we’re headed for  double dip scares me even more. There are likely to be redundancies in my husband’s office after Christmas and I’m terrified. The financial implications of having four children has just hit me like a tonne of bricks.

I don’t like being a grown up. I much preferred the world when I wasn’t in charge of anything important. It was certainly less stressful.

I guess this is all playing on my mind because the child catcher Chancellor is going to make his speech today outlining how fucked we are the “recovery” is going. I’m also feeling extremely sick and a bit sleep deprived and therefore overly emotional. It was a rough night of the kids playing musical beds and the husband having to get up and go out at 1 o’clock in the morning to rescue his father who had become stuck behind a broken bedroom door.

Just to update on the thanksgiving dinner, it went very well but it seemed like every single person had to comment on the fact that I didn’t take a glass of wine, I refused to let our secret out though  my 9 year old daughter nearly gave the game away.

I am a great believer that things will all work out in the end, I just can’t help but be a mega worrier as well.

Oh and my latest bizarro pregnancy dream? Robert De Niro put my cat into a dish washer, because I asked Al Capone to keep the noise down at a party he was throwing (obviously my brain made some sort of Scorsese link there).

Happy Thanksgiving but best keep your distance….

Today is Thanksgiving. No I’m not American but my mother-in-law is a native of Boston and so every year the in-laws embrace the chance to have turkey in November. Usually the event takes place at my house (we have a very large kitchen) but this year my sister in law has decided that she wants to host it. I have no idea how we are all going to fit in and my inner control freak is not happy about the arrangement as sister-in-law is a confirmed shunner of vegetables so I have no idea how successful she is going to be when it comes to cooking them. I’m just a little bit afraid, especially as I’m not sure what wacky turns my morning sickness may take when it comes to sitting down at the dinner table.

We still haven’t told the in-laws and today I have been trying on a number of outfits that minimise the look of “the bump.” I may have to dodge some awkward questions too as one of my sisters-in-law knows that we were ttc but I’m just not ready to share the news with them yet. I like this being a relatively private thing (blogs aside) and I’m not convinced we’re going to get a lovely response either so I’ll drop the b-bomb on my terms thank you very much.

I’m not liking myself much at the moment. I think the hormones are turning me into a mega-bitch. My fuse is short, my patience non-existent and the kids are irritating the crap out of me. Maybe my view of the world is distorted but they seem to be so much more difficult than they were a few weeks ago. Squish has dived headlong into the terrible twos (her favourite word is “no”, there is no room for negotiation and her default position is to scream) and the boy….. well the Boy can be the most amazing, funny, kind, thoughtful little creature one minute and the spawn of Satan the next. He’s very fond of calling people Butt Heads at the moment (blame the eldest child for that one) and blowing raspberries. I want to duct tape his mouth to keep his tongue inside it. But I won’t because I know it is temporary hormonal madness and at least as much my fault as it is their’s, I’m not hot on the whole paying endless attention at the minute because I’m devoting so much of my time to trying not to puke. When I am in good attentive mammy organised activity mode they are a dream, when I am attempting to do anything else they make me want to scream. I seem to recall having similar rage issues in a previous pregnancy but I can’t remember which one it was, was it the girls or the boy? I have no idea. I don’t think it lasted the entire length of the pregnancies though as I still have friends and family who speak to me and my husband hasn’t run off yet.

I may be biased…

but I think my baby is already exceptionally cute.

Yes I saw the baby! It’s a teeny tiny 1.2cm in length (from crown to rump) and it has teeny tiny little limb buds and a gorgeous fluttering heartbeat and seems to be doing quite well in there. They want me back for a repeat scan in two week’s time to make sure everything is continuing to go well but I am SO relieved. I’ve been a ball of sicky nerves all day, dreading the scan and dreading that I’d get bad news. I was so relieved when they put the scanner on my stomach (yay for external scans! but of course it meant I shaved my legs for nothing….) and I could see the baby right away. The whole thing took less than a minute.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture but I’m really hoping they will give me one next time.

I am so happy right now.

The Major Bokes*

I woke up on Friday morning feeling so sick I could barely lift my head off the pillow. I spent all day in an advanced state of misery, unable to keep anything down and relying heavily on my 9 year old once she got in from school to make sure the younger two didn’t get up to any major mischief while I spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom praying to the porcelain god. I’ll be honest I started to freak out a bit.

In her last pregnancy, my older sister suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. It was painful to watch but I imagine it was a lot more painful to go through. She puked endlessly and was hospitalised at least twice with it, and she had it relatively mild compared to others. She came out the other side with her sanity only just intact and swearing that she will never get pregnant again. I started to panic on Friday thinking oh no, what I’ve suddenly developed this? How on earth would I cope with that and the toddlers? Luckily my husband started to throw up profusely later that evening and as he is definitely not pregnant I breathed a sigh of relief to think oh thank heavens this is just some sort of virus.

The downside is I feel utterly drained now. I’m back to pre-virus levels of blurgyness which is a huge relief but I am so tired I finding it very hard to not exploit the fact that it is the weekend and abandon the husband to childcare duties while I lie in bed sipping ginger ale and watching Fringe boxsets.

Tomorrow we’re off to the EPU for our early scan. I am very, very nervous about it. What if they do the scan and there is nothing there?  Or things aren’t going as they should? I will feel much better when this scan is over and done with (and hopefully we have a good result). We haven’t told the in-laws our news yet, we’ve decided to wait until 12 weeks, but we do need to get my father-in-law to come sit with the babies tomorrow while I go to the “dentist.”

Well I shall report back tomorrow with the results and hopefully I’ll have a nice scan picture to share, if not I shall at least post a picture of my now 7 week “bump.” Wish me luck.

*boke being an Irish/Scottish term for sickness

Morning sickness moan

I seem to be afflicted not only with morning sickness, but with a sort of general malaise where I could not be bothered to do anything in the kitchen. The thought of preparing food, much less cooking it or eating it, leaves me cold (and dry heaving). I’ve spent the last couple of days living on toast because I can just about muster up the energy to stick a couple of slices of bread into the toaster.

None of the foods I usually eat are appealing to me in the slightest and I’m kind of worried that I’m going to end up dumping a fridge worth of fresh food because I can’t bring myself to cook it. In an ideal world I’ll have a spinach salad for lunch with some pine nuts and a toasted wholemeal pitta, but I accept that it’s far more likely that come lunch time I’ll be reaching for the bread again.

I am not loving the morning sickness. I’m trying to be graceful about it and accept that it’s a good reassuring sign that things are progressing well but I resent feeling sick from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. I feel especially anxious about it today as my husband is returning to work after a week’s holiday and I shall be alone with the children to organise their evening meals and putting them to bed. It’s possible he will come home to find me lying on the sofa while the children eat dry cereal.

I’m getting a total tizzy worrying about nutrition and about how much crap I’m eating. I do have an appalling diet at the moment. I’m torn between wanting to relax and eat what I fancy until the sickness lifts, and knowing that I should be focusing on eating right and not blowing up like a balloon. It doesn’t help that Miss Size 8 over on the birth board has come out with the latest gem that she supposes since she’s so tiny it’s fine if she puts on a bit of weight. gah!

Having a heat wave….

I’ve been going on about how big I think my stomach has gotten already and it occurred to me that it might help to have something to compare it to, so here is a before picture of me

I’m afraid I don’t have a sideways shot, but maybe this will give a little bit of perspective on how much I’ve pooched out in recent weeks.

I have a new symptom to add into the mix now – hot flushes. I thought they were the preserve of menopausal women, I’ve certainly never experienced them in pregnancy before, but no apparently they can happen to preggos too. It’s something about a rush of hormones. Wow they are unpleasant, just crazy waves of heat that wash over me making me break out in a sweat and feel the need to strip off some layers. They don’t help the nausea either. I was sitting last night with my hubby trying to watch Boardwalk Empire when one hit me. I had to run from the room to be violently ill and then I took myself to bed where I could lie and moan and hope the feeling would go away. I think my dreams last night were sponsored by Blackberry as I spent a fair portion of the night wandering around the Ritz hotel looking for Steve Buscemi before running into Jeremy Irons (in full pope regalia) and realising it was actually him I was looking for because I had a giant sword to give him. Interpret that one Freud. Clearly I am spending too much time watching Sky Atlantic.

And hormones are strange, strange things.