Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The final countdown

My thesis is due in just over two weeks. This makes me want to sob, mostly with joy. Things are fairly well on track for me to make the hand-in date, barring some major objection from my supervisor or some terrible unforseen thing that I hope is not lurking around the corner. Oh how I dream for this all to be over.

Of course our uni threw an extra little bonus into the mix of a presentation that we need to do at the end of November, so I will have two weeks after handing in my thesis to prepare for that bundle of fun. This is the first time our department is making non-Honours students do this, which seriously bums me out. There is nothing that I hate more on this earth than speaking in public. The thought makes me want to sob, mostly with horror.

And then, oh sweet day, I will be finished (except for thesis corrections from the examiners) and can just, like, be pregnant for a few weeks before we get down to the business of having a baby. We are horribly under prepared as I am in a frenzy of thesis writing. The day creeps closer and closer and I am starting to panic a bit. A lot.

I got hold of a child mag for Cape Town at my antenatal class, and it nearly blew my mind. Mom and baby classes, child activity classes, child music classes, birthday party event planners and child therapy classes and I don't even know what else. I really don't think I can handle modern parenting. It was all so overwhelming I wanted to burst into tears. This could very well be hormones, I think. But still. When I was a kid my summer holidays involved reading a thousand books, playing in the garden and I think I did a Sunday school day camp for one day. There were no planned activities, classes or therapies and birthday parties happened at people's homes and did not cost a fortune. I am a quiet soul. Is it really necessary for kids to do all of these things? And for parents to somehow acquire money for all of these things? I understand that as most times both parents work these days, my type of childhood summers are probably not a reality any more. I just really hope our kid likes rock climbing, reading, chess, quiet time and self-entertainment, because that is what the BFG and I are good at. Otherwise I am going to need to find a good job ASAP to pay for all these classes and  activities that blow my mind. What am I getting myself into, I ask with quivering knees?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hospital tour

We went for a quick tour of the hospital today. At least we now know where to actually go if we pitch up with me in labour.

The labour ward was WAY smaller than I expected. I have clearly watched too many American movies and British birth stories from One Born Every Minute. There are three delivery rooms in the whole place. They are great rooms, huge, and two of them have big baths because my hospital allows labouring in the bath and even allows water births. This is apparently quite rare in South African hospitals. I am hoping I get a room with a bath!

However, the fact that there are only three is freaking me out a bit. What if more than three women are in labour on the night I pitch up? Please, where do the other ladies go? Do we share? Oh the awkwardness of that visual.

It occurs to me that this is probably rarely an issue, as women in private hospitals in South Africa are not labouring and pushing out their babies, but are having C-sections. I did not get to see where they do those, but I am guessing it must be in a theatre that looks different to the delivery rooms. So maybe my fears are truly unfounded. It is kind of weird to think that three is a sufficient number of rooms. I guess after watching all the UK hospital documentaries I am used to seeing loads of delivery rooms and separate labouring rooms so that they can shuffle all the ladies in and out, and even phoning other hospitals when things get too full. Three seems so few.

I have met a fair few women here in Cape Town who are all hoping for natural birth. Many of them are going through my hospital which means that they are more likely to be successful. My entire antenatal class is full of women who want natural birth only. But if they are not going to my hospital then they will have a big fight on their hands. One of the ladies said that her doctor said something to her along the lines of, "if you really insist on having a natural birth..." like it was a real annoyance on his part. So yeah, the idea that South African middle class ladies are too posh to push is not fully accurate at all. But some of the doctors are clearly to posh to catch?

I just hope all the ladies are not queuing up with me around Christmas time to take turns in those three delivery rooms!

On that note, I think my baby is still breech, so maybe I should have been checking out the operating theatres after all.

Friday, 17 October 2014


It seems like these days if you want to be taken seriously as a real blogger you have to blog under your real name. Blogging has changed so much since I started writing nonsense to entertain myself on the internet in 2008. Back then it was still ok to blog anonymously and not so many people were doing it to make money.

Now it is all about personal brands and honesty, a least if you want something public. I have never really wanted that, and have actually loved the fun of blogging anonymously. Not so that I can bitch about people with no consequence, but for some reason I feel more free to write what I want when I am an anonymous voice rather than someone people can put a face to. Must be the introvert thing but I am way more creative when I am anonymous.

Now I have found out that someone who I consider as kind of a stalker, is kind of stalking me again. It is probably not fair to call him a stalker as he has not made my life hell wth constant contact or made me feel like I am really unsafe or anything. I just don't want the guy to contact me and for some reason, even though we last "knew" each other in 2002, he still feels the need to track me down. I say "knew" in inverted commas because I barely know him. I considered him a friend of a friend back then. He had feelings for me though. The first time I met him I was single. The second time I met him a year later I was with the BFG. So all of his "feelings" for me come from one single meeting. He was clearly never in love with me but but with a fantasy of me.

We saw each other only a few times after that. One time he put his arm around me. As I said I was in a relationship. I did not handle the situation very well, I was slightly in shock that he would do such a thing, and other recent tragic family events had my attention. So I just ignored the situation rather than confronting it. Yup, that was a mistake.

After that he made every effort to be awful to me. And me being an idiot gave him chance after chance to redeem himself, and opened myself up to his nastiness again and again. Luckily, as I say I barely knew him and barely saw him.

Then in London many years later, G and I bumped into him at a train station. In such a humungous city, what are that chances?? Anyway we greeted each other, had a small chat and then went on our way.

A few years later he Facebook friended me and I was willing to let byegones be byegones so I allowed it. But it was clear that he was going through ALL of my old photographs, leaving snarky-nasty messages on all of them. That freaked me out. And he friended my sister who he did not know. That also freaked me out. And every time I wrote a status, again came the nastiness. Eventually due to some other reasons, including him asking if we could meet up with him and his new wife (why??? I don't even know you!!) I unfriended and blocked him. He clearly had no idea of personal boundaries.

Anyway, now he has found me again and is trying to force me to contact him via various channels.

What this comes down to, is that I will probably never feel comfortable blogging under my real name now. There is no way in hell I would want this guy to be able to read this and know all this about me. I love blogging even if I am my only reader, but I cannot risk him finding this. Yuck.

I hope the blogging world understands that a few of us choose to remain anonymous for good reasons. Not that I need to worry about the blogging world in any major way. But yikes, social media can be a risky thing that brings unwelcome attention sometimes.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A time to be born...

This goes out to my unborn child, I hope you can take a hint. The little horror was still breach at today's appointment. 28 weeks.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Pregnancy epidemic

It is crazy how many people I know are pregnant right now. It is like an epidemic. Obviously I go to a pregnancy pilates class so that ups the numbers a bit. But out of my original non-preggy class, all of us 6 except 1 lady are now in the pregnancy class, AND our instructor is pregnant too. Is it catching?!

Out of the ladies in my class from school (about 27 of us) at least 8 that I know of are pregnant or had a baby this year. This is easier to understand. We are turning 35 in the next year or two. That magic number makes people make babies in a fevered rush to be done before all the scary fertility stats kick in. I know it is what motivated me. My class was a nerdherd class so most people delayed having kids til their 30s. People are either trying to pop out their second and get reproducing done before they are 35, or if they are late starters like me, are trying to at least get it all started. Facebook is kind of mad with bumps and scans right now.

And then one of my older friends in her 40s got pregnant! I am SO happy for her. She has been trying for years. And it is finally happening for them.

Then, all the people I was friends with in the UK - yup 4 of us are pregnant/just had a baby. In the science world, people have babies even later than 35, so they tend to be even later starters, but yes, things are happening in that part of my world too.

It is so weird to me because I have lived in a babyless and pregnancyless world for most of my life (probably partly thanks to the lack of baby-friendliness in Science) and now it is just a baby explosion, or as I like to think, a future poop explosion. It is just a pity I don't actually live near most of these people, who are scattered all over the world. I still don't see many actual real life babies, and am still as much of a novice as ever when it comes to things like nappies, crying, feeding... well everything.

I live in such an alternate world to most people I really know and see. People who plan to have kids in their mid twenties and be done by 30. Us older ladies are my reality, but I know we are not the norm. I know many people are terrified to even try and have a baby once they hit 30. Well, I am here to say, it seems ok. There are loads of us doing it. It seems to work out. Let's see what happens at magic number age 35

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Aches and pains.

Oh wow, it's like the baby and my tummy exploded this week. Now I am really heavily pregnant. I am so uncomfortable all the time and my lower abdomen hurts. I think it is the muscles being all stretched out. I had quite tight tummy muscles and they are obviously being all separated and weakened and are not used to bearing  a weight that must be approaching 1kg of baby. It aches all the time and I feel like I could get a hernia down there? I'm sure I won't but organs and such don't feel all that well supported.

And sitting in an office chair is hell. I can't breathe. There is no manoeuverability in this belly, so it cuts off circulation when I sit. I spend all day at uni wriggling around, trying to find a comfortable position. And this is only going to get worse?

Someone on my birth board mentioned that changing sleep positions at night should be an Olympic event and I have to agree. Shifting this big belly is not easy with no muscles to help out. And when the baby settles on the other side it hurts! Again. And getting up out of bed requires special procedures now that my muscles are just accessories.

And sleeping. My feet overheat. I get too hot and then too cold and then... its morning.

Pregnancy is so much fun, haha. I think the next 12 weeks are going to be tough. But at least there are only 12 more of them. I plan to write the rest of my thesis from my bed in a reclining position. That way I can breathe and type at the same time.

I do like feeling his wiggles though. I will miss that. While I am driving he sometimes thwacks my bladder really hard. I won't miss that part, ouch! But the rest, and watching my tummy bouncing around, is fun. My baby seems to like the breech position though. It is still too early to worry about this being a permanent fixture, and today he appears to be lying sideways, but as I mentioned before, I did everything possible to be able to try for a natural birth, and I don't want no breech baby. I may have to start all the spinning exercises soon. Spin, baby, spin!