Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stepping into the light

Well, I am really feeling as though I have emerged from that dark, dusty tunnel and stepped out into the golden sunlight. Though I may be tired, swollen and huge, it feels great!

37 1/2 weeks
All my uni stuff was completed a day ahead of my self imposed schedule and posted off last Monday.

The tiler finished the kitchen and I am happy to say that I really like it now that it's done.

The builder came and put hooks up for the hammock

I have one hook in the nursery, one in the study, one in the lounge and one in my room, just over my bed so that I can rock him to sleep without actually moving (theoretically!).

I had to have a little chuckle to myself too - the neighbours that have never spoken to me, some even totally blanked me, have suddenly taken an interest in me now that I am so obviously pregnant. I think they could be curious as to how I could manage to get pregnant as I obviously live alone.  The delightful lady at the shop said "So was it a mistake?" and another neighbour said "Oh, I bet that was a surprise!" I do wonder what they are thinking. They have of course observed lots of [trades]men coming and going from my house in the last few months! I did finish sewing the net curtains before I hung the chain over my bed for the hammock - I hope this didn't stifle their imaginations!

I do find it slightly bizarre that my story is out there on the internet but that the neighbours close by have no idea. That said, my next door neighbour has known of the plan since before I even started trying to conceive and applauds the whole concept, and next door-but-one, a fabulous lady who I think could become a great friend, congratulated me, no questions asked, and gave me some really nice baby clothes.

Now that all the house preparation and study is out of the way, I am starting to get ready to have a baby. I have been a bit of a headless chook with all that has been going on, and so have made a real effort in the last week to relax and chill, to ground myself and begin to focus on introducing a new little being to the planet in the gentlest and calmest way that I can.

I am hoping that I can get through the birth without any nasty drugs or interventions, in a birthing centre with midwife led care. I have a great doula friend and the baby's daddy to support me during the birth. I feel quite lucky with this support, and also with the facility, as all evidence suggests that it is one of the best places in the country to have a baby.

It sounds bizarre, but although I have known for 35 weeks now that there is a baby growing inside me, I have found it really hard to comprehend that my bump is going to turn into a babe in my arms. I love my bump. I love feeling the kicks, punches and bum wiggles, and watching my belly dance. I like how he sometimes makes the covers move on my bed. I am constantly stroking him. Although it has sometimes been hard, and at times I have felt terrible, I have loved being pregnant. It is a joy to nurture a new life inside you, and I am constantly amazed at what my body can do.

Last week when I was packing my hospital bag, I began to comprehend that finally I am going to have a baby. The moment came as I worked through the list of things to pack and came to the part that said 'soft toy for the baby'. Now, at first I thought that perhaps I wouldn't bother with that, I don't think that baby will really take much notice of it. But then I had a second thought that it could be nice, and so went to the cot to carefully select a toy. I picked this little guy

as he is new (bought especially for Mr Bump by my auntie), soft, small and cute. As I picked him up and looked at him I began to cry and cry. I am actually going to have a child. I still can't quite believe that my dream is coming true... but I am getting there.

I've also had a couple of really vivid dreams in the last few days. The first was that a little hand stretched through the skin of my belly grabbed my finger, and the second dream was of his face appearing though my belly. Both signs that I am getting ready to meet my little man I think.

Can't wait to meet you my little one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is that a light I see, through the dusty haze?

Firstly, thanks to everyone that has contacted me to check that I am OK. I am really touched by the care and support of my virtual network.

In answer to that question, yes I am ok. I have just been totally snowed under with trying to get things done here so that I can have a baby! Caught up in real life instead of my online one I guess, which some may say is a good thing. Personally, having a few moments to sit down and reflect and blog would be my preference.

So - LOTS has happened since my last update. Things are starting to come together. I am working my way through the dust.

The Kitchen
Having the kitchen done was a major upheaval. Of course all of the contents of the cupboards had to come out, so they ended up filling the lounge. Then the new kitchen units arrived, and these had to be stored in the lounge too. This actually meant that I couldn't even move through the space, never mind find a place to sit. And of course I had no cooking facilities either, and at times no gas or electricity. Fortunately my mum and dad live close by and they were kind enough to put me up for a couple of weeks while it was all happening. I did come back regularly and look at how things were going. I am regretting now that I didn't take step by step photographs, but at the time I found it all so overwhelming and depressing I couldn't even photograph the state of the place.  Anyway - basically it has gone from this

To this

To be honest, I am not too sure what I think of it. Maybe the tiles are too orange. Initially I was going to have some green in there, but I decided against it. Perhaps it would have been better. Ah well - once I get all the stuff back on the benches and the grout goes in it will be fine. To be honest, I am almost past caring at this point - I just want it over with!

The tiler will be back to do the grout on Thursday, and after that it should be COMPLETE!

The Laundry
This is also being tiled today and will be grouted and FINISHED on Thursday

The Bathroom
The shower is now fully functioning with hot water which is fabulous. They are coming to lay the floor on Friday and then that will be DONE too!

Everything got moved from the old study leaving it free to become the nursery. I bought a  very disappointing and flimsy wardrobe (the carpenter added some reinforcement in the form of corner braces so it is not quite so bad now, but still...) Although the internet is a great place to buy things most of the time, sometimes it really would pay to look at what you are purchasing first. I got my revenge with the online review though!

I managed to find a cot on ebay for a good price and bought a new mattress. I also got lots of baby clothes and cloth nappies (Motherease, for the interested!) from ebay and from some lovely friends and rellies, washed them all and put them away. It was so lovely to see all those little clothes  and nappies on the line, and I do find myself looking in the door every now and again.

The quilt on the cot just arrived this weekend and was made by baby's grandmother on daddy's side. Not only is it beautiful, it is also a wonderful gesture which shows that, despite the extraordinary circumstances, baby is welcome in their family too - that means so much!

With this, I can conclude that the nursery is READY!

The big clean
I can assure you that you don't have this much building work done in your house without creating a huge amount of dust. When I moved back in after the kitchen was finished the place was a nightmare to say the least - you could hardly tell the colour of the carpet or the lounge suite. So, I set to work, washing and ironing seat covers and curtains, and cleaning carpets... I did totally wear myself out and suffer for it, but it was worth it to spend a day relaxing in a clean lounge. 

I still have a few house jobs to do. Once the tiler has finished there will be some touching up to be done on the paintwork, and I still have few cleaning and moving and tidying things to do to get everything into it's home, hooks to put up and that sort of thing, but really THE END IS IN SIGHT!

Finishing work
I have also finished work, a little over a week ago now, and although this may be earlier than most people finish, I was actually ready for it. It was also good timing as I ran out of students! With the first paper of the GCSE maths exam taking place yesterday and paper 2 on Thursday, my services are not required until next year. I have high hopes for this year's group too. I really feel that many of the students that I worked with could have made the jump from a D to a C. I am looking forward to results day to find out how they all did.

Concluding my studies
A final thing that I want to get to get finished prior to munchkin's entry in to the world is my studies. I have been going to uni on weekends and in school holidays for the past year to do a course that will make me a qualified maths specialist. I have just 2 more days to attend, finishing next week, and the essays and exams to complete. My plan is to have the whole thing completed by 21st June. Having done all of the coursework, the presentation and completed 2 of the 4 essays (one of them in the last 2 days!) I am confident that this will happen too. 

Feeling lousy and lucky all at once
Last week I commuted to London 3 days in a row for uni, getting up at 5.30 am and catching the 6.43am train.  The week left me completely drained of energy and enthusiasm, with legs and feet that more closely resembled those of an elephant than of a human being, and along with that, a feeling of total overwhelm that I will never be though all of this and recovered in time to have a baby. To top it all off, I then developed a stinking cold.

On Friday afternoon, baby daddy arrived and we started sorting out the final things we need to do to be baby ready. This included things like buying a car seat, and writing the birth preferences. He also did heaps of jobs for me, like plant things in my garden, which has become incredibly difficult with an enormous belly... We trawled around the shops trying to buy the final items until I was dead on my elephant feet and could look no more. On Sunday, he sent me an email with details of an order for everything else on the list, which he had found, bought, and arranged to be delivered to my house. What an amazing guy. I cried with relief/joy/gratitude when the email came though.

Then, just a couple of hours later, another email from my friend and doula, answering all my questions about the birth preferences. She makes all the difference, knowing she will be there makes me so much more relaxed about the whole process. I know she will support me, encourage me, advise me and defend me and it all so very reassuring.

So, with the cold, the hormones and the fatigue, Sunday was an interesting day emotionally. Despite feeling lousy, I have a gorgeous friend to help me with the birth, an amazing baby daddy, and a beautiful baby wriggling in my belly, so I also feel like the luckiest girl in the world!