Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cliches galore

I am ALIVE!! Yes I am - but oh my god, my life has descended into a nose/bottom/vomit wipe/white laundry wash/ burpathon cliche that is indeed parenthood to a newborn. I had forgotten how hard it all is - which is good, because if I had remembered, Sproglette wouldn't be here. Oh to sleep. To curl up in a warm bed and wake of my own accord feels like the best xmas gift anyone could ever give me.... And just when I think Sproglette is asleep and I may have moment to fold all the white washes/unstack dishwasher and all the other glamorous jobs that my life has become - Sproglet needs something or other - feeding or bathing or dressing or entertaining - and getting dressed before midday is the most successful part of my day.

I am every cliche and more. I want to tell you about the fact that the day my daughter was born was one of the worst and best of my life - I was bumped 5 times from my section for emergencies and I didn't have her until 6:14pm - after being nil by mouth all day. I want to talk about Sproglet's reaction to his Sis and how his wee insecure face reduced me to tears every day. Or how brilliant my Husband has been and how this 2 week cocoon we have been in has been some of the best weeks of our married life. but no, as I type, Sproglette has woken from a short slumber on a sheepskin blanket on the floor. Sproglet is stroking her tiny perfect head and is calling her 'my baby.' I feel like my life has been turned on it's head. I am not sure of my name, but I know I like drinking port.

Must dash - more to follow. When? Anyone's guess. Merry Xmas y'all xxx

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sproglette has arrived!!





My beautiful daughter Riley is here!

7lbs 1oz at 6:14 pm on Mon 6th Dec. Spent the whole day waiting to go into theatre... Got home last night. Lots to share, if only I had the mental capacity. At the moment it is hard to remember my name. Or think of Riley's middlle name. I am smitten, sore, excited, emotional and beyond tired. Will blog soon. Just wanted to share my good news.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Me and Sproglet

Sproglet and I have been sharing bath time of late. Bless him, he loves it - even though I am a beached whale, taking up three quarters or more of the tub and somehow trapping his bath toys underneath my girth. We chat about school and Santa and 'Alan' calendars - with gems about 'At school we heard about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, but at nursery the other day I found out about the bad kings who want to kill baby Jesus. Why would a king want to kill a baby?' Fair comment... Anyway, the other night he piped up with 'I was a baby in your tummy and I came out and Daddy cried, and now you have another baby in your tummy.' I felt a big lump in my throat rise up and I explained that no matter about the new baby - he would always be my special boy. He nodded sagely then threw his arms around my bump.

For so long it has been me and him: when I used to fly to Ireland for my show every weekend when he was 4 months old; trips to Belfast and York to see relatives; the whole time I was out of work trying to become a script ed; our movies afternoons and playdates - it has been just the two of us. Suddenly as I lifted a mound of ever growing bubbles from his wee head - it hit me, that it would never be the same again. I felt this ridiculous sadness. Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon to give him a sibling - something I never had - but I just felt this inexplicable loss. I pulled him close to me and kissed his wet cheek. He has been the biggest joy and surprise of my life - filled some lost void inside me that churned for years until his arrival. He makes me laugh more than anyone else and fills me with a pride that only parents can appreciate. I thought I'd upload some pics of my time so far with my beautiful son.

Finn, I love you.







Monday, 29 November 2010

Climbing mountains

Husband and I climbed many mountains on Saturday - all from the comfort of our own home.

The day hadn't started well. You see Husband hasn't got a UK driving license. Yes, he can drive - better than me, thought that aint saying much - but his Aussie license expired many moons ago and so in order to drive in this country he needs to sit a theory test and then a practical one. Months ago I highlighted the fact that come next Monday - 6th Dec - I will be unable to drive for 6 weeks post section. I suggested he get his cute butt in gear and had some lessons and did his tests. No - I didn't actually suggest it. I demanded it. I gave him ONE THING to do during my 9 month pregnancy - while I did blood tests and scans, and midwives and dressing a fucking bump and all that jazz - he had one thing to sort: to get his license here. He eventually had a couple of lessons in October and finally enrolled for the theory test (which you have to do first). That was 3 weeks ago. I drove him there - he had been practising apps on his i-phone for 3 days solid, on the questions he would be asked. He was buoyant, confident - his average score 48 out of 50. A cert to pass and then the practical test to do. He'd have that in the bag - as he is a more than capable driver.

But he only brought the plastic part of his UK provisional license with him. It is the only piece they carry in Australia. But not here. Nope, in the UK, they need the green bit of paper too. They wouldn't let him sit the test - he blamed UK bureaucracy and I blamed him for being an idiot.

Cue test no 2. Arranged for Sat at 4pm. Now on Fri I had emailed him - an 'end of my tether - I would rather be a single fucking parent than be in this relationship anymore' email that had provoked all sorts of discussions: him accusing me of being 9 months preggers, irrational and hormonal - and unfair to boot, seeing as he has had no assistant in his busiest period of the year. Me: agreeing that I may be hormonal, but also stressing that a week or two of single parenthood and no work has given me clarity of thought.

So, I pick up Sproglet's best mate - we are off to see 'Megamind.' Sproglet's best mate calls it 'Nevermind.' I think on reflection, he may be a genius child film critic and he doesn't even know it. Anyway, I make lunch and Husband and I are cordial at best. He opens the letter of confirmation re: his test. The test I have begged and cajoled him into. His face goes white, then red. And I know. Something is amiss.

I ask him - but he just brushes it off. I ask again - what is wrong? He says nothing. Then he realises that he can't get out of it - so he admits, the test was on the 25th. He got the day wrong - he'd missed it. 8 days until we have a baby and he STILL hasn't done his fecking theory let alone the major practical test. The ONE THING I asked of him. I was so angry, so disappointed, words failed me. I sat down on shaky legs as the tears came and I said two words: 'I'm done.'

He knew he'd fucked up - he tried to say sorry, tried to appeal to me, but I wasn't having any of it. How can I keep relying on a man who cannot be replied upon? It felt like the last blow - the last straw. Words were exchanged but I wasn't listening, I just kept telling him I was done and off I went to stuff my face with ice cream and watch a blue alien try and take over the planet with 2 small giddy children.

When I came home the kids ran off to play and I staggered upstairs feeling more weary than I have done in years. I lay on my bed and cried. Husband gingerly approached, watery eyed and full of sadness - for everything. It all came out - my story on repeat detailed in my last blog post, my inability to be so lonely again - my fears for my sanity post baby, how I can't do it any more. We talked and talked and... we turned a big corner. He heard me. He listened. He finally got it.

Things are going to change he said. I wanted to believe him - and I have to take that chance. Since Saturday they have. Small changes but significant ones. He took today off to accompany me to my pre op meeting. He got up and took Sproglet to school, made his packed lunch. Tonight I lit a fire, made a huge pasta dish and we ate as a family. Tomorrow Sproglet and I are off to his hotel (where he works, not owns!) for dinner. We're getting the tree on Sat. Decorating it with camp glitzy balls that a gay man would be proud of. We huddled together in bed last night, wrapped in many blankets against these freezing temperatures. He is excited about the baby. It feels like a marriage. A partnership. He's going to make changes at work so we get breakfasts together and 2 more meals a week. He's going to make more effort to get up and do family stuff. He doesn't want to lose us and he knows that I have never been more serious than I was on Saturday.

We climbed mountains on Saturday, we really did.

The view from the top is pretty damn good.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

What's your story?

So here's mine:

Once upon a time there was a girl who had been single for many years. She kissed lots of frogs but never managed to find a prince. They were all handsome and dull or great craic but deeply unattractive. She looked for love in all the wrong places: with with boys who couldn't or wouldn't commit or boys who lived in far away lands and married supermodels. If a boy liked her she immediately didn't like them. Long before she discovered what self esteem was all about.

Anyway one day the girl opened a door to what she thought were toilets, but turned out to be the hotel kitchens and she sent a handsome (bar)man flying. They talked, he gave her free drinks, she gave him her number. He called and after much deliberation she called him back. They met for coffee on the hottest day of the year and talked movies. He called again. They kissed for the first time in a dirty grimy bar at about 1am and she smelled smoke - he had set his T shirt on fire on the table candle. On their second date a friend of hers tragically died and the man was very sweet. On the day of the friend's funeral he rang the girl to see how she was doing and when she asked how he was he replied 'I didn't call to talk about my day, I called to ask about yours.' She knew then he was the one. He was always working nights but she didn't mind - she did too - presenting on a stupid games channel. They had days for movies and lunches and falling in love. It was blissful.

They married a year to the day of the first coffee date in secret, then he proposed a year later and a year after that they wed - near Halloween. A year later she was pregnant and 9 months later Sproglet was born on June 21st 2006. So far, so good. They'd weathered all sorts of job loss storms, illnesses, stress, money worries, the whole shebang. Now when the girl met the man, he was more of a boy. Of 24 - to her 28. She'd been a gal about town, just bought her own flat in London. He'd lived in a youth hostel as he was a grubby traveller, earning a crust as a jobbing barman. But he was ambitious and he got an assistant bar manager job at a fancy city bar on a roof top and then became manager and then went to a 5 star swanky hotel and managed the bar there. The girl didn't mind - she had a packed diary and a tonne of mates. Free cocktails - bonus. They often met for late suppers and hung out when she wasn't presenting - they had time. But as the years worn on and the girl got pregnant she began to taste loneliness. She felt it most acutely after the baby was born. She was left to care for the bairn and fearful of other Mothers, she hid away, chained to a baby's routine, bouncing off walls. She ended up on anti - depressants a year later. She tried to tell him - but he didn't listen. Or didn't want to. 'You knew what you were getting when you married me' he would reply.

She eventually changed careers when the presenting work dried up (as it tends to do for women of 35 and over)- but this career was full time - no more lazy lunches or hanging out - and they moved house. Her working full time and the man with his crazy hours, a baby and no family help was a recipe for disaster and the marriage began to crumble. I love him she sighed, but I hate his job. But the man started to have weekends off and it got a bit better. She lost her job, then got it back briefly and somewhere along the line got pregnant again.

Now she is about to have baby no 2 and the same lonely story is back on repeat. They sleep in separate rooms as she is so enormous with child - and he gets to bed at 3am. They don't ever eat breakfast together. They only eat dinner together on weekends. She is lonely. Again. Like a single parent without the status. She does every breakfast alone with her son - and dinner every week night. She bathes with her son at bath time and tries to cheer herself up with books and inane television. But somewhere deep inside it isn't the life she expected. This single parent type life. When the man comes home he is very tired and has had to be so social with his work he doesn't want to talk to her. She is lonely even when he is home.

How did I end up here she wonders? Love has led her down a solitary path. She dreams of it being different but the man doesn't know how to change his job and still retain his salary - especially in these lean times. She foresees a life of bringing up two kids alone. She despairs and on hormonal days the tears fall. She wonders how to change it but feels like her story is on repeat: I hate his job she sighs. I love him but I hate his job.

She remembers having this conversation two years ago with a dear friend who was moving to LA. A year even before that. Since the baby was born. The baby is now 4 and a half. Still the story is the same. She wonders if it will ever change - and if so, will she be the one to say 'enough.'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I saw an old friend today. A girl I used to paint the town red with and who has shared my triumphs and traumas. She has just had her first baby - having never wanted kids - at 40. We went to her local nail bar - while she had a manicure and I had a blissful pedicure. Oh my god, feet in hot water - so comforting! Especially as my ankles are cankles with a deep red ridge where my socks cut off the blood supply. Anyway - we were talking about life, our men, the usual issues. She talked about her partner always being beholden to his ex wife and the child from his previous relationship. It is a well worn story that has been going on for 9 years or more. She said, 'that is my story.' It doesn't change - it will possibly never change.

She explained to me that no matter who we are with - it will never be perfect. We will never have our happy ever afters like the fairy tales. Because life is messy and hard and complicated. So we need to accept what we have and work with it. She has a point. Maybe because I have been so alone since last Thursday when I finished work - maybe because my work helps me define myself, and yet I will be jobless for the next 4-5 months at least, maybe because I am exhausted and hormonal, maybe because I am scared about becoming a parent again, maybe because I remember the deep dark lonely days of before, I just felt like - I can't do this any more. It would be easier surely to be a single parent? To get every other weekend off - to myself - and maybe find someone who can eat dinner with me, have a life with me, who is there in mind and spirit and isn't shattered from their vampire like existence?

Maybe we all have a story - one that keeps repeating - like a track that refuses to leave the charts for an age. Bryan Adam's Everything I do - 16 weeks at no 1 in fecking 1990. Hideous track that wouldn't go away. Maybe we have to accept it - or can we change it? Does it take more balls to face this fucking repeat cycle or more balls to walk away from it? I don't know, I don't have any answers. I wish I knew other peoples' stories - maybe then I wouldn't feel so alone in mine.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Life, nay, soft furnishings envy

I admit it.

I have life envy. Often. Husband teases me about it constantly - usually when I bemoaning my lack of 6 bedroomed Victorian detached mansion replete with office above garage and room for a housekeeper/nanny having read some article in some Sunday supplement or other.

Actually it tends to happen when I hunker down with the latest LIVING ETC. magazine (http://www.livingetc.com/gallery/main.php) and ooh and ahh over a rug/sofa/kitchen opening out onto decking/cool mirror/fancy accessories. I never stop to think that A. the house featured NEVER looks like this - only for 10 mins while the damn photo was being taken and it was emptied of all normal living items and replaced with a stylist's fairy lights/ token books/ throw/ white things that would never last in a house with kids for more than two seconds or B. The women who lives there hasn't been shagged by her husband in 2 years and spends her life decorating and running up debt because she is so depressed or C. She spends all her life doing up her house and hasn't relaxed in said house since 1985 - she checks the cooker is off 25 times a day and sends the kids to boarding school lest they scratch the white varnished floors...

But life envy - it's all over the place. Rife where I grew up - everyone looking over everyone else's fence to check out who was driving what/wallpapering what/drinking what/doing whom... I can distinctly remember our family sharing a phoneline (in the days when you did) with the street gossip - and her breathing quietly as she listened in to my inane phonecalls to schoolmates... People get all insecure when their friends start to have more than them, afford better holidays, schools and shoes... Actually I don't - as I'm pretty happy with my lot - and I genuinely aint materialistic - but I do hanker for a few home improvements it has to be said.

And yes, reading about model Laura Bailey (don't think she works much mind) having a housekeeper to do all her laundry and food shopping/cooking/cleaning - and a nanny too - did invoke stirrings of a 'oh the lucky bitch' in me. Instead of folding a small country's worth of socks etc while watching 'I'm a celebrity GMOOH' wearing sweatpants and maternity bras, if I was in Laura's high heeled designer shoes I'd be tripping the light fantastic at fashiony events in London and coming home to a fridge stocked with home made leftovers and a closet filled with folded ironed clothes. Bet Laura really misses mopping the floors and trying to find a car parking space in Waitrose on a Saturday avo; doing the nit check and stressing that her kids haven't got their swim kit ready in time for this week's lesson. It must be hell cooped up in a mansion in Notting Hill with a bathroom the size of my house and a knicker drawer filled with Agent Provocateur's finest. Not that I am yellow and round and bitter shaped... nope, not me.

Sometimes it creeps up on us... Friends disappear because they can't handle our joy (I've been de-friended on Facebook by someone since I announced my pregnancy) just as quickly as friends vanish when they don't know how to react if something bad happens... Admit it - when a colleague got a promotion over you and you wished them well, deep down you didn't mean it - you were thinking 'Bastard! That job was mine dammit!' Or when a buddy shows off her size 8 trousers who was always the 'frumpy mate' you feel a sense of unease that your size 10/12s are starting to dig in ever since last Xmas? It's easier to commiserate that celebrate sometimes - but one thing I have learned, is that if you are happy in general, it's pretty hard to be miserable at other folk's joy. Or to have life envy.

On reflection, I don't have life envy - just home furnishings envy. Must be all this fucking nesting I am doing as I count down the days. A week on Monday and I won't have time for any kind of envy - except perhaps for those who sleep. Or Laura and her live in Nanny...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Bah humbug

God I am a misery.

Blame it on my hormones. Or maybe I am just a miserable bastard at heart. I shouldn't read women's magazines - fashiony ones - as we all know the statistics - that reading them makes you feel worse about yourself by about a million per cent or whatever.

But I needed a smidgen of glamour in my life. My life that today started at 3am when Sproglet came in to say he was scared - of what? Who knows - but he duly went back to bed. I curled up and.... stayed awake. Joy. Add in a few bathroom trips and when I awoke this morning from a bizarre dream I looked like someone had punched me in the eyes. I felt shattered. Husband had stayed at work so I had to sort out the laundry, take out the re-cycling (and slip on the icy decking, bashing my knee and causing tears before 8:15am). Then I couldn't get the fucking re-cycling tubs past the bins what with my bump and all. The TV stopped working. The dish washer packed up - and cos Husband hadn't paid BT on time - no calls allowed from the home phone either. Happy days.

So I popped out of the office today for a decaf and bought myself some mags - all festive and full of what to wear! How to decorate your home! Xmas gifts for everyone! Evening make-up! Tis the season to discover your inner fox! Etc etc. God it made me depressed. I so want to buy a foxy dress and A. fit into it. B. Have a fucking reason to wear it in the first place. C. Afford said foxy dress. But I have none of the above. All those towering Louboutins - I'm thinking, I interviewed Christian - twice! Including at his offices in Paris before Stella McCartney's first ever show for Chloe - and now, now the closest I get to a killer heel is stroking a glossy magazine with misty eyes.

At the moment my wardrobe is - one pair of maternity jeans that fit and a pair of grim leggings. A few tops that try and hold in my chest and bras that are like swaddling a newborn. I have no idea on earth on how any woman feels at her best at this time - all glowing and sexy. I couldn't feel less myself if I tried.

I'm biting the bullet - or anything I can get my teeth upon - and having a bikini wax on Fri. Gawd help the woman who has to do it - she'll probably charge me double. I have a feeling she may weep with the stress of it all. Meanwhile a friend who has just become a Mum at 40 has booked us in for pedicures next Thurs. I have only had 2 in my life. It is a big treat. My roots are being blonded on Monday. I need some pampering goddammit.

I keep thinking of Xmas past - when I kissed boys in unisex toilets and made booty calls to unsuitables; fell down private member's club's stairs into the tree after one too many; of TV parties filled with vodka luges - my tongue getting stuck to one in the shape of a naked Adonis; of mistletoe in my hair and a spring in my step - as I gatecrashed one Xmas bash in Soho after another.

Now - now the highlight of my week is fucking X factor and a mince pie. Where did it all go wrong? The mags telling me what sparkly dress or leather trousers to don with my smokey eyes and glossy lips - ha! If only... imagine trying to shove my dimply thighs post birth into leather strides... oh the horror.

Sorry - I am Scrooge I know....

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Nervous

Gee I'm nervous.

About all sorts. For starters I'm not exactly jazzed at the thought of the pre-op meeting at hospital, where those helpful Docs explain to me how my organs may all fail and how I may die and all on the operating table, having my section. Plus I have to give MORE blood. And wee. And be prodded etc. No vajayjay exam though - hurrah!

Then helpful folk keep telling me about babies coming early - when my wee bundle of joy is meant to appear on Dec 6th - 3 weeks on Monday. I'm nervous about the whole section business as well - even though I've had one before - and I know what to expect. I remember how I hated the tubes going in my arms - worst bit - and then the whole messy recovery: Husband heading to the pub as I quietly vomited into what looked like an egg box, a sanitary blanket underneath me which slid off the bed during the night to greet the 'breast is best' pushers as they appeared under my curtain at 9am - a gory welcome mat to deter visitors. Sadly it didn't work. Catheters, suppositories, the pain of breast feeding... and feeling like you have to try even when you never want to look at your nipples ever again, let alone try and stuff them into the mouth of a small squealing baby - who by the way, has gums made of steel.

Then the whole newborn bit - the terror of a baby that won't settle, the exhaustion, the disappointment when you realise than maternity jeans are here to stay for about 4-5 weeks more... God I'm scared. How to cope with a baby when I have Sproglet too. Plus Xmas...

Yesterday I was at work (working on a different thing - a small 10 min film, not the usual soap) and a long serving member of staff left. She was giddy with joy at the thought of her new job as a script ed at a fab independent tv company on a big 6 part drama. It was definitely her time to go - and it brought back me leaving - way back at the end of March... The tears and the sadness, the relief, the angst, the whole shebang.

Another long timer script ed handed in her notice - she is leaving drama and is off to work for a charity in a cushy 9-5 job ten mins from her home. As a single parent this kind of job is the holy grail. I'm delighted for both these women - and it got me thinking - what am I moving on to? I'm having a baby - which feels like an easy route to take after losing one's job (albeit that I have been back since Aug - someone likened me to a cockroach - they just can't get rid of me). But come this Thurs, when I wrap filming - that is it. The brief time back at my old work will end. I don't want my old job back - I really have done my time on soap operas - there are only so many mad pregnant women having affairs with their sister's husband's dad's hamster's gay lover stories one can cope with - but what next for me?

For the woman who refused to be defined simply as a Mother - that will be my only job. I'm silly I know - but I'm scared. Not so much of the immediate life changes - there will be visitors and crappy Xmas movies on TV and all that festive malarkey... But come long dark depressing January...

I keep worrying that the baby will be ok - will be healthy and everything working correctly. These thoughts haunt me daily. I'm so nearly there - will it all be ok? I feel like the last couple of weeks sanity has left the building and I'm one mess of nerves and fears and contrary emotions all wrapped up in one big hormonal pair of maternity jeans.

Why can't I ever just enjoy the fucking moment? Step back and think - let's enjoy the 'now.' A friend at work mentioned how I should be enjoying my baby a few months back and not worrying about how to make ends meet/find a job/sort childcare etc post baby. I was struck - it hadn't even occurred to me to 'enjoy' - all I could think about was all the obstacles and how to overcome them. Christ I wish I could relax. I like a full diary, seeing people, being busy. Come Thurs it all stops. The diary is fairly empty save for a last minute baby shop and a couple of visitors - the vague notion of getting a tree for Sproglet on Dec 4th, 2 days before D - or rather 'C' day.

Then - a whole new world. One I really wanted, really want. But why is it all so daunting? Even for someone who has done it all before?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Boredom

I realised something about myself this week. I was bored. It was Thursday. Sproglet had skipped off to school, I'd done my chores and watched all my Sky+ programmes (is it me or is there feck all worth watching on TV at the mo?? I feel my life could soon become a box set - with Mad Men at the top. A must watch apparently). This was before I went to meet Sproglet's teacher and before I had just got home from that and finally got a park miles from our house - and then got a call from school that I had to return immediately as Sproglet had had a violent attack of the squits. It was also before I had to take the poor wee man for 2 big needle jabs for MMR2 and a booster. He howled. I felt like the devil for lying to him that we were going to the docs for the Dr to check on the baby. Yes, before all those joyous moments of my day - I was lying on the sofa - mind numbingly bored.

I don't do 'relaxing' very well unless I'm on a beach or in a movie theatre. Takes a helluva lot to quieten my mind. Anyway - the thought occurred to me that in 2 weeks I will finish my job and have 2 more weeks, then baby will be here. I've been so excited about NOT being pregnant any more I have kind of forgotten that in not being preggers I will also then have a baby to deal with. I've made a list of stuff I need and am starting to think about it - a bit. I'm also starting to remember how lonely I was when Sproglet was small. How mind numbing I found the happy clappy groups, how inferior I felt to other Mothers, how desperate I felt when the only person I talked to in a day was the woman at the Sainsburies check out counter. I can't go through that again.

I like working. No, strike that. I love working. When it is good that is. Like yesterday - I was in a small office with 3 people I admire and like and respect - and it was nothing short of fun. I get a lot out of teamwork and challenges and people and projects and good scripts - and even bad ones. I don't want to stay at home with a baby all day, bouncing off the walls and trying to entertain 2 kids. My brain shuts down. I'm not judging those who do - my god, it is the hardest job of all. But even if my Husband won the lottery tomorrow - I think I'd still work. It feeds me mentally.

Which begs the question - why have kids? I don't know. I love my son above all. I really enjoy time with him. Just not 24/7. The thing that I have struggled with most is retaining my sense of self and not just being a Mother.

When I'm around some other Mums I feel like a different breed: I don't want to give birth, I don't want to breast feed - for the sake of everyone and my breasts eclipsing the sun - I don't want to talk about kids all day. I've banged on about this enough. But lying on my couch on Thurs, bored, I realised - it is time to stop beating myself up - feeling like a poor second best Mum to all those stay at home, organic baking, breast feeding, craft worshipping mega Mums. I am me. I know what I want and I'm gonna make it happen next year.

I'm a happier person for it and that makes a happier and better Mother. I don't care what anyone else thinks. Well I do. But I'm going to try not to. Roll on baby and hopefully another job. It'll be tough - but at least I'll never be bored.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Heaven and Hell....

Today feels like I've just had great sex. Except I haven't. Had great sex I mean. I'm 8 months pregnant and feel about as hot as 3 day old cuppa - but you get my drift.

Why? Because Husband took the reins and let me disappear to a double movie bonanza - alone. I drove to the place where I used to live (as I had worked out I could do both movies I wanted to see - one straight after the other). Skipped inside, got my old usual - a hazelnut (decaf) latte, 3 straws to chew (my guilty cinema habit) and settled in to my comfy chair with masses of legroom. I wanted to shout out 'Honey, I'm home,' I was so freakin' happy.

First up was 'The Kids Are Alright' with Julianne Moore and Annette Benning. I'd high old hopes from this one - I'd read many triumphant reviews and interviews with the director. It wasn't bad - a really clever premise and top notch acting - but it just didn't move me. There were lovely subtle moments, but it didn't blow me away. I left feeling a bit 'meh' about it - but pleased I'd got to see it. Mark Ruffalo can do no wrong in my eyes...

Then I dashed over to screen 2 for 'The Social Network.' Aaron Sorkin penned it, directed by Fincher - what's not to like? It was all about the founding of Facebook and the legal wranglings that ensued. One fifty plus blonde two seats along from me, nattering to her friend throughout, finally announced she had had enough and it was 'so boring' and left. Idiot. It was great. Pacey, well acted (Justin Timberlake - you do a complete cock so well - a great performance) and full of smart dialogue and razor sharp editing. Dark, humorous and engaging - the script bouncing off the screen as if Sorkin had thoroughly enjoyed the banter such genius minds can realistically spout. It made me never want to reactivate my facebook account again - and showed how money really doesn't bring happiness or any of the worthwhile rewards life can offer: close relationships, friendships, loyalty, teamwork, love, etc.

I came out feeling quite high. For 4 hours I'd been 'me' again. Doing something I love best - catching a flick. Then I pockled in Habitat for twenty minutes without being hurried by Husband complaining that all I do is 'nest' these days. I drove home to Husband cooking, Sproglet in great form (all excited about his two back to back parties tomorrow followed by a trick or treat fest) and felt like a new woman.

After a week's full child care duties, as it was half term, (where I discovered the 8th circle of hell - Gambados - a huge soft play area, that cost me £8:25 for each kid, £5 registration fee (???) and £2.50 for me to sit on my ass while children screeched all round me. In short - hell. Sproglet came back to me an hour and a half later the colour of an over ripe tomato, with his wee mate hyperventilating and coughing up a lung. Said mate pissed his pants on route home. Oh yes, it was the day that just kept giving) I deserved a break.

I don't want huge nights on the town, a wardrobe of glam clothes and fancy trinkets... nope, I just want to get to the movies. Gimme my straws, a latte and a half decent script and I'm as happy a jaybird. If you get a chance - check out 'The Social Network' and avoid 'Gambados' as all costs....

Thursday, 28 October 2010

It'll all be over soon.... not soon enough

Things I am looking forward to in 5 weeks + :

1. Having more than one pair of jeans to wear (the rest all fall down when I walk or cut off the blood supply to my groin when I sit down) and more than 4 tops....
2. My old bras!! Hello - come to Mama. I will feel practically flat chested in my DD cups. Hurrah!!!
3. Not weeing 4 times a night.
4. Not having to straddle a V shaped pillow like I am humping it to death in a bid to get within the vicinity of the word 'comfy' in bed at night.
5. Not waddling like a duck/ walking like Liam Gallagher circa 1995
6. Not having something do the rumba inside me just as I settle down to sleep, using my bladder as it's dancing partner
7. Drinking!! Oh my god - that lychee martini has my name on it... that and it's five siblings - the watermelon, the straight up, the cosmo, the apple and the vanilla....
8. Not having to have needles stuck into me seemingly every week to hoke blood out of me and having midwives prod me to tell me that baby is in breech....
9. Sleeping on my stomach. Not that I'll be getting much sleep, but still.
10. My bouncing new baby of course.

Things I am not looking forward to in 5 weeks + :

1. Maternity pads entering my life.
2. Having to care about my bikini wax again - when at present I am amazon woman - expecting to find a pube in my belly button any day now. (Matt Evans - TMI? Sorry).
3. Not being able to eat mince pies in October in a day when I have eaten apple pie and cream and ice cream and felt no guilt.
4. Having no excuse for my bulging stomach and looking at my old wardrobe knowing it is out of my grasp, until I step away from the cream.
5. Being up all night, not just to wee.
6. Things leaking at inappropriate times.
7. Midwives making me feel like the devil incarnate when I admit I do not want to breast feed because it makes me uncomfortable; my chest is like a foreign land that I want to reclaim and I honestly recoil at the thought of lopping out a G cup in public. Oh the horror.
8. The meltdowns when the wee one won't stop crying and I've done everything possible to stop the howling and it is 4am and freezing cold and I have forgotten what year it is let alone what day.
9. The thought of having to socialise with other new Mothers for some sanity and the terror they bring me with their 'I am earth Mother hear me roar' words of wisdom as they sing lullabies to Hugo/Arabella/Oscar and talk of orgasms during breast feeding.
10. Oh the mere responsibility of two children.... ho hum.

These are the thoughts that rage around my head when I lie awake at 3am wishing for sleep. Coupled with the mundane - why is my new dryer not working? Will I ever work again next year - how can I with two kids? Why am I having another baby? Will I ever wear heels again? Did I remember to record The Apprentice? Where can I get those tiny red veins lazered away? What would I do if I won the lottery? Please can I win the lottery? Who is shagging who on the show I have (only just) finished working on? (but am going back to - so will work until two weeks before I pop.) What will happen to Riggins in FNL 4? Will he EVER grow out those bad hair layers? Did I switch the heating off? What are we going to call the sprog?

Maybe you thought - where is CrummyMummy - is she missing in action? After this dull post, now you are wishing I was...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

What to do?

It always comes down to money. Always. Husband will work out what he has left for the rest of the month and then get all frustrated that it is never 'enough' - whatever 'enough' is... Then I feel all guilty that I've only got 2 more weeks work and then 6 weeks later another mouth to feed, body to clothe. Then - who knows what I will do, how I will do it. As the bastard Tory government penalise the middle classes for having children and take away our child benefit and cut back on the child care voucher system, once again it is only the uber rich that come away unscathed.

I feel so angry at my foolish 20 something self - imagining a lucrative career in tv. Then again, at that age I imagined I'd marry a rock star and never have to worry about the green stuff ever again. I look around and wonder how some folks do it - how one guy I know said he liked to have twenty grand in savings tucked away... Oh I know so many get help from their folks - 'gifted' money to buy their houses, pay their mortgages, etc. We don't get any financial help at all from our families. Not that we would expect it. In saying that my Dad helped me buy my first flat as my Grandfather left him a generous amount - but he lost a lot of that in a recent stock market crash. Does everyone worry about money? I guess they never talk about it.

Anyway - I'm angry at myself for being so fucking whimsical. Yes I have had some truly amazing experiences - I really loved being a kid's tv presenter, and doing my live debate show every Friday night in Ireland; I've had some brilliant moments as a reporter and I've made some great friends through all my jobs. But can I really keep going in an industry that sucks the blood from you and then pays poorly simply because it can - because if you don't want the job - then step aside (what was your name again?) as 300 others do - for half the price you were charging. People think TV is glamorous - ha! As Giles Coren the food critic said this weekend - every job becomes what it is - a job. No matter how exciting to begin with. Maybe I should have gone to work in a bank - been some fancy schmancy account manager by now, in my big 4 storey mansion complaining that my diamond shoes are too tight and my wallet is too small for my fifties...

But I went with my heart and always tried to work at something that made my heart sing. Made me inspired. Excited to go to work - and by and large all my jobs have done. A long stint at a quiz channel wasn't exactly the highlight of my presenting career - but it was well paid for a mere 3 hours work a day. And the crew made every shift a joy. Money has never motivated me before. I never wanted to be a slave to the pound - working away in a daily grind, in a sea of grey just to buy myself pretty things. I was watching Russell Brand (of all people) the other night - interviewed by Paxman - and he had a point - we live in such a consumerist society where status and money are the ultimate goal - and yet we are more unhappy and less satisfied than ever - perhaps because we have neglected the spiritual element in order to attain these material goals. The irony being that the more we get, the more we want. Great house? 'Yes, but it only has 3 bedrooms, and we'd love patio doors that fold back, and a better car.' Etc. Who isn't guilty of such talk?

It goes against the core of my being to simply be motivated by money. And yet... we need it. To send Sproglet to his Little Kickers football, to cook healthy meals, to pay for swimming lessons and movie visits and to clothe him. To pay our bills that keep a comin' - a mortgage, etc etc.

I feel so torn. On one hand I've always tried to be true to myself - but now with a family in tow, perhaps I can't continue like this. Maybe I need to do career change no 3 - and think about working in something that pays well even if it makes me want to open a vein. And what can a 37 year old mother of two ex-presenter, ex-script editor, ex-associate producer, actually do for a living? Did all this hopping around and varied experiences only serve to make me a jack of trades and master of none?

If I'd started in the public sector, or banking, where would I be now? Not living in fear about the fact that once again - I have no maternity pay bar statutory. That once again I will have a baby and have about 3 months in which to lose the weight, find childcare and get another job. Find a job. With two kids. Oh I know I could have chosen not to have them - but is it not the reason for being here? I feel punished for the choices I have made and annoyed that somehow here I am - an educated broadcaster/editor who spends more of her time looking for work than finding it.

Mad thoughts run through my brain - should I walk around with a sign on me until someone employs me (like one desperate graduate did in Oxford st last year) or pay for an advert to shove my CV in Broadcast magazine - post it online and see who responds, ditch Husband and marry a 92 year old billionaire with a heart condition in Texas because 'I love him' or sell a kidney? Could I come up with a fabulous new invention, (like a comfy bra in pregnancy) or set up a website for women like me (that does what? - who knows), should I even try to finish the book that my agent just pulverised - when ironically I have discovered that writing alone day in and day out made me miserable? Perhaps high class prostitution is an answer - maybe someone has a fetish for G cups, skin tags and 7 months pregnant women who haven't had a good waxing in months as after all - they can't see down there anyway?

I wish I had a mentor to turn to. Someone to say - ok, CM, lemme see your CV. Ok - this is what you should do... Blah Blah... Oh and this well paid job, it comes with childcare on site and part time flexible hours. Fabulous. Sometimes I swim in my head for hours, this stuff watered from a small acorn into becoming a fucking huge tree.

And then, at the end of it all I think of my dear best friend coming round here on Friday for dinner and telling me about her work friend who is 40, single and childless, who next week will have double mastectomy followed later by a hysterectomy, all in order to stop the inevitable cancer that killed her Mother and is ravaging her sister. Then I think to myself - shut the fuck up. It's only money and I remember what my Dad says - which is 'you are nothing without your health.'

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Wish it could always be like this...

As I write Husband is doing the school run. This NEVER happens - but as he is still on hols until Monday we are dividing more of the parental labour and he is currently marching 3 wee ones up a hill to school. I too am not back at work until Monday (for only 2 more weeks) so this is a luxury - blogging before 9am...

We've just returned for 10 days in Ireland - catching up with family and friends. It's been blissful to spend so much time with each other and hang out with Sproglet. As life rushes past in a blur of work and school and bills and chores it was lovely to just stop and mooch around having cafe lunches, strolls by the sea, rock pooling with Sproglet (got a bit competitive mind you - Husband got 3 crabs - small fry to my 2 mini fish, 7 shrimp things and a starfish; Sproglet's job was to tip them all back into the sea and for the record, he liked my starfish best) catch a movie (The Town - worth a look) and gorge on a high tea at the beautiful Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Cream being my new vice - this was as close to heaven as I can get at the mo.

We spent Saturday night with some old friends and Sproglet ran off with their son to play from the minute we arrived and then they refused to go to sleep that evening - they were too busy playing and 'reading' books. It was too cute how happily they hung out together. As for us adults, we watched the X factor, indulged in some hearty stew and for the pregnant ladies half a glass of a meaty red followed by some glorious chocolate puddings with equal amounts of cream (of course). We are just so rock n roll these days eh? But it was all so relaxed and cosy and great.

Seeing family made me all squishy and happy - as I haven't been home since Xmas. Most of them live by the sea and I found myself every evening at my Mum's house, watching the waves crash on the rocks and realising the pull of the ocean is indeed strong. No wonder so many return to their homeland. Oh, I don't want to go back - but it was a welcome escape from the norm. I find myself missing folk, wishing we lived nearer so Sproglet could know his cousins better and spend more time with his Grandparents.

Now we are home it I'm just enjoying the last few days with Husband before his work engulfs him once more. We get on so much better when we actually get to spend some time together. Plus, I've stopped worrying about next year and what I'm going to do for money and with 2 kids and childcare etc. It'll all work out - it always does. See, holidays give you some head peace - which for me is usually nigh on impossible. If only it could always be like this...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Boobs or bust

It's got beyond a joke. My boobs officially require their own passport, ID and own island to live on. I mean - how big can pregnant breasts get? Don't answer that. My G cups runneth over and I refuse to go higher because I simply can't fathom that my chest is almost bigger than my bump. It isn't pretty. I look like me with a cartoon drawn upon my frame. My mammeries have nowhere to go in their 'no underwire' rule bras - they are just sandwiched together, jostling for space and rubbing each other up the wrong way.

Oh yes, between the mountainous breasts runs an itchy irritated river of discontent - that no amount of talc or sudocream or moisturiser or anything can help. It is like they hate one another - the sweaty space they try to fit won't let them breathe so they are staging their own silent protest. I can't bear to look at myself naked in a mirror. Don't even get me started on my ever changing nipples. Too much info? Sorry - but try living with them. I feel utterly removed from myself - some overblown porno queen whose surgeon didn't know when to say 'no.'

Then there is the butt pain. Who knew that waddling would hurt so much in the muscles in your ass? Throw in some piles for good measure and basically my pregnancy is just one royal pain in the arse. I am of course grateful to be pregnant - I just fecking hate the last trimester with all my heart. Inability to sleep, peeing all through the night, raging heartburn/indigestion, and not even a wee drinky to make everything that little bit out of focus. Skin tags creeping up in the weirdest places and catching on bra straps etc. Will I ever be me again? Some women feel sexy pregnant - which astounds me. I am so far from feeling even remotely attractive that I can't remember what it was like to feel good about myself let along enter the box of 'hot.' Sweaty and out of breath, swinging and waddling and unable to bend - aint hot. My chest is so out there that I cease to look normal - if a freak show circus rolled into town I'd lay money on them paying me top dollar for a flash.

Sometimes I look at my old bras and feel nostalgic. Will I ever use them again? Or will I sell a kidney in order to fund a breast reduction/tummy tuck? I jest of course - who wants more surgery after a C section (Dec 6th - booked, hurrah) but I wake from dreams of my old self and remember with a thud that I am no longer that shape - then try to somehow hurl myself out of bed, all too aware of an imminent black eye if I move too quickly. Please forgive me for this pity fest but 3 months ago a colleague came for lunch and came back to work declaring to all 'CM is sooooo pregnant - it's all tits and bump everywhere!' That was 3 months ago. I am a world away from the tiny bump and blossoming breasts of those days. Right now people cross the street to try and squeeze past me.

Oh well. 9 weeks and counting. Who knew that the best part of your day could be the one when you took off your bra and let it all hang out? Excuse me, I've gotta run and let a saucer sized nipple escape.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The day I fought and won - or did I?

I dunno what it is lately - I just haven't had the inclination to blog... Maybe seeing people tragically over-sharing on Facebook in bids for sympathy/jealousy/gratuity/acceptance has just about put me off the whole over-sharing malarkey - even if I am doing so under a pseudonym (and have ditched facebook for so many reasons). I guess like everything you fall in and out of love with things - but the other day when I thought of writing, it felt like a chore, when all I wanted to do was lie down, stuff myself with pancakes and indulge in yet another Tim Riggins bonanza.

Maybe I just haven't had anything to say... But that all changed on Tuesday when I had my 28 wks preggers appointment with a consultant at the hospital - where we'd talk about my 'birth plan' Now those who are no stranger to my blog will know I don't do birth - I should, I know, it is the ultimate experience in womanhood - but I watched a video in biology class in about 1985/6 and ever since I saw hairy Mary almost splayed in half squeezing out pure horror - I have had one hell of a phobia. To the point I saw my doc before I even got pregnant back in 2005 and said 'how can you help me?'

Anyway Sproglet came out through a blissful C section and I'm due another this time around. However, lucky me, at the appointment I'd just got a Dr straight from an NHS directive meeting encouraging women to have normal births - even after sections - so he had his little band wagon to jump on. Even though he seemed lovely - wide smile, caring voice, calm manner - the minute we got onto chatting about how this one would come out - he had an agenda. I explained in great detail - the video, my phobia, my long crusade during my last fretful pregnancy to secure a section - baby in breach, all that jazz. He nodded. He cared. I let out a long sigh. I knew the score - it was my choice and one I had already made.

Then he began - with his offers of therapy, chats with community midwife, to try the natural birth thang etc etc - and you know what, I just couldn't face the thought of having to justify myself - AGAIN. My body shook - an involuntary response to such chats - and all I could say as the tears poured down my face was 'don't do this to me, please don't do this to me.'

Clearly the Dr thought I was a basket case. He stopped all attempts to co-erce me into birth, gave me a tissue and then tried to suggest that my phobia would be something that I passed onto my own kids - what if I had a daughter and I passed it onto her? Shouldn't I get help, now, while I could? Later I felt completely enraged - how dare this man make assumptions about how I would choose to bring up this imaginary daughter if I had one? As I told him, I don't plan to have any more kids, I'm never giving birth so why should I resolve this long standing fear? It is my fear - I own it, I get it is irrational, but hey, it isn't harming anyone else. Hell, I am in awe - complete awe - of any woman who has ever gone through birth - something I could never get my head round in a million years. Perhaps my Mother's gynaecological problems when I was growing up - culminating in a hysterectomy - also played a part in my squeamish-ness when it comes to lady bits.

Anyway - I reminded the Doc that C sections cost £3,500 whereas normal births only £1800 on the NHS - so perhaps money could be at the route of all this 'let's have less sections' directive. I also pointed out that we are having bigger and bigger babies these days, with better diets - so no longer are 6lb babies the norm - 8lbs is more regular - rather than the 5lb/6lb ers in my mum's day. 10lb babies aren't that irregular. Yet skelatorially - if there is such a word - we haven't evolved enough yet as a species to push such big babies out - which is why there are more and more emergency sections. In an article I read a while back - 8 out of 10 obstetricians would elect to have an elective section rather than try natural birth. Dr coughed uncomfortably and told me I was well researched. Then I hit him with a government funded study by the college of midwives in 2006 that's directive was purely to prove that birth was best - in a bid to get costs down in maternity wards - the costs of so many sections.

At the heart of every directive, every initiative - is a money saving ethos.

Dr relented, realised there was no point in trying and booked in my section - 6th Dec 2010 baby arrives. I read back over his notes later in my maternity book - describing me as 'agitated' and 'weepy' - 'physically and emotionally distressed' etc and all his great suggestions that I had 'refused.' He had his ass well covered. He wasn't taking the wrap for my choice - clearly he had tried. Yet he had failed to note I am demanding stitches and not staples for the operation. Too busy ticking his boxes I imagine.

The thing that annoyed me most from this whole experience, wasn't the fact as a healthy person who takes care of myself and who has worked bloody hard since at Uni and has paid every tax bill on time - that the one time I need help - a section, I am made to beg for it - no, what angered me was this man's character assumptions about me - and what my phobia will do to my family in years to come. How dare he! When I had mentioned that had I not been able to get section first time around, I would have got a loan and gone privately - he suggested I took this money (which I explained I didn't have - I said 'loan' Doc, as you clearly weren't listening) and re-directed it into therapy for such an 'extreme and deep rooted phobia.' This from a man - who will never have to give birth, who is busy ticking his boxes and dotting his i's and making women like me feel shit about themselves.

I may have won my section, but it wasn't without humiliation and having to justify my choices. Why can't women just choose? Why have we lost the right to the births that we want? Where's the fucking directive that lets us decide what works for us - as people, individuals and not just numbers/boxes?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Friday Night Lights and nesting

I am still here. Just been working hard, having mini hormonal driven meltdowns and nesting my ass off. I have spent every last spare moment on line looking for a rug, curtains and all things cosy to make our lounge less barren. I have visions of me come December, feeding a small child at 3am, freezing in our sub zero temperature lounge. At the moment it has no curtains. We said we'd get round to it when we moved in. 2 years ago. My neighbours must have loved watching me cavort around to Body Combat (in the days when I could do it) and watching our general sloth if there is nothing on the tube. Our sash windows rattle come winter and let in a cold draft that could freeze your neck solid, so curtains are a must. I've done 2 winters without them - not any more. Thermal lining needed to boot.

It would be a lie if I said I didn't love this time of year though - when the temperature dips a few degrees, the leaves begin their voyage through the colour spectrum and the last rays of summer sun begin to disappear. I get that 'ole back to school feeling - the need to purchase something from Paperchase; I get excited by stationary - embarrassingly so - what that says about me, I don't want to know. When soups and one pot recipes come out along with the blankets and cardigans. Speaking of which, being almost 7 months preggers I can't indulge in any retail therapy clothes wise (not that I have spare cash to do so with all my extreme nesting going on)as fashion may as well be on planet moon at the moment, it bears so little impact on my maternity wardrobe - but I have just ordered a cashmere cardigan that I have coveted for a while. My Mum kindly went halves on it as otherwise it wouldn't have got anywhere near me. But I am convinced this is 'an investment piece' - cost per wear it will work out dead cheap - or so I tell myself to appease the guilt. Plus it is from The White Company - and every time I look in that catalogue, I want my life to resemble it's serenity. It will cover big bump and also post baby bump too. It also is the softest thing I have ever draped over myself and in it I feel cocooned, safe, all ready to bed down for winter.

That is, if I could do any bedding. My god - the heartburn. It rages. And rages. Two ranitidines a day and I am still swigging gaviscon like an alkey swallows whiskey and giving up on any food past 6pm... I wake up at 2am - just for a wee swig as the back of my throat burns. Maybe again at 5am. I wake up with it and go to sleep with it - even though my head is propped up on two plus pillows. I am counting down these weeks with a mixture of fear - what the hell am I doing having two kids, when I barely cope with one (and an easy, well mannered, does as he is told, great sleeping kid into the bargain - this isn't meant to sound boastful, I just hear from other folk that Sproglet is fairly easy to parent)- and the need for it to pass mighty quickly so I can stop feeling this burning sensation so damn often.

What else has been happening in Crummy Mummy's small world? Ok, a confession. I have a new crush - and it is all the fault of my work buddies. They are all big drama fans - as in, tv shows. They chew the fat over what is good, bad or downright shouldn't be on screen. Since I've been back at work I've heard them chatting about 'Friday Night Lights' a tv show about American football - teen drama stylee. I wasn't convinced - I'd never heard of it and series one was shown on an obscure channel over here in the UK. But with the autumn tv schedule yet to kick in - there was honest to god - NOTHING to watch here since Greys and Damages ended months ago... So I bought the box set.

It is brilliant. The characterisation is fantastic - particularly the relationship between the coach and his wife Tammy. I want her to be my best friend. I have equally strong feelings about the tortured, delicious Tim Riggins, but in a more X rated version. It reels you in and makes you care - with mercifully sparse dialogue and without moralistic monologues. Everything is underplayed - giving the viewer the chance to relish all the subtext. It is no West Wing, but it doesn't want to be. Husband agreed to watch the first ep with me - then we did no 2. Next day he told me off for trying to watch one without him and now it is our guilty pleasure. I am relieved to know I still have seasons 2, 3 and 4 to go. I'm not sure my hormones could take the loss of Timmy Riggins from my life right now. Even if he does need to wash his hair. If you have never seen it - go on, treat yourself.

So the highlight of my days at the mo? Snuggling under blankets watching Tim Riggins sweat. Dreaming of curtains and rugs and hot pots. Maybe I need to get out more, but frankly, I just want to stay in.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What goes on behind closed doors

Can you tell I am back at work - blogging ceases abruptly?

So... you know those questions - 'what would you do if you were invisible for the day?' and people say funny stuff like 'hide in Brad Pitt's trousers' or 'rob a bank' blah blah - well mine is quite simple: I would spy on married couples and see what really goes on behind closed doors...

Does that make me freaky or creepy? I make no apologies. Husband and I had some corking rows over the weekend - one culminated in him punching a crack in a door. I am not faultless at all - at the moment my hormones are so shot I am behaving like a teenage girl with PMT - and yet we had friends coming for lunch on Sunday - so we had to plaster on our 'we are happy and normal and would you like more dip?' faces and pretend we liked each other. By the end of the meal, we actually did. Those 'fake it til you make it' rules really work. I was a bit emotional about it all yesterday - full of woe and anger - but I managed to dilute it into a civil email and Husband replied and now we have joint 'task lists' and promises of more help round the house (acts of service - HIM) and less nagging/acting deranged (ME).

He arrived home just as I hit the hay and planted some impressive kisses on me. That isn't a euphemism for hot sex - I am after all a beached whale at the moment, with a chest bigger than Manhattan - the man would have to don a helmet and some climbing hooks in order to scale them/me, I genuinely mean he gave me some lovely affection. Underrated it is.

Anyhow, it got me thinking about other couples - and how they juggle full time jobs and kids and childcare and household bills and money and chores and stress and in-laws and still enjoy each other's company? Still belly laugh at the end of the day? I don't mean celebs - their lives aren't really goverened by the same rules that we have to abide to - and therefore who knows what is stage managed/a lavendar marriage/even exists? Boring. I'm talkin' regular folk - like you and me.

Husband and my's problem isn't that we have nothing to say to each other and the marriage is stale - it is that we so rarely get time together. We've had 2 dates recently - both were fab. One was a ridiculous 45 min drive to and from, the nearest cinema showing an Argentinian film that I wanted to see (The Secret In Their Eyes - good by the way) - I booked us a comfy sofa with cushions - (god I LOVE the Everyman Hampstead cinema, why didn't I go more when I lived 15 mins walk from it for 7 years???)and Husband was thrilled to discover it offered waiter service and he was able to drink wine throughout. I supped tea and ate chocolate covered honeycomb. Bliss. The other date was a brilliant meal at a cosy little country gastropub where I drank a hearty glass of red and then suffered heartburn until 3am. But it was worth it.

I digress. I just wonder how folk still want to tear each others clothes off after their kid(s) have just crapped their pants, or their mother-in-law is having a bath in the next room? Or how they decide who's turn it is to take out the bin/do the food shop/clean the bathroom... or who pays what? There is so much that people never say. They show the world that everything is just rosy in their garden and then out of the blue announce they are splitting up. 'I never saw that coming' you'll say, in shock. But they never let you know. It is terribly British to act like everything is fine, even when it isn't. And maybe things are fine most of the time - but what happens when they're not? Ohhh it's interesting isn't it? The taboos of marriage, the secrets we must never tell. The relationship we show the world and the one we have in private. Thing that fascinates me most, is as Husband pointed out yesterday - that it isn't easy, but it is how you get through the hard times that defines how strong your marriage is - that commitment to make it work, to try your best, otherwise what was the point?

It is all so easy when you first date, can't keep your hands off each other, live on air and the butterflies in your stomach. Getting engaged, planning a wedding, setting up a life together. Nothing can prepare you for kids and how much your lives change post birth.... So staying together - is it simply luck? That the person you fancied across that crowded bar, who gave you 5 orgasms in an evening, who took you to Paris, who charmed your Mother, who bought you flowers and got on one knee and all the rest, is still as amazing 10 plus years on. Can still light up a room when they walk into it. Still make you feel a bit mushy. Still make you smile. How do you ever know in that sweaty packed bar, that he's a good bet and you'll make it through all those rites of passage, all that life throws at you. You don't, you take a chance and suddenly, here you are - 2.4 kids and a 3 bed semi. I'm just curious how you got there and why you stay.

I know why I do. And it isn't because I got an enormous bunch of lillies last week and some impressive kisses. But the reasons why I do - well, find that invisibility cloak and you can find out.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Breaking the ties

So I'm back on the subject of friendships - because I find myself in a dilemma, well, in a place I'm not used to being. I am being a bad friend.

Let me explain: imagine you had a friend, a good friend who you've known for years - and they are on a destructive path. You can see it, their other friends can see it, but they can't. They are blind to it. They are consumed by their passion and their whole lives have started to focus around this one thing. This one thing that you know aint good for them. You've told them - of course you have, as you are a good friend, and you're honest, so you've told them that it all will end in tears and no matter how much you advise them - they don't want to know. To the point where you have agreed not to talk about it. Which makes talking to this friend, well damn hard. Because this friend lies to themselves as well as you. They pretend that the paths they are taking are for other reasons, not the fact that they are in love with a boy who doesn't love them back. So every time this friend calls, you have to paint on happy face and try and chat around inane subjects until your friend inevitably brings it round to her love life and - you don't want to hear it. Because you almost feel embarrassed for her - for the fool she is making of herself, and the hurt that will follow. You'd stake your life on it. Because no man ever takes a year to make up his mind about whether or not he likes a girl. He is either into you, or he aint. And if he aint - everything else is him stringing you along until something better comes along - as he has done before, and will do again. So anyway, you think it is almost better not to talk to this friend until she comes out of this destructive phase, but does that make you a bad friend?

I'm a honest person. Husband says he can tell within 30 seconds of introducing me to someone whether or not I like them. My every thought is written over my face - I am a crap liar. As you can tell from my blog - I lay it all on the line - what you see is what you get. So I find it virtually impossible to talk to this friend - because I feel our every conversation is a lie. And I watch as she obsesses over how thin she can get, how blonde, how botoxed, etc - all in a bid to win this man and I wonder where the strong feisty women who danced to her own tune has gone? And then I wonder - have we outgrown each other, is the friendship cemented in our 20s simply not there in our 30s? And if so what to do?

Thing is I've felt the cold winds of being ousted from a friendship myself - this year in fact: a friend went through an incredibly bad time - and I tried to be there, to support as best as could, even when there was nothing I could say. I understood she needed time out - she didn't want to talk on the phone or meet up etc But then it turned out she was talking to people about how she was feeling - just not me. She was meeting folk for lunch or visiting their houses, just not wanting to spend any time with me. So I took the hint - and have withdrawn myself from attempting to see this person - even though I'm still not really sure what I've done. Maybe nothing - maybe they simply outgrew me.

Sometimes it comes as a shock: I met a girl at Uni - she was sobbing over the halls of residence pay phone (in the days before mobile phones when we used to stand with pockets weighed down with 10ps or BT cards with 10 units on them) and I took pity on her, chatting through her issues. That's what I then became - her shoulder to cry on. And boy did she weep - nothing was ever right in her life no matter what she did. Flatmates used to see me after an hours chat with this girl and know immediately who I'd been talking to - they could tell in my heavy step and sullen face. This girl brought everyone down - but still I persevered - always there for her, after all, she had no one else. Plus she was kind and full of wisdom and on the rare occasions that she smiled, could be fun. Then one day (about 5 or so years into our friendship when she was living in Scotland and I had managed to get work in TV in London) she rang and told me she was off to LA for a holiday. We chatted as normal and I wished her well. I never heard from her again. I called her parents, desperately worried that something had happened to her and they assured me she was fine but were somehow avoided giving me her address or phone number. I found out later she had gone to LA following a boy who had no interest in her and she lived in her car for a bit... After that who knows? For a while I was so angry - she had just deserted our friendship - just walked out on it without telling me why, or even giving me the chance to ask what was wrong... She often compared herself to aloof celebs who trusted no one - or suddenly cut themselves off from friendships to 'protect' themselves. I realised that is exactly what she had done - cut me off, because maybe I got too close. As the months wore on I stopped caring - friends come and go from your life and to not have to spend hours propping her up while she wept felt a huge relief. A weight was lifted and I began to realise that she never wanted advice or help - she just wanted to be miserable. Thing is, I didn't. Her ditching our friendship - well things happen for a reason and all that...

Lots of amazing women read my blog and I wonder if any of you guys have ever ended a friendship, been a bad friend, outgrown a mate, let a once rock solid friendship go? In these times - were we don't live near our folks and rely more and more on friendships to be like family, when we invest so much time and energy into these bonds, perhaps they are the most complicated relationships in our lives: rife with politics, jealousies, petty feuds and competitiveness. But when they are good - is there anything better than time with your girls? Belly laughter, finishing each others' sentences and shared jokes.

The question is, when ever is the time to let the ties go?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Back from the wilderness

I am back from the wilderness - literally rather than emotionally speaking. Sproglet and I were on our holidays of sorts - we came to York to visit my Aunt and Uncle and from there we went to the middle of nowhere - to my cousin's holiday home: a cute cottagey place, all Yorkshire stone walls and wooden beams, odd shaped rooms and creaky floorboards. Set in the middle of a remote village which has a pub and... that is it. No phone signal, no Internet, no satellite tv and not even a working landline. I kept imagining the villagers in the pub would remind us to 'stick to the paths and beware of the moors' or the like.

I'd come prepared - two books, laptop to write and DVDs for Sproglet. The plan was my Aunt would stay over and then return to civilisation, leaving Sproglet, my cousin and her baby and I to... well, do what exactly? Baby's have routines which meant our activities would be curtailed; the weather was grey and cloudy at best and apart from getting hammered at the pub (hardly, with Sproglet and the small matter that I am preggers) there wasn't much else to do. I unpacked in my gorgeous big room and privately worried about the unfolding hours, let alone days. In truth the place would be perfect as a writer's retreat - but not to entertain an energetic 4 year old who wanted to do more than touch the local pony and kick a ball around.

Then a miracle happened: Sproglet asked for a tablet. I normally give him a small pink pill before any long car journeys as in the past we have had a grim vomit moment where an irate taxi driver made us feel like we brought the plague to his rusty 4 year old cortina, rather than a bit of spew on an ancient kid's car seat. Anyway, he asked for a tablet and I pointed out we weren't getting in the car (sadly) and then he projectile vomited everywhere - on me, the carpet, the sofa, cushions etc. A great aim. I was soaking - even my pants. Once he was attended to and I was stripped, he lay on the sofa with a bucket next to him. We convinced ourselves it was a blip, and even tried to suggest some bland pasta but the mere sight caused The Exorcist part 2. Not such a blip then. A bugfest. All was quiet as we tried to munch through lasagne - but then we heard a small voice from the sofa, 'there is some poo in my pants.' Not some. Lots. The squits had hit.

Sproglet was showered and cleaned and cuddled and bedded and storied and then he spewed some more. Clean sheets unloaded, his face washed, etc etc. We were shattered. So was he. He fell into a blissful slumber and I tried to contain my glee - not at his suffering, but at the fact that life in the wilderness with a projectile child was looking less appealing to my nervous cousin, who was worried her baby would get it. I was kind of hoping that at 5 months preggers I wasn't going to go through the 2 hour master detox myself, but no one mentioned this.

Although Sproglet slept peacefully that night and awoke to eat a breakfast normally reserved for wrestling athletes in it's size - my cuz was still concerned and suggested we all head back to my Aunt's. Hurrah! After a meal at the pub - portions the size of a pig's head - honestly oop north they like their grub - we headed back to York. I felt like kissing the wet ground.

York was fun - we took Sproglet to a beach about an hour away and in true British summer weather we paddled in a freezing sea, ate chips in the rain (damn good they were - all crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle) and ate our picnic in the car while the winds blew up a storm outside. I took him to the movies, to town, to the park and I got an afternoon to write when my Aunt and Uncle kindly took him to an adventure playground - he had his first encounter with a nettle and is still mildly horrified at the thought of a run in again with such a vicious plant.

Then we came home. The very next day I went back to work. The old butterflies were buzzing around my stomach - can I still do it? Will my pregnancy brain get in the way of how to tell a story? Will it be just too weird?

No - it was too wonderful. I honestly was so happy to see all the folk that I had missed so much - to gossip, to gather to eat cake at 4pm to celebrate someone's b'day, to stand around the monitors discussing whether or not the new actor on the show is shaggable, to complain about all the usual politics of the place - it felt like I'd never left - in a good way. I have a spring in my heffer step and a smile on my face. It feels great to be in a team again. To have my day enriched by a belly laugh and to challenge my mind at how to make a damn script work. Perhaps because I know it isn't forever that I can relish it all the more. Appreciate it for the time I have - and deep down to know that the usual responsibilities of the job are halved, simply because I am only covering one block of scripts, instead of the usual 3.

It's only for another 6 weeks - which is ok. It feels like a last hoorah. Will I feel sad when I leave again? Probably. It isn't the job - it's the people. As commenters said - my truck load of chicken arrived. And it is prime breast, in a tasty buttery skin with a memorable tarragon/lemon flavour - the best that one could hope for.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

A bit of a Prince Tangent.

So just as I was about to get out of the car yesterday morning, the radio blasted out 'When Doves Cry.' That was it, I couldn't move. I sat holding my shopping bags, engine off, window down, just grooving along to the wonder that is Prince.

I may not have told you this before - but I heart the minute purple one big time. Have done ever since I was 11 years old and 'Let's go Crazy' hit the top ten. I was hooked. I hired the VHS of Purple Rain (all padded sponge filled cover in true 80s style), then bought it and fell in love. The movie is terrible, I know, but I love it. I watched it the morning my son was born - telling myself not to be nervous, that there was, there is, and there always will be Prince in my life - so all was well. I know it word for word. I even bought 'Under a Cherry Moon' a few years later - and it really is a woeful film. After wearing out my LP version of Purple Rain, I discovered his back catalogue - Purple Rain being his 6th album. The early two funk-fests aren't bad - but Controversy and Dirty Mind are amazing. Then there is the masterpiece that is 1999.

On a trip to London in 1985 I went to HMV on Oxford St - seemed thrilling - and bought 'Around the World in a Day.' Raspberry Beret is possibly one of my top 3 Prince tracks of all time - but Paisley Park isn't far behind. He was such an escape in my teenage years... I'd stick my Prince album on my tiny little record player - switch it to 33 speed and drift off into my own fantasy land where Prince would whisk me off to Minneapolis and make me his purple bride.

What was it about him that I loved? Apart from the fact he produced, composed, arranged, performed and played every instrument on his records, he was quirky, sexy and boy he could move. He thrusted and jiggled across a stage in a way that only Mick Jagger could in years gone by. And his peepers? WOW.

1987 brought his finest album - EVER - in my humble opinion. If you have never listened to Sign o The Times - go buy it. Seriously. If you hate it - mail me and I'll give you the cash back. Oh. My. God. A double album - 4 sides of heaven. I'm no rock journo sadly (what a cool job eh?) but feck me, Starfish and Coffee, The Cross, I could never take the place of your man, U got the Look, Hot thing and the amazing 'If I was your Girlfriend' just blew me away.

I remember sitting with my sort-of step sister in our driveway, blaring the music out the windows on a hot summers day, singing along to 'Sign O The Times' and wondering what 'getting high on reefer' meant. My whole teenage years are peppered with Prince memories: when a girl at school tried to convince me the masked woman in the 'Kiss' video was in fact a man and Prince was gay; when my first love sat with me at 17 in a study room at school and it began to snow, just before Easter and he said 'Sometimes it Snows in April' (from the Parade album - 1986). When the record store in town painted a massive picture of the cover of the 'Love Sexy' album in 1988 - and I wished I could win it with all my heart. Listening over and over to Graffiti Bridge in Berlin when I was 17 and visiting my boyfriend - feeling like such a grown up, living with him at his Dad's flat, just after the wall came down...

In '87 when friend of mine fell in a scalding bath and was in hospital for weeks and I made her a Prince mix tape (only she and my mate Dax understood the amazingness of Prince Rogers Nelson - and regularly we mulled over his latest offering). The time when I was due to see the Sign of the Times gig in London - my Uncle was going to take me, I was only 14, - and I was up a mountain, soaking wet doing a Duke of Edinburgh award and someone with a tinny radio called out 'Hey, Prince has cancelled his London gigs' and I cried the whole 6 miles down the fucking mountain.

He did the same to me in 1990. Dax and I sneakily got hammered on a flight together to London - him to see his Dad - me to see my step-Sis, the very day we should have been in Cork getting down to The Black Album tour. I did finally get to see him - The Diamonds and Pearls tour 1992, and in 93 the Symbol tour - when I got back to my best mate's student flat in Leeds and got stoned and then convinced myself Prince was the anti-christ! All that backwards writing, the 'Thieves of the Temple' lyrics - book of Revelations, how Satan will walk amongst us and be known blah blah. Great weed, clearly. Finding the (then) elusive Black Album in Camden Market whilst at Uni in '91. Listening to the Batman soundtrack when my CGSEs had finished...

And then somewhere after about '94 I lost my way with his Purpleness a bit. The albums kept a coming - but they just didn't hit the spot. Emancipation, the Gold Album - all duds. He returned to form with Musicology and now 2010. I saw him when he played his 21 date tour of the 02 in 2007. I'm not the mega fan hairdresser I know who paid to see every one of those nights... I can't recall 'the wilderness years' between 95 - 2005 when he released stuff from his NPG club or through The Crystal Ball website.

But I love him. Because he is a genius. Because he is kind of other-worldly and obviously bonkers. Because he gives interviews where he speaks through someone else. Because he looks amazing. But most of all because his music really touches me - in a way no other artist ever has or will. I air guitared beautifully to the last chords of Let's go Crazy on my wedding day - and at every important moment of my life, he's been there. And yesterday, sitting in the car, it reminded me how I love hearing an old song of his, totally out of the blue - a little magical gift in my day. This may just be the dorkiest post I have ever written. Oh well.

Long may his Purple Highness reign....

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The kindness of others

Last night I had some good friends for dinner. I was giddy to see them, excited to cook and hang out and gossip and hear about their lives and all that jazz. The buzz that comes with seeing people you care about and wish you saw more of. I'd prepared the thai sweet potato soup; the Italian chicken cacciatore dish (yes I was mixing my menus up from all over the whole damn world, but hey, they are tried and tested recipes so you can't go wrong) was waiting to be baked and I'd got in lots of lovely soft drinks. The others were bringing dessert, nibbles and wine, bless them. A few arrived but one more had to come - so I offered to collect her at the station. (A ten min walk away, but 3 min drive). One mate came along for company. Husband was working, Sproglet was being entertained by another friend who is on his mental wavelength - they were playing kick in the garden, the tomato sauce was reducing under the watchful eye of another mate. All good.

I collected my friend and then popped to the garage to get ice. I was hankering for a watered down Pimms - it is the drink of summer - and to me, it doesn't feel like liquor. But we had run out of ice - and if there is one thing Pimms needs - along with cucumber, mint and apple if you are picky - is ICE.

So I stopped at the petrol station to get it. There was a big freezer thingy saying 'ICE.' I only had £2.50 left. Utterly broke - so I was holding this massive bag of dripping ice in a long queue, thinking, please god let it be less than the cash have in my hand. £2.99 flashes the till. So I leg it back to car, my friend gives me her wallet and I pay the remaining 50p. I dash back, throw the ice bag on Sproglet's car seat and off we go. We were talking, and laughing and when I drove in there was nothing behind me - so I pulled out. Crunch.

Not again.

Please god, let me not crash - AGAIN. Seeing as I have had two accidents since I started writing this blog - oh and a scratch episode.

I looked back, the car looked ok. But then I saw a serious looking guy walking towards his BMW. He came over and I got out. I had scratched his bumper - a good gash. Plus he pointed out, I had cracked it. My car has a scratch - but I could live with it. My friends got out and we all chatted - the man's girlfriend came across out of the garage and surveyed the damage. I gave him my name, my number, my address and said that I hoped we could resolve it without having to go through insurance etc. He said he'd be in touch - and I burst into angry hormonal tears. My frigging pregnancy head. The day before I'd bought a ticket for a car park and forgotten to leave it in the car window and so earned myself a ticket. Great. Day before that I left the house with no keys and had to get Husband out of the shower to give them to me. I just can't seem to get it together.

But being broke and annoyed and hormonal, I was teary and apologetic and frustrated. Man was nice and said he'd get the 'boys at work' to look at it. Him and his partner/wife/girlfriend told me not to worry. But I did. I came back in tears and then got Sproglet to bed, worried to tell Husband, worried what it would cost.

My friends all calmed me, the two who were with me, saying that he seemed a nice man, not out to screw me for cash etc. So I served up the soup (went down well) and then the main (everyone a bit stuffed on crisps and startet by now) and we were all chatting round a candlelit table when my phone went.

It was BMW man. Turns out his name is Phil. Phil Ward. He told me that next week he is doing a skydive jump, to raise money for charity and asked me if I had heard of 'Just Giving.' I said I had - it is an online charity service wheer you donate to people who are doing sponsored stuff. He replied was doing it for cystic fibrosis. He asked me if I would kindly donate to his charity and then we would forget all about the scratch - he owned a paint store and he'd get his work to sort it. I was bowled over. I never expected such generosity. I was so relieved, and bless him, he only asked me to donate what I could afford. We chatted about how he hates heights and how mad he was to jump and I took down his name and promised to donate. And I did, this morning. I discovered that like me, Phil has a son. His son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 6 weeks old. He is now 14 and was only expected to live to 15. But with the charity's support he should live to 40 - hopefully longer.

Phil Ward is brave and kind. I only met him for 5 minutes and probably looked a bit barmy for 3 of those minutes. But he took pity on my pregnancy brain and did a lovely thing. If you fancy paying it forward - if you read my blog regularly and enjoy it - go on, give to nice Phil: http://www.justgiving.com/philward69

And who knows, maybe someone, somewhere, unexpectedly will do something pretty lovely for you.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Hurrah!

Well, where to start?

Firstly, I should say that often I blog right in a moment - in the snotty, tissue laden, tear tripping, second. About an hour later after a cup of tea and a sweet treat, I'm usually feeling a bit better.I blog to get it out - I purge and then am released. And I always know that I could be so much worse off. I am so blessed in so many ways - it is just sometimes, in a dark moment we can't see the wood from the big old trees. I thank all my commenters on my last post - as they cheered me up. It was comforting to hear of folk who have been there and found their way back. Speaking of which...

The very day after my hormonal blub fest I got an email from a good buddy at my old job - offering me 6 weeks work! I was dying to blog about it but wanted to check that financially they would pay me enough to cover child care etc and that it would be worth my while. Turns out they will and now I am about to go back to working with my old muckers for 6.5 weeks! I'm brimming with excitement and a tad nervous too... there is a whole new system and they work on stories 3 months ahead - but hey, I've my buddies there to help me through it and it will mentally do me good to get out, work, earn some much needed cash and do a job I really enjoyed. So that gets me out of a huge hole! Plus, it has re-energised me book wise - I have been working in the evenings, beavering way - determined to get half of it finished by the time I start back at my old job. I have planned out the final 10 chapters so aim to have it all done by the time Sprog no2 appears. So good things happen. You just have to have faith. I am so relieved. I honestly feel like having my own wee dancing party. I know it doesn't solve what will happen post bairn, but that is then, this is now. I can't worry endlessly about the future. Today is good. I can survive until we have the baby - and who knows, if the book goes ok, then maybe I'll get a book deal and all will work out. Something will turn up. It always does. Usually when I am least expecting it.

I went to the hospital this week - I was checking out where I will recuperate after my section. Last time I was in an NHS ward and I didn't sleep for 3 nights - I was a basket case by the time I got home with a new baby.Proper blubbering mad as a bag of snakes, mess. The midwives were grossly overworked and all night people talked, babies yelled, drawers slammed and weird bodily sounds floated around the room. Hideous. Also the showers were filled with dirt and hair, the toilets were blocked and a midwife failed to point out I was allergic to the adhesive of the plaster covering my scar - and I had a huge scaly raised rash that ran across my nether regions and down my leg. Grim. I needed antihistamines and cream to get rid of it - and it took two weeks! As if my lady garden didn't look unappealing enough post section, without the reptile scabbiness on top.

I always swore if I had another sprog - I would go private, no matter if I had to sell a kidney. I have no money left bar the funds for one night in a private room, but I was so determined not to spend it. Sections are full on - I wanted to know that the recovery would be more pleasant. Husband is saving for the other night and I asked a family member to loan me the rest of the deposit needed as it goes back to them as soon as I leave hospital. This is what started my meltdown on Monday - I rang the hospital and they broke it to me that you have to pay for 4 nights, not just the ones you stay. Like a deposit. Then you get back what you don't use... Great. As one night costs the same as a fancy schmancy hotel. Which is because, well it is like a fancy schmancy hotel. All products and soft bedding and flat plasma screen tv and bowls of fruit and fancy decor. I sound as deep as a puddle, I know. Forgive me, it was my one promise to myself. I loved this place so much I'd like to vacation there next Spring. The woman who showed me round guessed that I wasn't from the rich club who just use pocket money for such events, she even offered not to charge me the new prices, which start in Aug. She was so lovely I wanted her to be my new bessie mate and she could holiday with us at 'The Knutsford Suite' Watford Hospital too.

I also had my 20 week scan! This, is the best news of all. The baby is well and healthy and jumping around. The sex? Well maybe we found out, maybe they stuck to hospital policy and didn't tell us. All we cared about is that the wee one was fine. And it is. I was really nervous for some reason, but the sonographer was lovely. She had only 20 mins to take measurements and check the heart and the brain and kidneys and limbs and all. I kept my eye out for signs of a penis, but I have to say most of the time there were bubbles and squishy looking bits that I had no idea what was what. The lady thanked us for making her day - as she said that sometimes she has to give bad news. She said that a woman in before us had had bad news, an abnormal baby. Funnily enough, I had clocked her and her family leaving, and they looked very flat, very quiet. Often folk don't know, until the 20 week scan - which is awful, because after the 12 week one goes ok, you would presume you are out of the woods. To say I am lucky is an understatement. Now, I'm off to do a small dance. Steer clear, I had my chest measured this week and the poor woman in John Lewis eyed my enormous bosom and said 'we don't have much in your size I'm afraid!' She was holding a FF bra!! I am in a 'large' and for some unknown reason, it has padding. Like I need the freakin' padding! If you get too close, my nipples could take your eyes out, I tell you. Lord only knows what monstrosity I will need to hoist up my mammeries by 39 weeks. I'll keep you posted.

:)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

It's a girl....

So I had my 20 week scan today and boy did I do some serious buttering up. The poor lady sonographer was powerless against my onslaught of chat and jokes and general banter. Somehow our wedding came up - oh yes, because the baby moved around so much it was impossible to get a good photo of it - I said it was like it's Father - who on our wedding day managed to be in a whole 4 pics of us together. This tickled her.

We checked the baby's brain and heart and legs and arms and face and hands and feet and bum and my eyes were peeled for a penis. I was sure it was a boy and I just wanted confirmation. At one point I was sure I saw a set of balls... The lady wasn't for telling - but right at the end, when she had done all her measuring I said, 'I know you can't tell us, but have you any idea,' and she replied 'I don't know for sure but i think it's a girl.'

Husband swore and then quickly countered this by saying 'oh no, another CM' - but he was grinning from ear to ear. He is a tad concerned how he is going to deal with female nappies as for him wee girls are meant to be all sugar and spice and no wind or poo or stuff. I just was in shock. I had so wanted a girl the first time round I wouldn't even consider the fact it was a boy - and when Sproglet was whipped out of me I lay in shock to know I had a boy. This time round I was so sure I was having another boy, and it really didn't matter as long as the wee one was healthy - but I am kind of bowled over that it is a girl. That I'll raise one of each. I hope to god I don't re-create my Mum and I all over again. Maybe this will help heal me. God, she'll be the apple of her Daddy's eye I just know it. I love Sproglet so much and he is so beautiful and big eyed and sweet and such a lovely kid that I cannot imagine something else being so amazing. But she will be. Wow - a she. I am delighted and a tad nervous and trying to imagine my life with a girl in it - as I am so in the boy zone these days. But most of all I am just grateful - that she is healthy and well and we are so blessed.

Now to deal with Sproglet who only wants a boy... and wants his brother badly. EEK!