So first some non-pregnancy related moaning, forgive me.
I’ve been waiting for a while to deal with Thai immigration and finally transfer my visa over to my new named passport. Partly I have been putting this off because it is a massive ball-ache and partly because I was waiting for the holidays so I wouldn’t have to take more time off. This is my third school in Thailand and so my third attempt at doing anything visa related. Every time there is a new problem. Some piece of paperwork they suddenly need or no longer accept. I threaten wrinkles and gray hairs arguing with officers and agents on each occasion.
To complicate matters further the ongoing political unrest here has forced the usual venue to close and the immigration department to relocate to a dodgy mall on one of the worst streets for traffic. Terrific.
We arrived there at 10.30 am, the opening time, the first day. I parked in a sketchy car park, nervously negotiated through the gangstery ‘red shirts’ main base, helpfully located right next door to the new offices and picked our way through hundreds of pretty poor Asian immigrants to find the ‘teacher’ counter. My queue number was 48, they were at 7 and moving veeeerrrrryyyy slowly.
My school had organized my paperwork for me. Just as well as a lot of the documents involved are written in Thai and I wouldn’t have the first clue. As we waited it became apparent most people did not have any help and each applicant sat at the desk with the officers for upwards of 15 minutes, having things explained, making photocopies and locating missing paperwork. 3 hours later I was seen and quickly informed I was missing a document from my embassy stating I had cancelled my old passport.
- one hour taxi ride to UK embassy. Closed to my request in the afternoon. Joy.
- Get up at 5.15am the next day, 2 hour car ride, go to embassy. Get paper but am forewarned immigration might need another paper which costs 50 GBP. Decide to risk it to try to save money.
- Get to Thai immigration. Given queue number 148. Currently at 65.
- Wait for an hour and a half. Queue currently 78.
- Stick belly out and plead case to same officer from previous day. Told to sit back down.
- After 20 minutes of pleading eye contact officer secretly takes paperwork.
- 20 more minutes until she opens paperwork and begins to process.
- 20 minutes until she hands to boss to check. Success, hooray!
- Proceed to another counter, wait 2 more hours and attain a re-entry permit. 6pm and done.
Absolute nightmare. And the worse thing is all teachers have to go through something similar every year we work here. And as we’re nearing the end of the academic year I have to do it again in May. I am hoping I’ll be so huge by then I’ll take my queue jumping skills to new heights.
After all my crap was done it was soon time to start WW’s as part of the ‘Great Thai baby Escape’. That was similarly awful:
- get up at 4.45 for 7.30am appointment. Traffic surprisingly light due to local holiday.
- arrive at destination, park, go in only to be told the offices moved two weeks previously.
- Set off for new destination. Park in car park. Get stuck in lift as we don’t have the resident’s key card. Get saved by people on the ground floor.
- Get to offices at 7.30am. Told they actually open at 8.30.
- WW returns to offices at 8.15.
- Informed at 8.30 they have to process a bunch of monks before anyone is allowed in.
- WW called inside to queue at 8.50.
- WW seen for paperwork collection at 9,30
- WW returns to a grumpy me with a numb arse and air conditioning chill at 9.40.
- Saw that WW’s agent was named Titiporn, cracked the first smile of the day.
So now we start a different kind of two week wait, holding our breath and crossing our fingers that we are going to be allowed to have this baby in the UK. I will commence my own version of early POAS in a week in the hope that things might move quickly than they’re supposed to, for a change.
And now- baby news 🙂
Somewhere in the midst of all this was our 6 month ultrasound. I am pleased to report I only gained half a kilo in the last month. I used an website to calculate my expected weight gain based on height, previous weight and bmi and I am in the high end of normal. Like most of my internet based research this finding fits with what I want so I’m going to take it as gospel.
My urine diabetes test came back negative and my blood pressure was normal. Yay.
During the ultrasound Dr. Porn was less into translating, despite WW asking for him to speak in English but I was able to follow along well enough. ‘Bokatid’ meaning ‘normal’ was the term most commonly used. He looked more closely at the heart chambers and showed us everything was working as it should. I got mildly chastised for eating lunch an hour before and cause Squirt to go into a food coma with his knees pressed into his face and feet above his head, meaning we didn’t get the clearest 4D alien face shots again. Oops. Dr Porn again complimented his long, pretty legs. Everything was good. He said Squirt is a large baby, but I am a large woman so I should be OK at the birth. Gulp.
It was the first time I’ve been able to feet Squirt kicking me and watch it on the ultrasound monitor, which was pretty special. His kicks are very strong now, rocking my belly and often waking me up during the night. I am also peeing every couple of hours so afternoon naps have been back on the schedule.
I started watching a virus-outbreak-end-of-the-world series called Helix and then woke up with the same red, scaly eye sockets as the infected patients…. but am trying not to think too much of it.
I have officially outgrown the largest bras in Bangkok (38 DD, if you’re interested- you nosy buggers). Even the Marks n Sparks granny bras can’t help me now. I am struggling on, (in and a little out) with the aid of elasticated maternity tops which hold things where they are supposed to be, kind of. My poor boobs are left with angry red bra indents all over at the end of the day, plus a sexy heat rash in my cleavage, just to add insult to injury.
Heat. 35 oC, 95oF and 50% humidity. That’s all I can bear to say on the matter. Plus that garbage dump fire seems to have reignited this morning. What the hell am I doing here?
I can’t stop eating cakes. Seriously. And the doctor didn’t tell me off so I feel like I can get away with it again. Help, someone relocate and reinstall my self control. Quick, before I completely spill out of my bra.
Um…. oh, we also had a wee trip to K.L., which was nice. When we arrived I was saved from an hours long cue by a security/immigration lady who spotted my puppy eyes and deliberately pushed out bump and whisked us to the front, shouting ‘Pregnant! Pregnant!’ like there was a fire.
I pretty much just ate my way through our days in the city, there wasn’t really loads else for a pregnant lady to do. We walked a lot too, which hopefully combated the fact that I had been eating muffins for breakfast at our hotel buffet. It’s a nice, open city. Not at all smelly, cramped and dirty like Bangkok. With actual, walkable pavements, again unlike Bangkok. It was slightly cooler that BKK but very humid and we spent a lot of time ducking in and out of the many malls for a bit of air con. Bangkok has them beat on bathrooms though. Even the newest, fanciest designers malls had minging, dirty bathrooms. Some had full time maids in there and still they were smelly and soaking wet. I have no idea why. I also missed the Bangkok taxis. We refused to pay the rip off rates and so wound up doing a little more walking that I would have liked to. All in all, it was nice to come home again.
Well I think that’s all for now…again there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pregnancy news on this pregnancy blog but that’s because it’s all been (touch wood) quite pleasant and easy recently. I even uttered the phrase ‘I could do this again.’ yesterday, which I couldn’t have said in December. Then WW pointed out I haven’t given birth yet, so I might yet rescind that statement.
Anyways, health and happiness to you all and happy Songkran (Thai New Year, the worlds greatest water fight- I’m currently battling with WW to let me go out and play)!
PS. Ultrasound pics after the jump.