I’ve got a new set of ‘L’ Plates!

In an earlier blog, I noted that my regular January period of contemplation was longer than usual. I can now tell you why… My Beloved and I are having a baby! A first for both of us. And we’re genuinley VERY excited, if also a little terrified!!

So I can now add Learner Mummy to my Bio. And my Beloved has already named the bump-to-be (for the purposes of this blog we’ll use the name Strawbug) For anyone who’s interested, I kept an offline diary of the first 8 weeks or so (post HPT) and I’ve inserted it below. Though I have no intentions at present to become a Mommy Blogger (there are already so many far better than I – modernmomdooce and mommy off the record to name just a few) I can’t promise there’ll be no baby blogs at all. We’ll just have to play it by ear… err, eye.

If there’s anyone out there with any level of experience in this (I count myself as sub-novice) who are willing to share their experiences (particulalry handy hints and tips) – I’m happy to hear them. Just use the comments box and leave a note.

Diary
4 Wks Pregnant – Found out. In shock! Mild panic even. Feel like my period is coming. Don’t feel pregnant at all. Boobs seem to have upped a cup size already, though!

5 Wks – OK, really worried about these cramps now, some of them are really strong and I’m totally knackered. Had to buy bigger bras.

6 Wks – Went to the Doctor, they didn’t even test me. Just gave me a list of what not to eat, congratulated me and sent me on my way.

7 Wks – Feel sick. OMG this is horrid. Bring back the cramps! (Thankfully
only lasts Thursday to Monday).

8 Wks – My birthday. Starts out a bit of a limp event. Ends up lovely. Partly because I dress up; make up, heels, feel like Me for a few hours and partly because I fell asleep for 3 hours again in the afternoon so kind of realising I wouldn’t have coped with a big deal birthday anyway!

9 Wks – Feeling mostly normal again. Still knackered. Towards the end of the week I get an angry head on for no reason. OMG just had a bubble in the loo at work, how embarrassing! Now I’m giddy as hell, think I’m going bi-polar!

10 Wks – Rollercoaster! Low and tired and done in. Hate work. Not overly happy about sitting on the sofa every night and every weekend either but can’t find the energy to do anything else. This should be the happiest time of my life. Why am I miserable? Wait! … It seems Michael Jacksons “Thriller” album is the perfect cure.
Broke the news to the family on Sunday. Everyone very excited!
Feel sick again and have permanent headache behind my right eye. Thankfully, my Beloved is working from home this morning and makes me a sweet cup of tea with some ginger biccies. All better.
Spoke too soon! Caught tummy bug. Hope Strawbug‘s OK!

11 Wks – Feel normal again. Too normal… Strawbug? You still there?
Got a constant headache behind my right eye. Making me feel queasy. Caved in after 3 days solid and took 2 paracetemol… not sure they’ll be strong enough.

12 Wks – Bought The Best Friends Guide to Pregnancy a couple of days ago. Been reading it avidly. Trouble is, it makes me laugh so much and laughing makes me cry! My Beloved thinks I’m a nutcase!
So nervous, can hardly sleep. Have my dating scan tomorrow and I’m convinced there’ll be nothing there. My friend told me about someone she knows having a Phantom Pregnancy… But then even if there is something there, what if there’s something wrong… Feel sick with nerves.

WOW! My life has just changed forever!!

This morning I seen my baby for the first time. I cried my eyes out, though my Beloved managed to stay strong. He was passing me tissues with one hand and squeezing my hand so hard with the other. The scan print out is amazing. So clear. I was expecting an experience closer to Rachel in Friends (where is it? I can’t see it) but this is just the most incredible picture in the world. Strawbug was moving around like crazy (not that I could feel it, but I could see it). His/Her arms were flailing around in front – either he/she is going to be a boxer, or dance like his/her Dad! And then, just before the session ended, he/she started sucking his/her thumb!!! I want to stay hooked up to this machine for the next 6 months… I don’t want to miss a minute of my beautiful baby’s life.

Our Little Rhubarb

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The Fear

They say you have to conquer your fear if you are to live a full and satisfying life. And I think most of us live with fear of some sort. Not necessarily highly visible and conscious fear, like arachnophobia or agoraphobia. It’s more subtle than that and it’s linked to our confidence, our self esteem.

Strangely, whilst we normally understand and empathise with physical illness more openly than mental illness, when it comes to fear, we seem to do the opposite. We find it crazy that people are scared of spiders but are really quite understanding of those who are afraid of having their heart broken. I think it’s because deep down, we all have similar feelings, but are not necessarily ready to admit it. Or, is that just me?

Some people have a fear of failure, some a fear of being hurt (emotionally). Many of us feel different fears at different times in our lives, sometimes a little each day. I feel fear. Not as often as when I was younger, admittedly… maybe over time I’ve been conquering fear, but like a scene in a really bad horror movie it just won’t give up and die already!

It took me years to understand my fear. For a long time I just couldn’t put my finger on it. But, now I know exactly what it is. And I think it could be the craziest fear of all! My fear is one of losing something. But of losing something I don’t yet have. A fear of losing the opportunity to have something. To lose “what could be”. I told you it was crazy!!

I spent much of my early life wanting more, wishing my life away, dreaming and wondering… I say early life, I mean up until about 4 or 5 years ago. Someone said to me only yesterday, that they used to be a habitual clock watcher, but that they consciously stopped looking forward to the weekend when they, suddenly one day, realised that every minute of every day was their life. They had to live in the now and experience it all.

For my part, I’m pretty good at living in the now and appreciating what I have. Well, as I say, now I am pretty good at that. Don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments… and I still have my dreams. In fact, I had a BIG moment the other night. My beloved and I were experiencing a “bit of conflict” during which The Fear gripped me unexpectedly. I admit I lost it. What I don’t know is what the trigger was. What is it that poked the fear monster with a sharp stick and woke it from its long and deep sleep? Working that out, I guess, is the next step.

What I did do, after regaining it, was to try to make sense of things in a positive way. So, I wrote a short poem. Only one verse. And I’d like to share it with you:

Fear is a torrent
Engulfing the soul
Arresting development
Reducing the whole

The process didn’t get me to Oz, but it did help to get me a couple of steps further along the yellow brick road. Life continues to be a journey of self-discovery. I wrote on my About Me page that I was a learner when it came to blogging, but not so much in life. I beg to differ with myself! It appears that I’m still learning that too.

Instruction #1128 – Write some poetry

As part of my continuous self improvement process, using my Life’s Little Instruction Book as a guide, I set myself a challenge to write some poetry. I know nothing about poetry, knew  nothing about poetry… although I wouldn’t profess to know much more now! I’ve spent the last week (some of it at least) researching the basics of poetry. I’ve asked for help, hints and tips from friends, family and twitter buddies alike. And everyone was very helpful.

There are a lot of resources out there for the budding poet. To learn the basics though, I was restricted to learning exercises for children. That, or just take a pencil and some paper, observe, feel and write…. I got as far as feel and then nothing. I needed structure. So, back to the elementary lesson plans I went….

There are also a lot of different types of poems, and did you know that sonnets are highly technical… with their iambic pentameters, quatrains and stanza, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG… and that’s just a basic one! Think I’ll leave those to Shakespeare. So, I decided on an Acrostic Poem. Simple yet effective. Don’t get me wrong, by simple I don’t mean easy. I was genuinely surprised at how difficult rhyming can be. Well, meaningful rhyming. Making sentences that made sense was hard enough, but to make them interesting and compelling was even more difficult.

I have to say though, I enjoyed the process. Getting all the words down on paper, exploring vocabulary and shaping my creative chaos into something, hopefully, quite entertaining. It was a little bit like blogging, but harder!

So, without further ado, here’s how I got on…

Henry is my cat
Ever playful
No dingbat!
Running around splash and splat!

You would like my Henry cat
In the garden and in the park
Searching for birdies, mice and sprat
Making mischief from this and that

You could play with Henry cat
Chase the cork, climb the wall
A box, a bag, a ball, a hat
They’re all fun games for a cat thereat!

OK, OK, so it’s a little immature. But, you’ve got to start somewhere! And I will keep trying. Keep learning. Keep improving. Keep your eyes peeled for greater poems to come…

I AM

So, last night my friend who I’m always starting Yoga with, and I, went to see Beyonce in Concert. Now, when we bought the tickets we didn’t really know much of her. A small handful of her dance tracks and another couple going back to the DC years.

We couldn’t understand, when we got there, why everyone was wearing copious amounts of glitter and sequins. And there wasn’t one heel in the place under 4 inches tall! except mine of course, cos I was in my supermarket “ugg” boots.

The show started without a support act. “This isn’t very good”, we thought. And then BANG!… There she was…. Amazonian, Statuesque, Goddess. And the worship began.

I have to say, it was truly a show. A full on 2 hours plus of big dance moves, big lights and big costumes. At one point the woman was walking on air, for god sakes!!, high above the crowd all around the stadium. How can you not worship that!?

But what actually turned me from “yeah, I like her music” to “I pledge undying love to her forever” was her connection to the audience. Despite the big theatrics – and believe me, that girl can do drama – I have never seen an artist get so up close and personal with their audience. There were several occasions when I was nearly in tears because of her genuine kindness.

Sparkle, glamour, presence, kindness and the greatest show on earth. If you get a chance to see her, don’t miss it. And ladies, take a leaf from her book right now. Sequins is not just for Christmas!!

It’s not like having your own cat!

I’m sitting here, marveling at my 19 month old cat, who is stretched out on the floor doing nothing in particular. I’m marveling at his cuteness, at how amazing he is. He’s not doing anything in particular, just lying there being a cat.

He’s now resting his little chin on his little paw and is looking up at me… his other paw he has placed downwards along his side, awww! Honestly, if it wasn’t for a number of friends of mine sharing similar stories with me – I’d think I was crazy (I’m sure you’re already thinking it).

2 minutes later and he’s doing his Mission Impossible impression as he scales along the underneath of the sofa, sliding along the floor on his back. He’s pulling bits of material out of the fabric as he goes… but all I can think is “awww!” (although I do have the good sense to at least talk to him sternly and tell him that he’s being naughty!)

Surely I’m not the only girl (and I use that term loosely!) in the world who refers to herself as Mummy when she’s talking to her cat. (Linda Lowen says I’m not). Hell, even my mum refers to herself as his Grandma!

My good friend (whom I regularly “start going to Yoga” with) used to have a cat. He passed away a couple of years ago and is sadly missed. (R.I.P. Dudley). She tells me that having a cat is good training for having a kid (she has 2… kids that is). She’s pretty much my Oracle these days on all things feline, marital and offspring related so, I take her at her word.

Another friend sent me a cartoon depicting my current state of mind, it is the same as her own, and of countless many others like us – check it out here! It strikes me, that of all the people I know in our little world (where kiddies have 4 very furry legs and a tail) none of us have children (of the non-hairy 2 legged kind, I mean). Does that say something about us?

I remember when our little furball first came into our lives – at 3 weeks old, seriously you have never seen ANYTHING cuter in your life! kids or no kids! – and I beamed with joy and pride telling everyone I met of our new arrival. Most people responded “It’ll be babies next!”

Sometimes we think about having another. However,  furball #1 is becoming quite the Diva and we’re not sure he’d take too kindly to someone else moving into his turf. He’s everything people say about cats. But we love him, with the most unconditional love in the world. No matter how many shoe laces he chews off or how many catches he pulls in the curtains. But then, I never had a pet when I was growing up (save the odd goldfish).  So, am I just one of life’s late learners or am I training for something completely different?

Life’s Little Instruction Book

One of my good Twitter buddies @Stephen_OConnor referenced an intriguing book in one of his tweets about a month ago – “Using my “life’s little instruction book” for my tweets today” . Now being, as I am, an interested party in the meaning of life as well as the continuous improvement of myself, I thought – this could be a useful tool, or at the very least an interesting read. So, I promptly navigated to Amazon and bought a copy.

The book arrived 2 days later, complete with 2 volumes of hints and tips to live a good life… 1,560 of them! Not so little, I thought. But having skimmed a few pages, I started to think, hey! this isn’t such a bad idea… It may not earn me a Sainthood, but it might just help me to expand my horizons a little and I may well learn a few things. After all is learning not what this blog is all about for me?

So I’m going to give it a try – I’m going to try out some of Life’s Little Instructions and I’ll let you know what happens.

Instruction #1 – Compliment 3 people every day.

Learner blogger

So, this is my first post on my first blog. My learner blog.

Not a massively interesting opening statement, but then this is all new. To me anyway.

My first goal, is to work out how to use the technology! So, don’t be surprised to see a couple of weird things happening on screen for a while till I get used to it.

Goal 1A (alternative first goal)  but of clear equal importance (if not more importance)  is to work out what on earth I’m going to blog about. Can’t promise anything earth shattering – but as a learner, am very open to the teachings of my more experienced peers…

In the meantime… how do I make this thing look nice?