Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Your pea-green boat

Dear friends,

So…there’s this.


Or he/she, as I suppose we should be saying now. (HE, insists Timothy, yet again. I AM ONLY CAPABLE OF MAKING HES.) I wish I could let everyone know individually rather than putting it on the blog (or, indeed, on Facebook, where it’ll be later), but in the absence of all the right phone numbers and with so many friends and family abroad, this does seem like the most efficient way to do it.

It got Henry’s nose. We’re still on the fence as to whether that’s a good thing. Wriggles as much as him, too. No fence required on that one.

I hear four is a good number for a family, these days.

(The title is from Maura Dooley’s ‘Freight’, which is still the best baby-carrying poem I’ve ever read. Read it and grow taller.)


Hey, if reading about growing a covert baby all covertly is your thing, you’re in luck:


1. enter pirate king Jeffcoat, stage left; 2. the mashed potato cure; 3. animals; 4. yoghurt-flavoured sadness 5. thank you for the music; 6. a haiku about cravings; 7. confessions; 8. thoughts on doing the Christmas grocery run; 9. wait, is that the end of the tunnel? 10. things I have unnecessarily cried at this week (there were many).

Forgive me for the influx, Google Reader people! Yours were the only notifications I couldn’t turn off…

Wait, is that the end of the tunnel?

Photo 04-01-2013 04 08 13 PM

Say what you like about the horror of a first trimester in winter. Some things about this pregnancy have been exceedingly well-timed.

Like last week, when the baby’s umbilical cord started working right in the middle of Christmas week. Hate to break it to you, little thing, but the food isn’t always that good. Still, a heck of a way to start, no? Did you like the chocolate?

And then there’s the hilarious flabbiness that has appeared suddenly these past few days. Honestly, stomach muscles, did you not even fight? I’m glooping around in all of these oversized shirts, but at least I just look like I ate too much turkey (I also did eat too much turkey. Is it just fat?).

I’m better able to be cheery about things generally, because we’re almost there. The scan is next week, which will relieve a lot of the anxiety I’ve been carrying around this time, if all is well. And if this pregnancy follows the same path as the previous, I’ve got two weeks at most before the sickness goes away – along with, hopefully, everything else – and I can start feeling like myself again. Perhaps at some point I’ll find the right words to describe the past couple of months as they were, but it’s not quite ordered enough in my head yet.

In the meantime, I’m only holding off buying some lovely, don’t-feel-like-an-elephant maternity clothes until scan day (pregnancy resolution #1: don’t be cheap. Be stylish), and already have my grown-up person handbag and life-changing lipstick on the go (pregnancy resolution #2: make the most of your accessories. It’s the only bit of you that’s not heaving around a foetus). If I learned anything from last time, it’s that nine months feels like an eternity to be billowing in oversized shirts. But you can wear lipstick, and still feel covered in more intrigue than a wartime secret agent.

other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.



Steady on guys, this pregnancy is ON A ROLL. I had my first midwife appointment yesterday, which means it’s actually happening. I love this one. No being poked around, just a long list of uncomfortable congenital disease questions. Cannabis smoker? No. Type A diabetes? No. Addicted to antidepressants? No. Afraid in your own home? Now you mention it…no. I like to imagine the midwife’s face if you said yes to everything. Just tick them all, lady. But, deep-vein thrombosis? Tick ‘em. But, you don’t need an Urdu interpreter, surely? TICK THEM, I SAID.

I get some consultant care for this pregnancy, given that time I went in for a hospital appointment and came out with a baby. I feel a bit spesh. But generally, for second babies they assume you remember it all from last time and don’t keep such a close eye on you. I don’t mind that very much, as any close eye on me at the moment would sooner or later end with a trip to the bathroom. Some things are best unaccompanied.

Oh, and I kind of got all nostalgic handing in a urine sample for the first time in ages. Ah, memories. Misty – ahem – water-coloured memories, if you will.

other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.

A haiku about cravings

Oh beetroot, you rosy plum

So vinegary

I’ve eaten five today (weird?)


other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.



Yesterday, this happened.

Scene: Jeffcoat living room. I am reading Henry’s animal noises book to him on the sofa.

Me: MOOOOOOO, says the cow.


Me: And here’s the ducky. QUACK QUACK, says the duck.


Me: Yep, that’s right. And now – oh no, the lion! RAAAAAAAA- *retch. Retch. Retch*

pause for recovery


Me: VOMIT, says the lion. When his special sickness arrives.

other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.

The mashed potato cure


Today the exhaustion came. Like a physical wave. Like a giant finger, poking me in the face. A massive, watery finger that wanted my face to suffer. That’s right.

It was raining hard, too, and Henry was on usual hyperkinetic form, so I shuffled around in the morning strewing his path with toys and trying to find the right tone of voice for reading ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. Even I could tell I wasn’t very convincing.

Come on, woman, I thought. You are showered and dressed. You are wearing makeup, and earrings that Henry has only pulled once. Your hair looks alright. There’s no sickness haunting your stomach lining yet. Buck up.

I really tried. I switched on the computer with the vague idea of finding a radio programme to cheer me up. And lo and behold, who was waiting for me on the first page, moustaches jauntily askew? My dear pretend-grandpa comfort blanket, Monsieur Poirot. I listened to him solving a polite fifties murder in Devon while I made lunch, then ate a metric ton of mashed potatoes and half a pint of gravy, then slept while Henry slept, and felt much better.

In the afternoon we went to visit an old lady in hospital, and talked catheters and nighties and hot flush medicine for half an hour. Theeeese are a few of my faaaaavourite things! It would’ve been a longer visit, except Henry got over-excited at the change of scene, and bellowed ‘WHHHHOOOOOOAAAA’ into the face of another ancient lady across the way for about ten minutes. When she started showing signs of shellshock, we made our dignified exit. On the way out, I realised I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet today.

This was a day for winners.

other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.

Enter pirate king Jeffcoat, stage left


You guys, I have a little something to tell you about. It’s been an odd week. Of course, I’ll actually be telling you this in January, when a little something will be a bigger something with a spinal column and phalanges, so for now it’s between me and this Word document.


Well, almost a baby. We’re at ‘blastocyst’ stage, which doesn’t sound terribly flattering. It’s very early on, but Blastocyst Jeffcoat – pirate king of the seas – has already developed a heartbeat and retinas on the quiet. Sneaky! So it’s been an odd week. No one knows yet except the two of us. I quite like hugging a secret like this to my chest [uterus]. It makes it feel safer, somehow.

I have felt a weird jumble of emotions about the prospect of baby no. 2. Henry has been just the most sparklingly wonderful thing that has ever happened to us – apart from that time we ate Domino’s pizza for a solid week – and I can’t get into my head that the next baby 1) won’t be Henry, or anything like him, and 2) won’t have to replace him. How will there be room for me to love them both as much? How can I split my attention from this boy who deserves everything I can give him? It’s frightening me a little bit, and if that sounds silly to you, well, it sounds silly to me too. I’m just hoping there’ll be enough of me to go around. Perhaps I should eat more pizza.

And yet. And yet. Who wouldn’t want more babies, many more babies, when the first was such a dream? We’ve always wanted a house full of kids, and you have to start somewhere. And who wouldn’t want to share something like that with a husband as marvellous as this one? We’ve anticipated the practicalities, and I’ve squared up to pregnancy again and looked it in the ever-puking face (none of that has started yet, but I’M READY, you jerk. Bring it on).

And through all of that, there was a moment yesterday when I drove home late from some meeting or other, and thought you are a person-in-waiting. You will come with your own self intact. Who will you be, little thing? And suddenly the night felt sacred around me and I was so excited I couldn’t breathe.

I think this will all be just fine.

other baby posts: 1. – 2. – 3. – 4. – 5. – 6. – 7. – 8. – 9. – 10.
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