Sunday, 28 November 2010


How 'bout a swim!? Originally uploaded
by Trondelarius

The days are getting to be ridiculously short.  I got up two hours ago and it's not yet light outside.  The sun, like some hungover teenager, struggles to lift its head above the horizon even at midday.

It is freezing outside, literally.  The door downstairs actually has a thin slick of ice covering the inside of its little window, and GM prefaces like every other sentence with "hrm, maybe I should buy another heater..".

My heartfelt thanks go to H&M, who are the only people I've managed to find in the high street who care enough about pregnant people to produce tights made out of at least 50% wool and with an extra bum panel so that the growing belly will fit at the front.  OK, so it looks like it's made to fit an enormous diaper across the back, but at least my piles and urinary infections are kept from an icy death.  Once again, thank you, Swedish people.  And don't even get me started on the children's department in IKEA.

I actually love the cold.  Not because of the cold, which is of course a bit of a bitch (it's like when you visit somewhere really hot and rush between stores to enjoy as much air conditioning as possible, except with the opposite pretext), but because it gives more light.  The sun is so pale now it would barely be noticed if it was cloudy and rainy all the time.

Also, I love Christmas.  Love it love it love it, although I am already fearing the eating aspect will be much curtailed this year due to the growing belly aspect of pregnancy, which is really starting to take its toll despite me not having put on abnormal amounts of weight.  Next week I shall bake gingerbread, and from thereon out, the year will be a veritable feast of advent calendars, cosy fireplaces and long lie-ins snuggled up to GM.  Bring it on.




Tuesday, 9 November 2010

What's in a name?

The baby is doing well, I think. She is mostly active in the evening or if I'm playing video games or on the phone to GM. She also likes sugary foods. So yes, it's a girl. During the routine scan it was established that everything from corpus callosum to toe looks fine, and her developmental markers are good (moving and sucking fingers and drinking etc.).

I hadn't really given much thought to what it would be like to be pregnant. I guess most people don't, because it's an experience so far removed from how we normally live our lives, full of abstraction and technical gadgets and ways of doing things without actually having to deal with them. Having sex and producing babies, as long as it's done the good oldfashioned way, is pretty much the only thing we still do, all by ourselves, from one end to the other, notwithstanding an epidural or forceps helpfully applied at the home stretch.

It's weird, it's someting my body is just... doing. All by itself. And it seems to know what to do. I think the underside of my breasts is beginning to show what might be tiny stretch marks, but otherwise I look as fit as a fiddle, just rounder. And without the waist. Maybe more like a double bass seen from the side, or at least a cello.

I had expected to feel more uncomfortable about my body changing so much, because I've always really liked it the way it is, but it just feels right. Of course, having a man who professes how beautiful he thinks I am on a daily basis probably helps lubricate the bodily ego to a large extent, but really, I think it's fascinating to see the body do what it's made to do, and making it look so easy, too. At least so far.

I've started giving GM daily updates from the belly region (which actually started a lot earlier as my digestive system has been generally schizophrenic since I got pregnant), which he has the good wits to pretend he appreciates. Like yesterday, I felt my first Braxton Hicks contraction. It was a very weird feeling, a section of my belly below the navel, about the size of a handball, suddenly jutted out with the taut texture of, well, an inflated handball. It only lasted for a few seconds, and then it was over. It wasn't painful at all, it just tickled. I started laughing out loud, alone in the living room, and felt a bit crazy.

Every day I look different. Some days my belly is massive, and I can feel my diaphragm being pushed upwards at the end of the day. Other days, like today, it still looks almost flat when I get up. Also, there are definitely kicks that can be felt on the outside. I wonder if they are purposeful, like the fetus is trying to turn, or if it's just a sort of "hey, my legs! I can move them!". Or if there is no conscience at all this early on. After all, the brain is pretty undeveloped still. So I keep taking my Omega 3 and hoping all will go well.

It is lovely to have someone to share all this with. I keep thinking that being a single pregnant woman must be lonely, even if you have all the closest friends in the world. GM is pretty much contract obliged to listen to everything I have to say, and he has a personal interest in the process which is purposeful, as we will be raising this child equally. I am not saying it would be impossible for me to do this on my own, I am just saying I think I would feel a sense of something missing. It does take two to make a baby, and there is probably a reason for that. It is not something one person should have to do alone.

We have started the naming debate sort of vaguely. Somebody pointed out to me that it's actually a really important act, and it is true that Freakonomics states that there are more dentists called Dennis than one would statistically speaking expect. Any suggestions received with thanks.

Monday, 8 November 2010

First snow

I woke three times last night. Once, I identified the reason for waking as an icy draft winding its way from the window to my bum via a small opening between the duvet and the mattress. When I woke and drew back the curtains, it had snowed outside.

The hillside I can see from my window has been sprinkled with icing sugar, it looks like a gingerbread village, especially at night. Pretty, as if everyone inside each house is cosyed up in front of a fireplace, roasting chestnuts and drinking good quality hot chocolate.

So winter is here, and it ain't no joke.

I don't know what happened to this year. Today is pretty much the first day where I am not grieving over loss of dreams due to previous partner, panicking because I'm pregnant or working 50-hour weeks to make ends meet (practically, not economically speaking; for some reason I like to torture myself by taking on way too much work).

I am still as much in love with GM as I have been since we met, though. I just think that missing him horribly because he is at school being (very deservedly) adored by a bunch of slightly stupid 16-year olds has become a bit of a baseline state, something I automatically allocate mental resources for dealing with.

This morning, I handed in the last essay I have to write this year, in fact it's the last essay I might ever write as a student. Now, only my thesis and final exams remain. It's a weird feeling. I am glad I put in as much work as I did, uncharacteristically working until a few hours of the deadline to get it right despite it only being pass-fail and as such having no impact what so ever on my GPA.

Getting through till actual Christmastime should workwise be relatively easy, no exams, just a lot of mandatory lectures through which I'll probably get to produce a lot of knitting. And after Christmas, well it's almost babytime, and all this missing my boyfriend and living apart will thankfully almost be over.

Suddenly there is space in my head for me. It feels weird. Like, what do you do with it?