Going into extra time

Just to let you know, I am still with bump. Our due date was yesterday, but no sign. In fact, I feel fabulous and not at all like I might have a baby any minute. We had a fairly energetic and packed weekend: went out for brunch, went to a museum, did lots of walking, watched DVDs and muddy people at Glastonbury on the telly and I didn’t feel overly tired by all this activity. Last night, we went for dinner at the house of some new friends we made at our ante-natal workshop, and we met lovely baby Max, who is adorable with big wide eyes and a mop of soft hair…ahhhhhh. I had hoped that Max might send some messages across the bump, to tell eric what fun it is out here, but he didn’t – maybe he told him to stay put!

Our midwife came yesterday and all is well: good blood pressure, good baby heart rate and so on, but she didn’t think he was about to arrive.

We hadn’t made any plans beyond today, so this feels like ‘extra time’, special time. Let’s not go to penalties, eh?


I went for a swim, 20 lengths. I was so happy to be going for a swim, feeling really chuffed that, at 40 weeks +1, I am still active and feeling strong. Unfortunately, I was put in a bad mood by a stupid woman set on spoiling my swim. I had the slow lane to myself because it was pretty empty, and as I swam I sensed someone coming up behind me in slow motion, then overtaking me and kicking me in the process. Grrrrrrr, doesn’t she know that if you climb in, you wait and leave some space for the person already in the lane, not overtake them and piss them off? She wasn’t even a fast swimmer, in fact she was one of those who swims with their head out of the water so as not to wet her hair.

Should have splashed her.


Oh, for some good, deep sleep…

I’m not getting any ­čśŽ I can’t remember the last time I slept solidly through the night, and I need all the sleep I can get before the baby arrives! It’s too hot, I need the loo, I have heartburn, the neighbours slam the door, anything that can wake me does wake me. Boo.

Anyway, my work is now done. The big project I was working on is now finished and I have tied up various loose ends, so I can now officially put my feet up. Maybe I will manage to catch up on some sleep later on…

I went for a swim yesterday. I have cancelled my membership for now, but I’m paid up until around the end of the month (I think), so should be able to go a few more times before the BIG DAY. I went in the afternoon, so it was nice and quiet and I managed 30 lengths – I would have carried on to 1k but I started to feel heartburn and that’s not very comfortable. If you are wondering why heartburn happens during pregnancy, it’s because of the relaxin in my body softening everything up. This includes softening of the digestive tract and this causes a reflux action, meaning the acids in my stomach come back up. Yuk. I’m quite lucky really because I’ve only started feeling it recently and it’s not all the time, just if I bend a lot or eat a big meal. I gave in and bought some Gaviscon for emergencies but it really is quite disgusting and I wouldn’t say I noticed any difference. But, if you like aniseed flavoured snot, you’ll love it!

Busy, busy, busy

Oh, I’m not being slack, I’m just too busy to update on here at the moment. I’m frantically trying to finish a big project before the arrival – 60 meters worth of project, so that’s a lot of drawing! I’m aiming to get the bulk of the work done by Monday so I can begin to wind down. I’m finding I’m getting really tired now and really should be taking it easy (only 17 days to go!) – yesterday I went for a ‘quick lie down’ and woke up half an hour later, all heavy and disorientated.

In terms of exercise I haven’t really done much lately because I’m too busy working, which is annoying because a nice relaxing swim would be lovely. Tomorrow we are off to the ‘Preparation for Birth’ yoga workshop, which I am really looking forward to, so that should make up for it. I’ve been doing my own stretching and flexing anyway, so haven’t been entirely inactive.

I shall let you know all about the workshop…Edward is a little aprehensive, so we’ll see what he makes of it.

Sports (rainy) Day

(see photos here) 

Well, off we went to the Hackney Marshes for the Artists’ Sports Day. After the hot weather of the previous few days, I had been a bit anxious about getting too hot and had packed lots of water and suncream but, as Edward and I made our way along the canal, we realised it was a good job we had brought the brolley as well!

The event went really well, not as many people as I had imagined, but it was quite a hard spot to get to and people are definitely put off by a bit of cloud. Those who were there were very enthusiastic, and Ellie and I got lots of people signed up for our Sports Day Artists’ Dance-Off. Due to some overlapping of events, our Dance-Off was split into a few sections, which was good in some ways, because we got to see what else was going on. I don’t think standing outside in the cold, but dressed like it’s hot, is good for a 35-and-a-bit weeks pregnant lady, and I caused some alarm with my blue lips, thankfully someone had the foresight to bring a kettle and tea bags, which sort of did the trick.

As the afternoon went on, we enjoyed an ‘odd egg’ and spoon race, a stilletto sprint, a butoh 400m and some gymnastics with a difference. Unfortunately, before we held our final rounds of the Dance-Off, it started pouring down, so we had the final competitors dance under umbrellas! All in all, it was a lot of fun, but I did feel well and truly knackered by the time I got home, and I think it didn’t help that I had walked miles to get there in the first place! A nice hot bath was very welcome on my arrival home, thank you Edward.

On Sunday, I found some more energy to go for a swim! It wasn’t too busy, and I managed 30 lengths – I wasn’t pushing myself because things were aching, and I think my body is now well and truly being taken over by relaxin, so I need to take care not to injure myself. Regarding the pregnancy, I now only have four weeks to go but, realistically, that could mean two weeks or maybe even six weeks. I have been continuing with the gym ball kneeling and all-fours stretches and it’s paid off – when I saw my midwife this week, she said that Eric has turned into the optimal position! I’ve just got to keep him happy there now, so no slouching and lots of kneeling. Good lad.

At last

…I made it to the pool. I have been wanting to go for days, but just haven’t felt like it. I don’t have the additional motivation of Edward doing his challenge and keeping me company, so it feels like more of an effort. Maybe the dreary weather doesn’t help: I don’t feel like leaving the house, let alone getting my clothes off and climbing in a pool.

So, today I dragged myself along and was relieved to find my swimming costume still stretches over my bump (I’ve grown in the past week and I was worried it might not fit). Top tip – pregnant ladies, don’t bother forking out on one of those expensive maternity swim-suits, just keep shoe-horning yourself into your regular cossie, it’s amazing how stretchy they are!

When I got in, the pool was nice and quiet and I had the lane to myself. I was soon joined by an Edward-type, who was ploughing up and down, doing tumble turns and causing waves. I decided to go in the slow lane where I belong. The pool gradually filled up and I found myself being really irritated by everyone, not one of my favourite pregnancy ‘symptoms’. So, up and down I went, cursing the other swimmers, who weren’t really doing anything wrong, just swimming, and did 1k.

I happened to have my camera with me, so decided to take a couple of photos to show you just how grubby and un-cared-for the changing rooms are. Disgusting.

My Space

This is the inside wall of the cubicle. It just shows that it is never wiped down because the grafitti would obviously come off. Below is the ‘lock’ for the door, both have been in this condition for months, possibly about a year or more (well, that’s how long I’ve been going there).


A game of catch-up

I woke up feeling all energetic and eager to get going this morning: we spent our first night in our own bed in our ‘new’ bedroom. It’s lovely to be in there at last and to feel able to settle in.

Edward, on the other hand, was in a deep sleep and really hard to shift! I reminded him that it was his last session of his return leg of the Channel Swimming Challenge, and he gently got moving. When I got in the pool, I joined the slow lane but kept catching up with the other lady, and having to pause at each end. This got a bit irritating after a while, so I ducked under and joined Edward in the fast lane. I was wondering why my glutes were so achey and realised it must be from yesterday’s yoga class, how reassuring to know it does get deep into my muscles as well as making me feel on top of the world!

I did my 1k (now up to the 18km point in my Channel Swim) and cheered Edward on as he ‘reached the white cliffs of Dover’. He should now take his place at the top of the Hall of Fame.

Busy morning…

…and now I’m knackered! We went for a swim when we got up (I didn’t manage it yesterday, too busy, then Edward went really late and by then I was too tired). The pool was lovely and quiet and Edward and I shared the fast lane: we have a good understanding – I let him go ahead then, when he catches me up again, he overtakes (although he did say I was going quite fast!). We were kicked out of the fast lane towards the end because there was a school lesson…goodness knows what the ‘teaching pool’ is for.

Now this ‘lesson’ was really sad. The kids were about 14 years old, so at that awkward, self-conscious age, and it was a mixed group. The teacher would shout at them to get into the pool in pairs, then swim a length. One girl just stood at the edge in hysterics, laughing at her classmates then, when it came to her length she only managed a little splash then broke down in hysterics again. This went on for a while and the teacher seemed to be just taking notes but not giving any advice or feedback. There was one girl who was quite tall, with amazingly long limbs and she was quite a strong swimmer: I thought, if only she had some technique guidance, she could be amazing…but sadly┬áI don’t think this will ever happen.

After some breakfast, I headed off to my lovely yoga class. I’ve not been for two weeks, so it felt great to be going again (I have done bits at home though). Today there were ten of us, which is busy, and everyone was at different stages, so all shapes and sizes. We did an introduction thing, so we got a sense of where people were at and any problems they were experiencing. It was interesting to hear how difficult it is for some women, with two suffering from the thing that separates your pubic bone and causes terrible pelvic instability (I can’t remember what it’s called) – it sounds horrible and really painful. Another woman is having to go for a c-section because she has placenta previa (sp?) which means the placenta is over the cervix and blocking the way; she could be having her baby tomorrow!

The class was great, as usual, and Tara had her hands full making sure all the different needs were catered for and everyone was comfortable. Eric was very quiet throughout the class, I think he was having a nap.

I’m afraid I undid all the good work by going to Tesco and the bank on my way home: the bank is rubbish, with the queue always stretching right to the door then back on itself and only one cash machine out on the street (I feel a bit vulnerable using it). It was also pretty clammy out there, so I was glad to get home ­čÖé