Wednesday, February 20, 2008


For the first time all week I have arrived at mid-morning and not felt the constant urge to vomit so, all things considered, I've declared this a good day. In fact, to coincide with my dog entry, my prime, canine-like craving thus far has been for red meat. Previously I must admit I thought the whole idea of pregnant women craving certain foods was, frankly, a load of bull. A carte blanche allowing them to devour whole tubs of Ben & Jerry's with impunity because "the baby needs calcium". But perhaps there is a crumb of validity to this argument: can a craving be another way of your body telling you what it isn't getting enough of?

I'm no tofu lover by any stretch. My pre-preggers diet predominantly consisted of fish and poultry and yet lately I can't seem to get enough M-E-A-T. Pork, mainly, which is funny because normally I'm not much of a fan. But then pregnancy does funny things to both your brain and your body. The sight of pork pies at work last week got me hot and bothered. And even as the grease and fat was oozing onto my napkin, I knew a single pie was just not going to be enough. Shamefully, when no one was looking, I went back for more. On Valentines, it was posh pork ribs in a chilli bourbon sauce followed by slow-roasted belly of pork... Hmmmm... Then on the weekend, it was sausage rolls and more sausage rolls, then these honey mustard sausages again last night. Mr Green is hardly complaining because men tend to like meat.

If I stop and think about it rationally, as far as cravings go it's pretty damn gross. But at the moment rational doesn't even figure. Right now I am a prisoner to my body's whims and follies. And, after all, the baby needs protein, right?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whingefest 2008

Not that I have any intention of turning this blog into a whingefest. Consider it more of a public service announcement to all non-mothers out there. There are many myths surrounding both pregnancy and childbirth - i.e. that the second the baby is born you magically "forget" the violent thrashings of labour. Or another personal favourite of mine: that the pregnant woman blooms in her second trimester - her hair turning thick and glossy; her skin radiating good health; her libido soaring, and so on. While I am still praying that the aforementioned aren't just myths propagated by one generation of women to another in order to keep the human race from extinction, I am beginning to have my doubts.

As countless people inquired after my well being, I was starting to think as I rounded the seven-week mark that I might just get through the first trimester unscathed. Imagine my shock and horror then as I emerged last weekend in a Kafkaesque moment only to find that lo and behold, I had become a dog. A beagle perhaps, with those permanently droopy, overtired eyes and a nose like a radar. At the moment I could probably tell you what the neighbours three doors down ate for dinner. And every 30 seconds or so the urge to wee will take me (and WCs aren't nearly as numerous as lampposts, it has to be said). Like a dog, I too will devour anything in sight, having lost the faculty to impose my own limitations.

Sick as a dog... Well, I'm not sure where the expression came from but it fits. The urge to hurl also overcomes me every 30 seconds or so (see above), abating only when I am eating (see above). No wonder dogs doze and generally mope around all day long. Far from being lazy, they are worn out, the poor rascals. Do them a favour, will you, and let them lie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Little green, have a happy ending

Born with the moon in cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who've made her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer

He went to California
Hearing that everything's warmer there
So you write him a letter and say, her eyes are blue.
He sends you a poem and she's lost to you
Little green, he's a non-conformer

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow

Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you are sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You're sad and you're sorry, but you're not ashamed
Little green, have a happy ending

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow

***No, I didn't write this (I wish); Joni Mitchell did. About the child she gave up in 1965 and was reunited with in 1997. It's beautiful and apt, a first song for our own Little Green. Have a listen...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Boobie talk

I want to talk for a moment about breasts. Now that I've got your full and undivided attention...

Suffice to say that mine have been playing havoc these past few days. I can't say I have noticed a significant increase in bust size yet. However, they are tender and heavy and sensitive as hell. Hence the current look-no-touch policy. For many women breast engorgement is the (no pun) biggest perk of pregnancy. Let's see, when faced with crying jags, piles, exhaustion, nausea, it's not hard to see why. Many women can go up as much as three cup sizes - the equivalent of free implants.

Move over Jordan, move over Britney - here I come!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Everything you mustn't eat, drink or smoke

First doctor's appointment was a bit of an anti-climax. In his inimitable brisk manner, my GP said: Yup, that would make you six and a half weeks pregnant. He waited to see that I was smiling before he issued his congratulations. (As you can imagine, he gets lots of terminations.) After telling me what I could not eat, drink and smoke, I was in and out of there in under 10 minutes. My appointment with the midwife happens at week 10, and at least that meeting will last a satisfying 60 minutes!

Spoke to Nanny B again last night with the official news. Unfortunately any time anything remotely medical enters into our conversation (which is often with pregnancy), she promptly reminds me that I am not a medical professional and don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Maybe so. But my worry is that the birthing suite may not be big enough for two nurses. And I could do without a cat fight there when, frankly, more important things are going on and calm is of the essence.

It goes without saying that pregnancy is the time when most women feel closest to their own mothers - assuming they are on speaking terms - wanting to learn and share what they are going through with the one who brought them into the world in much the same fashion. However, as with weddings (that other major milestone) the reality is rarely as rosy as the picture painted. Wanting only to help, many grannies-to-be have trouble not crossing that faint line between considered advice and all-out control. While I would be desperately disappointed if my mother wasn't by my side every step of the way, there will be times when she'll have to stand behind me as I make my own decisions and learn to become a wonderful mother in my own right.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sexyloverwife vs Supremegoddessmother

First time Mr Green and I managed to get amorous because of all excitement of the week. While I am keen to stay intimate with my husband throughout pregnancy (and am assured that it is both perfectly healthy and safe to do so), my body certainly felt different. If I'm honest, I had some trouble letting myself go completely. Couldn't quite push the "growing baby bud" out of my mind. And pushing it out of the mind (at least temporarily) is almost necessary if you are to have a good time -- so to speak -- with your partner. It is important for men especially to recognise this dichotomy, to learn early on to differentiate between the sexyloverwife from the supremegoddessmother. Ditto for the woman if she is to continue being a happy, if less active, sexual being. I have a feeling that from hereon in, it might be a case of quality versus quantity. Sigh.

Take cover, Mr Green

Hormones have already gone into overdrive. Poor Mr Green. We weren't through the door a minute and I jumped on every word he said, even when he foolishly tried to crack a joke. Then I burst into tears. We quickly made up and had a cuddle. What a rollercoaster the next few months promise to be. I knew my moods would be volatile, like the worst-ever case of PMS imaginable, but I never expected it to happen quite so soon...

Back at work with the Knowledge

All day long I had the feeling of a fugitive, sneaking around, and not being able to tell anyone was torture. Already I found I was taking care of the way I move, having the added awareness of a guardian protecting something precious and sacred within.

Are you positive?

Came home from work and took the pregnancy test just before dinner, fully expecting it to come out negative. Before Christmas I was similarly convinced that I was pregnant when my period was also a week late, and being utterly crestfallen to find -- after about 3 tests in a matter of as many days -- that I was not. This time the litmus took no time at all in registering the positive sign of the cross. Needless to say, Mr Green was over the moon and couldn't stop smiling at dinner. After calling both future nannies, I decided to take another test just to be sure. Again, positive. A sleepless night followed as we tried to absorb the reality of what we had accomplished and just how drastically our lives would now change from this moment forward.