Even lumpier boobs and a more broken back.

Hey,

After over four months of experiencing some level of pain every day and an unhealthy ibuprofen consumption I decided to go back to the doctors. After a lengthy discussion with the hospital receptionist about where exactly my ass hurt I was referred to the spine center.

The doctor listened to me very briefly before feeling my spine while he bent me this way and that. He uttered thoroughly non-reassuring phrases such as ‘Oh, that’s terrible’ and ‘Why does your spine move like that?!’ before packing me off to X-ray.

The X-ray consultant seemed to be enjoying herself while trying to pretzel me into unnatural positions, failing to believe me when I told her my body just doesn’t move that way.

5 minutes later the Dr was showing me the X-ray (yes, UK dwellers, only 5 mins. The joys of private hospitals vs the NHS!) ‘See here in your lumbar region? Normally people have a curve here. Yours is gone. And here you can see the gap between your discs is too small. And here your spine is starting to curve when it shouldn’t. It’s not as bad as I thought because your ligaments are still intact. When they are not your spine will be able to move and that would be bad. But there’s nothing wrong with your tailbone.’

Shit.

So I was put on a week-long regimen physiotherapy. First they electrocute the muscles in my back for 10 mins on each side. Then they poke massage the sore parts, which I think is mostly a challenge for them to see how hard they can press before I cry. After that they do ‘exercises’, involving stretching my back and legs in weird ways while I try desperately to clench my butt cheeks together and not fart in their faces. Finally it’s ‘traction’, which is basically one of those old fashioned stretching torture devices. I think I’ll have grown an inch by the end of the week.

I also have to take a bunch of strong painkillers, meaning the end of breast feeding for me. I read online that lots of women get quite upset during the weaning process, feeling a loss of connection with their little one. Having never successfully breast fed Squirt and having not developed a connection with my pump, despite five months spending so many eye-watering hours having it stretch my nipples beyond what I believed possible, I wasn’t too distraught.

I was so keen to say good riddance, in fact that I decided to go cold turkey and stop pumping straight away. I had already stretched my pump schedule to every 8 hours but was still collecting 800mls a day so it was a bit of a shock to my poor boobs. Or I should say boob. One breast has been a persistent low performer since the beginning, lazily producing 50mls while the other grafter put up numbers like 200mls per session.

I slept quite well and woke up…uncomfortable. It was nasty. GBF, who is oddly fascinated by the gross side of baby making/raising asked what it looked like. Hmm. You know when you see a really crappy, over the top boob job? Imagine that but worse. Lumpy, rock solid, unmoving, very sore. But only on one side. The lazy boob took it in its stride and remained at a normal size, adding to my weirdly lopsided silhouette. Hot, huh? Thankfully the back pain meds worked two-fold and relieved some of the discomfort.

Disclaimer: not actually me :-), but no joke this is what I looked like.

After 3 days I caved and pumped 150mls from mega-boob. It worked brilliantly. I was no longer the stuff of nightmares and the milk wasn’t replaced so I don’t look like I’m going to tip over anymore. And adios to the nipple suckers. Hooray!

As for my back, not so good news. I’m over half way through the physiotherapy and if anything I’d say the pain has worsened with all the prodding and poking.  I don’t think the doctor was very hopeful that many years of abuse it would be fixed so easily. The next step is an MRI and then, scarily surgery.

I haven’t gotten all the information yet. The surgery he thinks I would need involved screwing at least two of my discs together, maybe more. He mentioned a two month, painful recovery but I’m not sure yet if I’d be able to work/take care of Squirt/function.

Yuck. I’m stressed at the possibility of leaving poor WW to have to look after me and Squirt with no help. I’m worried at work’s reaction to me having more time off when I’ve just got back from maternity leave. I’m not sure how much of the procedure my insurance will cover. But this is a problem I’ve had since I was 18 and I would love to fix it, once and for all. At the moment I can’t walk for more than 10 minutes without having to sit down and take a break. This can’t go on. Aghhh! Any one out there with a magic wand???

But anyways its Christmas soon- yay! So here’s my  seasonal tackiness effort :DSC_0692 DSC_0756

TTFN x

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Thanks for that, Judgy McJudgerson.

Before I opened my loins and bottom coughed Squirt into existence I was aware of parenting judgement. I may have even partaken in a little, of occasion. Ok, maybe a lot. But it’s very easy to sit back and criticize when you don’t have kids. I had a list as long as my arm of ‘I will never’s for pregnancy, birth and babyhood. Most of which went flying out the window in favour of surviving this battle we call motherhood.

So I expect a little (or a lot of) judgment from non-breeders. I enjoy it while trying to hide a small smirk, thinking ‘you just wait’ much as I’m sure mothers did when I voiced crazy plans like me having a natural, pain med-free birth. I was underprepared, however for mother-to-mother judgment. Surely fellow women in the trenches would recognize a fellow soldier’s need to occasionally do things just to make life a teeny, tiny bit easier? In short, nope.

These Mommas are not subtle, gentle or supportive with their strong views. Here are some examples of thinly veiled judgement I am dealing with in every different part of my life.

‘Oh, doctors now think that SIDS is completely made up by women who suffocate their kids and then try to hide it!’

 

‘You don’t co-sleep? I feel sorry for babies left alone in their cribs. They’ll grow up so insecure. My 6 year old is so confident. I’m sure she’ll tell me when she’s ready to have her own bed.’

No, we are not co-sleepers. My baby sleeps in the garden. I believe nightly battles with bats, rats and cockroaches is the best way for him to become confident and independent.

‘Breastmilk is good for their immune system. You shouldn’t stop.’

I never heard that before. I’ll need to have a complete rethink.

‘You let your four month old watch TV?’

‘My kid is so clever. At four months old he can already concentrate while watching TV for 45 minutes. He especially likes the scenes where the zombies get their heads caved in and the lead gets splattered with brain matter and he can twerk!

‘I never had a problem figuring out what my baby wanted because I taught her baby sign language straight away.’

‘Isn’t it bad for your baby’s hips to be carried in that carrier?’

Perhaps, but we combat that by dangling him upside down by his ankles for 15 mins a day.

‘You use a forward facing pushchair?’

Yup. Sometimes I even push it really fast and wriggle it around. We’re are such daredevils!

‘Should you really be drinking coffee if you’re breastfeeding?’

Yes, he seems to get a little buzz with all the caffine I drink but a shot of whiskey before bed knocks him right out.

‘You have a dog and a newborn?’

We do have a dog but I try to make sure she doesn’t lick his mouth when it’s open.

 

And here’s the part where I’m a hypocrite!

Totally judging!

 

TTFN X

 

 

 

 

In the boudoir of a pregnant lesbian.

Before you get too excited (or horrified) this isn’t one of those posts, so go and try another google search.*

First of all can I share one of my deepest pet hates. My toes curl, my ears close of their own accord and my eyes roll back into their sockets when anyone starts a sentence with ‘I had a dream…’ (unless they are Martin Luther King). Unless you story is hilarious and less than three sentences of dream description I don’t want to hear about it. Maybe even then, actually.  The messed up workings of your unconscious mind are boring to everyone but you.

So, to add a little hypocrisy to my usual BS, here’s some stories about my dreams :-).

But seriously though, since I started using those nasty vagina bullets, and beyond I have been averaging about 2 nightmares a night. At least. It is a possibility that my 231 nightly bathroom interruptions  just mean that I am remembering the dreams, whereas before I’d stay asleep and forget them. Whatever, enough already!

Baby based nightmares I could understand but I am not limited to these horrors. I’ve had everything from death (me/WW/pets/the whole world- thanks ‘The Walking Dead’), to falling, getting trapped, out of control classes, bombs- you name it. Granted, it doesn’t help that a lot of the things we watch on TV are pretty messed up but even if I have a day/evening of warm fuzziness it doesn’t seem to matter.

I can’t even wake up and snuggle with WW for comfort are we are separated by a mountain of pillows. We have a king size bed. I occupy about 25% of the space (and growing). My pregnancy pillow occupies a further 35%. My additional 2 fluffy pillows another 15%. The duvet that is too warm for us to sleep under most nights (even with the aircon going at the lowest temp…what can I say? I like to be chilly when I sleep. Even in 40 degree weather) takes up another 15 %. Which leaves poor WW perched on the last 10%, a million miles from me and all my fluffy comfort. Poor WW. Now move over, you’re squishing my between-the-knees pillow!

In other news…

I finally went to the hair dresser yesterday as I am back to work after 3 weeks off on Monday. It was time to lose the mullet. I figured there was less chance of confusion and communication problems if I went with a picture so I spend several hours searching for the perfect ‘do’.

When we arrived WW did not specify the usual hairdresser but said ‘Anyone will do.’ I then spent the whole time in there trying to avoid eye contact with the creator of the mullet. Awkward. Very awkward. I showed some young, cute lad my pic. WW verbally confirmed. We got some reassuring nods and ‘Krub, krub’s.

I asked for this:

photo credit: here.

I received this:

 

Sigh.

 

We are still waiting for news of WW’s visa and time is ticking on. I just realized that I am back to school a week and a half before I am granted another 5 days off and all in all there is only 8 weeks total until we fly to the UK. I only have 93 days to go (approx) until Squirt stops kicking me from the inside and starts kicking me from the outside. Deep breaths.

I expressed panic when telling WW these numbers last night and my body concurred by letting go the longest, loudest fart ever. Those are a new development. I hope I return to the sneaky, silent ones before school starts on Monday or I could have some embarrassing moments ahead of me.

I have recently rediscovered the joy addictive frustration of ebay. Specifically ‘baby bundles’, which are cheap collections of clothes in one size/age group. I am finding some real bargains. But my favorite bit is when someone swoops in with 7 secs to go and tries to outbids me..but loses. Mwahhaha (evil laugh). Seriously though, who does that? …….OK, me. But in my defense I had been trying to locate an affordable Ergo baby carrier for days. And I got up at 3am my time just to see the end of the auction. Suckers.

So we are now the proud owners of : a crib, a small bed for beside our bed (definitely not fancy enough to be described as a Moses basket), a cheap and basic baby bouncy chair,  a pack and play with a changing table,17 assorted items for newborns, 20 assorted items for 3-6 months, a manual breast pump and a baby carrier. I feel wholly unprepared. All of the big things are here in Thailand and will not be making the trip to the UK with us. If anyone reading this in the UK would like to offer us a loan of newborn necessities for the 3-4 weeks we’ll be there I would be deeply grateful. Top priorities are somewhere to sleep and a car seat.

We are going to hold off on the buggy for now and see how we get on with the carrier as Bangkok is not a stroller friendly environment and rarely offers walkable pavements, let alone roll-able pavements. I know we’ll need to buy nappies and wipes and baby bath stuff and gentle washing machine liquid. But what else? Help me please all the mummies out there! But bear in mind we are on a tight (tight tight) budget, WW is…ehem….frugal and I hate clutter, so we are talking about necessities. Sound machines, for example, are not within our buying reaches.

Pregnancy Symptoms:

Well, my weight gain continues to slow but my bump is getting bigger. I bought a speedo one-piece 3 weeks ago to combat the thin-belt-around-enormous-saggy-breasts bikini issue. I can’t get it over my belly already. Damn.

I though I was past the ‘is she pregnant or fat?’ stage but maybe not as a Thai bathroom attendant told me I was really fat in Thai the other day. Thanks. She didn’t bat an eye when I stroppily told her I wasn’t fat, I was 6 months pregnant (in Thai- check me!). She just continued to stare. So I went and ate a big bowl of ice cream to cheer myself up.

Squirts kicks are getting less cute and more ouchy by the day. Those ‘beautiful legs’ are certainly getting a work out in there.

My indecisiveness continues. I leave the house and need to pee desperately 30 seconds down the road. WW offers me food, I decline and then become ravenously hungry 3 minutes later.

And here’s another boob moan. I’m sure most of you know a girl whose body you admire/are jealous of. This jealousy become especially bad when you are watching your own body stretch and swell. Try living with that person during that time. This photo is a case in point:

IMG_0290[1]

What? Did a pre-tween move in with us and I neglected to tell you? Nope. That is my wife’s teeny tiny bra, next to my scaffolding. Yes, ma’am.  Hers is the body shape I compare myself to daily. My areolae are not covered by that pathetic excuse for a bra. I think my training bras were more substantial. That gigantic bra is too small for me and I can’t buy a bigger one because the rest of the country is wearing WW’s size. Excuse me while I plunge into a pit of deep depression and boob ache.

Heartburn. Ooof. Every evening I worry I might drown in my own angry stomach acid.

Spots on my chin but dry, flaky fish scales below my lip. Go figure.

Cravings? Cake. Biscuits. Cake. Kellogs Honey Nut Cornflakes. More cake. Also, somewhat surprisingly, salad. Although I think it’s mostly because the ‘I did good’ feeling salad gives me combats the guilt later when I stuff an enormous wedge of cake down my gullet later.

Anyhoo, it’s almost time for the ‘last day of holidays’ treat. What fun activities can a pregnant lady do in Bangkok in the hot season? Eat, of course. We’ve booked ourselves into a fancy hotel for a fancy buffet lunch. Yum yum.

TTFN X

 

 

 

*I googled ‘pregnant lesbian Bangkok’ yesterday to see if people would be able to locate my ramblings, should they so desire. They can, but they’d have to scan through 3 pages of XXX por.n to find me. And really, how often to people make it past the first page of google search results? Who knew that pregnant lesbians were such a turn on for the por.n hungry masses?

Toxic gas which isn’t coming out of my rear, for a change.

Howdy doody!

 

You find me now 23 weeks and 3 days along. Time is slipping by quite quickly and is sure to go by even faster as I am on holiday for the next three weeks.

A lot has been happening non-baby-wise. Firstly a couple of weeks ago an illegal garbage dump caught fire and began spewing toxic smog into our environment. The dump itself is quite far from us but when the wind changed on Monday morning our school was quickly filled with a smoky, burning plastic odor.  I didn’t think much of it at first as, unfortunately it isn’t that unusual to have our air tainted by various illegal fires, but by Wednesday the fire was still going strong and our school had to close. I was told it wasn’t safe for me to be at home or work and I should look for someplace out of the smog line for the time being.

 

To say I wasn’t best pleased was an understatement. I was angry at the school for not having me leave sooner. I was furious with myself for not being my own advocate and getting the heck out of dodge when it started happening. I was also pissed that WW and I would be spending on meager savings on a hotel in the same city as we already paid for a house. Mostly I was worried for the baby.

A long story short we were in a friend’s apartment,then hotels for 4 days before we were told the fire had been put out and we could come home. I made the most of being located in the city by indulging in western foods and especially cake. Naughty, I know. I tried for balance with a cereal breakfast, salad lunch and naughty dinner. Plus cake.

While we’re on the food topic my diet seems to have normalized somewhat. I haven’t felt nauseous with hunger for a long while, nor have I been having two (or three)  breakfasts or 3am snacks. Happily my weight gain seems to have stabilized also. I think I have gained half a kilo or less in the last month, which puts me a little closer to the recommended weight gain for my stage.  But that’s going by my used and abused bathroom scales which may or may not be telling the truth.

I think I seem smaller also. Today the 6 year olds asked me ‘Where is your baby?’ and a collegue asked if my trousers were too tight and was there room for the baby. I guess today was one of my more flattering outfits. Let me tell you when I’m farting away, smearing stinky cocoa butter into my skin and doing my sea lion impression trying to get out of bed to go pee every evening, it is quite obvious where the baby is.

TMI ALERT:

As I might have mentioned once or twice, I have been having some gassy episodes. These often occur late at night and Squirt celebrates the rumpus and cheers on the bubbling and gurgling with somersaults, fish out water routines and using my bladder as a trampoline. So when I was awoken with stomach cramps and the urge to fart in the middle of the night a few days ago, I thought Squirt was just partying with the gas again. A second later I realized I was wrong and just made it to the toilet in time. A night of vomiting and diarrhea ensued.

OK, a little confession here. Although WW had had an upset stomach a few days previous which may have been the cause of my night of poo waterfalls, I suspect it was more likely caused by my consumption of half a kilo of kab moo. Kab moo, for those of you who don’t know, is a wonderful treat of salted, deep fried pigs skin. Similar to English ‘pork scratchings’ but much yummier and without the little patches of pig stubble. I know there isn’t really anything which should be eaten in such quantities, and especially not fried, salty animal skin, but, having been sooo good at not eating anything salty for quite some time my self control got away from me and I paid the price.  The grossest thing is I am still craving it and have to work really hard every time WW sits munching not to pinch a piece. Her parents came visiting from the North and brought us two kilos. Torturous salty goodness. Don’t judge me. OK, go ahead, I deserve it.

We have had progression in the ‘Great Thai Birth Escape’. We have finally gathered almost all the evidence for WW’s visa, have completed the very lengthy and confusing application form and have booked the interview. Hopefully we should know if it has been granted in the next 3 weeks. If they say no they are going to feel the wrath of a very angry pregnant lady.

Symptom-wise I don’t really have anything new to report. I feel Squirt’s kicks and the movements all the time now. I think sometimes he is responding to the music I have on in the car in the morning. I can’t bring myself to listen to Beethoven and turn him into a genius. I’m hoping that a fetal soundtrack of  ‘Of Monsters and Men’ and the ‘White Stripes’ will make him at least dislike pop as much as his mother.

My fingers have started to swell during the day. My once loose rings are leaving marks during the morning and then falling of my hands when I shower in the evening. That might have something to do with the fact that it is now over 30 degrees C here and soupy as hell. Yuck. The worst thing about this season is right after comes months of torrential rain, air you can almost swim in, floods, traffic jams and nightmares trying to go anywhere. Oh how I dream of traditional seasons.

Um..anything else? I don’t think so. It’s my 6 month scan on Tuesday with our friendly Dr P. and then we’re off to K.L. (I’m not trying to be trendy, I have mushy pregnancy brain and can’t deal with spelling the full name) for a 3 day va-ca shortly after. WW managed to find a very good deal and booked us into one of the most expensive hotels we’ve stayed at for a fraction of the proper price. I am a little nervous about the whole ‘if it sounds too good to be true…’ aspect but fingers crossed it will be nice and if not, it’s only 2 nights. I’m going to miss my person sized pregnancy pillow though. Will the hotel think I’m greedy if I ask for 3 extra pillows? Do I really care what they think?

Back soon with scan updates. Now I’m off to eat some pig skin. Only joking….well, maybe.

 

TTFN X

 

 

Bleeding from the eyes, knitting and, of course, farting.

Howdy doody!

Here’s a wee post full of random, unconnected thoughts because that’s how my brain is working right now.

Firstly I accidentally outed myself to some of the students at school. As you may remember I changed my name and while explaining to the students that they had to call me something different I found myself in a quagmire of questions. Including: ‘You got married and didn’t tell us??!! (*hurt face)’ and ‘But who are you married to??! ‘- which I felt could have been rephrased as ‘But who would marry you??!’. In my explanations I used the term ‘partner’ without thinking much of it as these kids are all ESL but they picked up on it right away. After much gossiping and conferring a couple of giggly girls approached me and asked what my husband’s name was.

I had always promised myself that I wouldn’t broadcast it but I wouldn’t lie if asked directly so I explained that I had a wife, not a husband. The girls (4th grade) were a little giggly but there was no obvious negative reaction. So then I went home and waited, somewhat anxiously, for angry emails from concerned parents. You have to bear in mind I am working in a country which offers no protection for LGBT people, at a private school where parents have an extreme amount of power and could feasibly gang up against me and get me fired.

Thankfully I received no emails and only a little negative feedback. After talking with her parents at home, one of the kids returned and asked me if WW and I were just friends. I told her we were married but we were friends too. She said, ‘Hmm, I think you’re just good friends.’ and I gave up. Another boy told his mother (a colleague) that ‘it just isn’t natural’ which my colleague insists came from the other kids parents. But whatever. Hopefully I can be a role model to any potentially gay kids in the class and avoid any parental backlash. That’s enough for now.

While we’re talking about school I had a lot of fun telling the little kids that I teach. That I’m pregnant, that is. I didn’t share with them that I am a lover of ladies. Or one lady, rather. Ahem, anyway…

It started with a ‘Miss Emz, why is your tummy sooooooo big?’ To which I replied ‘Because there is a baby in there’, not ‘Because I have eaten 3 times my body weight in cheese in the last 5 months.’

They were pretty excited and had lots of questions including the inevitable:

Kid A: ‘But how does the baby get out of your tummy?’

Me: ‘Er…good question! I think you should ask your mummy how you got out of her tummy.’

Kid B: ‘It comes out of the PENIS!’

Me: ‘Um, I don’t think so because only men have a penis and women have babies.’

Kid B: ‘Yeah but you know, like this,’ *makes a large circle in his groin using two hands.

Me (slightly desperately): ‘OK, anymore questions?’

Kid C: ‘When I came out of my mummy I peed all over the nurse!’ *accompanying hand gestures. Hilarity ensues.

I also had another awkward conversation with the mini queen of awkward conversations. Past statements have included: ‘My mother says Indian people are snakes.’ and ‘When I grow up I’m going to marry a doctor so I can be rich.’ I think think this latest dialogue takes the biscuit though…

‘Miss Emz you should be really careful when you have your little boy. My mum showed me this thing on the internet where bad people take babies away and hurt them and kill them and it happened lots of times already and one mother cried so much she cried blood out of her eyes. Tell your son to hold you hand.’

This kid is 5 years old.

Symptom spotting.

It seems I now have zero control of my gas. I am not even given any warning anymore. Every time I get up and move around little bubbles of foulness are silently escaping from my rectum. My hyper sensitive nose doesn’t appreciate it. I’m sure my colleagues feel the same. Also I never knew before that little kids can have such bad breath. But they can. Trust me.

The bleeding eyes thing from earlier really affected me. Can you tell?

I’m am having some mixed reviews about my belly size. A couple of office staff made my day and told me I was small. Then my boss laughed when she saw I was reading ‘The Incredible Shrinking Teacher’ with a class and commented that I was the incredible expanding teacher. A kid asked me why my baby was so tiny and then another colleague said I had really ‘popped’ in the last two weeks. I’m taking it well. I think I prefer the obvious baby bump silhouette in my clothes to the fat rolls of yesteryear. Naked is a different story. Plus even my straight female friends seem to be having a hard time lifting their gaze from my boobs.

On the topic of boobs and bumps, they are getting in the way of my knitting project. Every two minutes I have to ask WW to help me find my hook as it has vanished under my boobs/ass/bump. My boobs obscured the view of the rest of my body long ago. Wow, I said ‘boobs’ a lot in this paragraph.

We’ve been getting crafty, WW and I. Not only am I half way through a blanket for the baby’s room and a cute cross stitch picture but we also spend last weekend turning ugly spherical paper light covers into cute hot airballoons to decorate Squirt’s room with. They turned out well and only cost about 5 GBP for 3. Check out my pintrest-ing bad self!

I have tried much harder, food-wise this week although I have been afraid to step on the scales for fear in will send me spiralling into a pizza-brownie-twix-eating depression. I am feeling less hungry after lunch time which is good although there have been a couple of 2am breakfasts recently.

The best thing has got to be Squirt’s belly parties. I will be hiking up my blood pressure with a misbehaving 5th grader and suddenly he busts out a couple of moves and takes my mind off it, cheering me right up. His biggest dancing sessions are around 7.30pm when I just settling into bed with my knitting (side note- the kids were shocked when I told them I was 28. 28 but going on 65 apparently). Then WW and I are treated to half an hour or so of rolly-pollys and ninja kicks. Lots of fun.

I am procrastinating at work again and should probably get back to it so catch you all later!

TTFN x

PS. My typing and spelling has gone to hell. I’m pretty sure there are loads of typos and probably a few made-up words in here. Also I seem to have forgotten how to use punctuation appropriately. Sincerest apologies.

So, bra shop, we meet again…

So here I am at 13 weeks and 6 days along, into my second week at work after the holidays and the second week of ‘Bangkok Shutdown’. The reason you haven’t heard much from me is because I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to tell you… so here’s some boring stuff.

I think I am officially into the second trimester now and things do seem to be getting better. Eating small snacks/meals ALL THE TIME seems to be the only way to go. If I wait longer than two hours to put something in my pie-hole I start feeling like I want to crawl into bed and hibernate for the rest of the pregnancy. My food aversions have improved significantly. Now it’s only really the smell of cooking food and fried chicken and the taste of fried onions and garlic which have me wanting to reach for a puke bucket. I get full really quickly now though and can only manage half (or less) of a regular Thai portion (so maybe a 5th of a regular American portion 🙂 ) before I feel like I’m going to inflate my maternity trousers past the point of no return.

School was nice but knackering last week. I am out/have been outed to most of the staff, the rumor mill doing most of the telling for me. I have also gotten some hand-me-downs and pledges for more baby stuff to come- yay! I’m hoping word will spread and the mummies who don’t hate me (and are super duper rich and probably have waaaaay nicer stuff than we could ever buy) will pass us on some more things.

Reports are that the protests in the city are generally like large street parties, although recently some as yet unidentified group(s) have been chucking homemade explosive devices into the mix, so we’re avoiding the city for the moment. Not that I mind, getting up and showering were about my days’ activity limit last weekend.

I finally caved and decided to attempt to buy a new bra this weekend as the sports bra was starting to leave marks on my chest that were still present the next morning. Much like clothes shopping this is activity is always somewhat traumatic for me. It’s so depressing having to walk past all the cute and pretty combos to find the mammoth section, containing pieces with more materials than your average Thai construction site and straps thick enough to use as a harness when climbing. Add to that the fact that the average Thai woman is freaking tiny and has freaking teeny, tiny boobs and the shopping trip became more dreaded than ever (my body/boob image issues are not helped by comparison to WW, her bras juuuust about cover my areolas at this point).

We initially found the Thai department store version of the mammoth section and I had a little tizzy that even those bras didn’t fit. They were 100cms around the chest (which is far too wide for me) but the largest cup size was a D. No dice.

WW then eventually found (while I was still in the midst of my woe-is-me-maybe-I-can-just-sling-them-over-my-shoulder meltdown) one that I could fit into…although I’m not sure for how long, it’s comfy but there’s not a lot of growing room. This taps out at the largest size they have, DD. So I’m not sure what to do when I outgrow this one. I would just order one from online in the UK but, as I’m sure you ladies are aware, bras differ significantly from model to model and what fits in one style/brand doesn’t necessarily fit in another.

So does anyone have a DIY bra pintrest board or something I could get creative with? One of those Blue Peter projects? Take an empty toilet tube, some double sided tape, an empty shoe box, a few straws and voila, here’s one I made earlier! No? OK, worth a try.

I also went for my first haircut in 4 months. Before I was cutting and highlighting my hair every 6 weeks but I hated the upkeep and the 3 hours doing it so I let the color go and decided to grow it out so Thai’s will stop wondering if I’m a really crap Tom. Somehow with the way my hair is growing and perhaps not great instructions to the stylist I’ve ended up with a full on 70s mullet. Thank god I can still tie it up and hide the horror. I’m hoping in another 3 months someone will be able to undo the damage without scalping me. I am very tempted to go back to the short style but I love the irregular hairdresser appointments. At the moment laziness trumps vanity but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Hmmm, other than that…

Oh yeah, I’ve decided we don’t get away enough and now is the last chance we’re going to have to pick up and leave for the weekend without too much detritus and kerfuffle. So I want to try and have a bunch of babymoons for the next few months. This weekend we’re planning on going to the beach. Extra bonus is that WW just informed me there is a beach 1 hour and a half from us, or the same amount of time it takes us to drive into the city. Apparently it’s not the nicest beach and WW refuses to swim there (she is a total beach fascist) but hey, I’ve swum off the coast of the UK, it’s got to be better than that. Yeah, it’s nicer when the water is clearer than our cheap wine glasses but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Just so long as I’m not swimming amongst sewage or industrial waste. So yay for weekend beach holidays, I’ll post pictures of my not-so-perfect beach next time…

…if I don’t get too lazy in the meantime. Oh crap, there’s no way I’m fitting into my bikini, or finding a replacement here. I guess I’m going Thai style in shorts and t-shirt for my swimming sessions for the next 6 (9?12?24?) months then.

TTFN X

She’s gotten fatter.

The above was a comment from a restaurant owner to WW about me. ‘And prettier,’ was hastily added when she realized I had understood. Too little, too late lady.

A few hours earlier a 6 year old girl said ‘Miss Emz, why do you look different around here?’ signalling my tits/tummy area (the two (three?) monstrosities are merging into one, large, solid area).

The day before a 5 year old grinned at me and said, ‘You’re going to have a baby!’

So I guess I’m officially showing/looking porkier although older Thai ladies and little kids are the only ones brave enough to comment. I think most people would presume I just ate a shit load over Christmas. Which, incidentally, I did.

Ahh food. Currently a daily battle. After frightening cheese consumption and concurrent weight gain I decided to get pro active and investigate healthy pregnancy eating plans. I made WW trawl around a bunch of shops searching for everything whole grain we could lay our hands on. We bought 3 different kinds of fat free cheese. I tried to calculate my daily dozen (which I am having a hard time understanding because I can’t make the guidelines add up to 12). I even had WW whip up some joy sugar free, ridiculously healthy ginger and lemon muffins.

As it turned out the eating plan got chucked in after 3 days. I’m eating whole grain bread but drowning it in so much butter it probably defeats the point. Fat free cheese is not actually cheese, it’s a food which has less taste than water. The muffins tasted like an old washing up sponges and had a texture to match. It was the first time in my life I haven’t finished a muffin. Lesson learned: if it sounds to good to be true, aka healthy yummy muffins, it probably is. But at least now I know what I should be eating and I can have small wins every day. Every day that WW doesn’t bake brownies, that is.

I went back to work on Monday which, apparently didn’t impress my body. I had a few close call vomity moments on and off all day and a nice headache not helped by screaming Kindergartners who weren’t ready for their mothers to leave them with scary. tall teachers who didn’t speak their language. It has been nice to see the kids but I wish I could teach from a hover sofa or something which required very little movement and ascension of stairs. But at least I get to come home and veg on the non-hovering sofa at 12.

We had our 12 week scan and officially graduated from the fertility clinic on Saturday. I had a little panicky wobble at the beginning because they lazy wee tyke wasn’t dancing anymore but a quick shuffle of the wand and we could see Squirt merrily kicking away at my uterus. Can’t wait to start feeling that. Everything looked good, all limbs were accounted for. The thing at the back of the neck which can signify Downs Syndrome looked normal. Two happy mummies.

Dr W offered us some genetic screening for 500 GBP but we declined, hoping that we’re low risk and we’ll be OK. He instead did a blood test which showed our chances of Downs Syndrome were 1 in 10,000 and everything else was good. I will miss Dr W, although I can’t picture him dealing with a vaginal birth as he is unable to use words like sperm and vagina without stammering and blushing. Bit weird when the guy has had his hand inside my snatch but OK.

I have told a few people at work and used the occasion to promote maternity wear in a desperate hope that it will catch on and I will be able to continue wearing my lovely, comfy, stretchy belly trousers after all of this is over. I feel a little like I’m swimming against the tide but I’ll keep battling. Emz- Trend Setter.

TMI ALERT: Can I just give a big ‘woohoo’ and ‘good riddance’ to the progesterone bullets. No longer will my minging dog be desperately trying to overturn the laundry basket to find some suppository residue in my underwear. But the Monster will find other ways to turn my stomach. WW stuck a rather mucky looking Monster in my face earlier so I could experience the perfume of the cat shit the Monster had been dining on in the garden. Thanks for sharing that experience with your nauseous wife, WW.

 

On that charming note I am signing off. A slightly clearer (but I’ll forgive you if you skip it) ultrasound can be found after the jump.

TTFN X

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Ode to Maternity Wear

Firstly I must commend pincushiontobaby for being a total genius! You might remember one (of my many) worries was locating clothes to cover my ever expanding body without leaving us further in the red. You might also remember that I was facing additional problems being that I live among a nation of midgets who do not generally make clothes for enormous giants like me. Well this clever lady had the solution. More on that later.

A little back-story first. People who know me will attest that I am not an avid shopper. Not only because I have no real interest in fashion but also because I find shopping an upsetting and frustrating experience. From being a tween and being unable to locate trousers that weren’t ‘half-mast’ (above my ankle), to being an overweight uni student struggling to accept my current size to now, just frantically searching for something that covers my legs/belly/arms fully and doesn’t look like a decorators sheet, I have never enjoyed shopping. Wow, that was a ridiculously long sentence. Apologies.

Now watching my belly start to pop I have been dreading back aching, fruitless searching through Ban.gkok’s million malls to attempt to find clothes acceptable for work. I expected this process to take weeks and involve the usual sulking, temper tantrums and hysteria which usually punctuate my shopping expeditions.

Thankfully this was not to be. Clever pincushiontobaby suggested I check out H&M’s maternity section and I hit the freaking mother-lode! Why haven’t I checked out these clothes before? The tops are long and reasonably flattering. The jeans are 34 inches long, just like my legs! Plus they have this awesome stretchy band which is very comfortable and shields the world from my ass crack when I bend over. I had my most successful shopping trip ever, kitting myself out for an entire work pregnancy, if I can lay off the cheese. Mmm cheese. No stop it!

So, tall, not that slim pregnant ladies rejoice, there is a solution. Four tops and two pairs of jeans/trousers for under 90 GBP. I am totally going to keep using the maternity jeans after the pregnancy btw. Who knew skinny fit could actually be comfortable. Oh but if you don’t like skinny fit you’re shit out of luck because that’s pretty much the only option other than jimjams. It wont be fun in the hot season but I’ll just be a creature of air con. Looking good in my skinny fit jeans. Or looking weirdly top heavy with an enormous belly and boobs and little stick legs sticking out underneath. Or my ass will explode in the next couple of months and my lovely jeans will be for post-natal use.

Ehem, anyhoo…

Today I am 11 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I was a little hasty with my last post and was rewarded for bragging about my lack of nausea with, you guessed it, lots of nausea. I finally figured out that as long as I am continuously pushing processed, melted, bland cheese into the hole on my face I feel better. I took me a while to realize the common denominator for my lasagna, pizza, cheeseburger cravings was actually just the cheese, but I got there in the end.

I read about cravings and healthy eating before I got pregnant and I thought it would be easy. After all I crave chocolate, bread, cheese and pizza all the time but I don’t eat them during every meal. I’ll just say no to my craving, thought I. Little did I know that a first trimester craving was my body demanding something and basically having a dirty protest when it didn’t get what it wanted post haste. I hope this gets easier as time goes on. I’m concerned I am going to give birth to one of those enormous babies who quickly becomes an internet meme and talk shows use as an example of bad parenting.

Despite the fact my body wishes to survive only on American cheese (shudder, I even tried to trick it with proper cheddar and it revolted…and was revolted) I have been able to sneak more and more things under the wire in the last few days. In fact yesterday I went the whole day cheese free. OK I had a cream cheese bagel for breakfast and (pasteurized) feta in my salad for dinner but those are actual, non-plastic, has-encountered-milk-at-some-point cheeses so it doesn’t count :-).  Today I had food with actual flavour, a yummy Thai curry noodle dish called Khao Soi. I relived it through burps for about 3 hours after but it was totally worth it.

In other news my boobs are now partially obstructing my view but they aren’t threatening to implode at the slightest touch, so that’s progress. I’m struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position so I’m considering one of those mammoth pregnancy pillows I’ve seen other bloggers raving about. Um… oh and after a quiet new year the protesters in the city are gearing up again just in time for school starting back which is  crappy and stressful. I need to get a new passport with my new name but I don’t want to be here, unable to leave right now. Thankfully, all being well, next Saturday we should be graduating from the city clinic to a regular pregnant lady facility closer to home and further from all the trouble. I am anticipating more blog posts regarding this move. I’m not sure if we can be ‘out’ with the doctor. I hate the idea of lying again and I want to get clear ‘yes’ answers regarding WW’s presence at the birth, but I’m worried about hospitals refusing to treat us again. Hmm.

Righto I’m off to eat more cheese…only joking. Not. No, really. This is really what I want…

Take care everyone.

TTFN X

I am no longer Grinch-green…almost.

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas.  It was quite a relaxed affair in our neck of the woods. We opened presents first thing in the morning, like little kids. We were both amused by our surprise gifts to one another. Apparently great minds think alike and buy each other the same thing. A pretty, fancy charm bracelet each. At the least we chose different charms for each other. That would have been creepy.

I didn’t manage the Christmas food, as expected but I did manage to put away a sizeable portion or WW’s amazeballs lasagna.  Yum, and yay to the first protein I’ve been able to able to have for a while.

After that and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation I was pretty much straight to sleep. Party on, as always.

On the 27th we had our 10 week scan, 3 days early because the clinic was shutting for the holidays. I arrived having to pee and had to wiggle around for an hour and some before it was our turn. By which point I thought I might wee in my jeans when they started pressing down on my tummy with the wand.

But the minute we started I forgot all about that. I could see the baby’s arms and legs wiggling around! A cute, tiny dancer! Doc W said everything looked good, the baby is measuring at 3.5cm which he said was 10 weeks and 1 day ( an overachiever from the start 🙂 ) and the heartbeat was 170 bpm. And no dildocam, hooray! Although I miss the clarity. I’ll post the video after the jump but don’t feel like you have to watch, there’s not a lot to see other than the gaping black chasm of my very full bladder.

Other than that there’s not a lot to report. I tried to engage WW in a baby name conversation this morning but she didn’t want to play. I’ll take a minute here to explain that Thai people often have a long, complicated legal name but go by a short nickname which can change throughout their lifetime or even in different situations. Some nicknames are given to them by their parents and some choose their own when they grow up. A lot of nicknames can seem odd to Westerners like me. Here are some of my favourites which I have encountered while living in Bangkok: Beer, Pooping, Smint, Gun, Ice-cream, Pu, Cup Cake and Oil. WW’s nickname is a shortened version of her formal name which translates to ‘special’. Teehee. WW doesn’t want to think about names until we know the gender. Eventually, when pressed, she offered suggestions of ‘Obama’ and ‘Maldives’ … we agreed that I would choose the English name and she would give them a Thai middle name.  I did request that the Thai name not contain any Thai consonant combinations that I cannot pronounce and make me look like I’m having a facial spasm when I try.

And, as for a symptom update, I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to know things seem to be taking a turn for the better. My face is no longer trying to represent constellations. I have widened my food aversions to allow a little, not smelly, not particularly tasty meat in, on occasion. And most importantly I don’t feel like I’m going to puke every minute of every day. Just sometimes when I’m really hungry or walking around a lot. Woohooo.  My gas and bloating persists. I am using an elastic band through the button hole of my jeans. I could still button them but my belly is not keen on any pressure. I am now wearing the sports bra almost exclusively. At least I found a use for it. It’s not like I actually ever did any sports wearing it.

More good news, we convinced the Monster to sleep in her cage outside the bedroom since we moved to the new house so she’s not choking on my butt fumes in the middle of the night and waking everyone up. Double Woohooo! And it’s still only 20 degrees C here so I can actually wear jeans without collapsing from heat exhaustion, triple Woohooo!

TTFN and Happy New Year from a cheery Emz, WW, Squirt and the Monster! Have a great one!I will blatantly be well fast asleep hours before the bells start tolling. I guess I might catch them on one of my million pee breaks in the night 🙂

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Effing Insurance

‘So this plan will insure your baby from the day it is born. You have to pay 600 GBP every year for 10 years. It wont cover if the baby is not born healthy though.’

‘So if it’s premature and needs care it wont be covered?’

‘No.’

‘Okaaay.’

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‘This other plan cost 400 GBP year and covers baby 30 days after it’s born.’

‘But doesn’t the school give me that one for free for one family member? Remember you refused to recognize my wife as my family and cover her, but I can get it for the baby right?’

‘Ah, ok. So can have. School pay.’

‘Okaaaay. But what about maternity insurance?’

‘Oh, Thailand no have.’

‘But I thought you said people at our other school had it?’

‘Ah, no. Not insurance. It’s fund. School pay directly.’

‘But my school doesn’t?’

‘No.’

‘OKaaaaaay.’

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‘I have here maternity package. 900 GBP for vaginal birth, 1, 500 GBP for Cesarean section.’

‘And what if I give birth prematurely?’

‘Then cannot.’

‘And if I have any complications?’

‘Cannot.’

‘And if the baby has problems?’

‘Not include.’

‘Okaaaaaaaaaay.’

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‘But is OK, na. You healthy. You baby gonna be healthy.’

‘Oh, shit. Why didn’t you just say so? Thanks for all your help. All my worries have been lifted and I will no longer be haunted by nightmares of astronomical medical frees and crushing debt. You’ve been great, punctual and not at all unclear at any point during all this’ …. I wanted to say. But of course I’m British so I didn’t. Instead I said.

‘Ok, great. Thanks for the information. Bye.’

stressed