Friday, October 3, 2008

British Wintriness (is there such a word??)

Never before has this British wintriness affected me in the way I am struggling with it at the moment. Perhaps I can blame it on my perpetual homesickness, compounded by these raging pregnancy hormones? Even our summer up north here in the Midlands was hardly worthy of being called 'summer' compared to the gentle sunniness of Hampshire and West Berkshire, with probably a grand equivalent of 7 days that justify being called 'sunny'. I remember how my one sister struggled deeply with the English winter, literally sinking into what they call 'seasonal depression' - but even then, I figured it was her living in grey, concrete London that caused her to feel so low and frustrated.
And so, I have turned the heating on since yesterday despite the constant talk about everyone being able to afford their gas bills. I just could not bear the cold eating into my bones, day in and day out - where the only relief could be found in bed under piles of duvet or in a scaldingly hot bath. The trick is to have the heating on, not to turn the house into a hot air balloon, but to merely take that dreadful biting chill off the air - whereas the trend here seems to be to blast the building with hot air so that when you walk in off the icy street, you are hit by a solid wall of claustrophobic heat which has you clawing frantically at your woollen coat!
However, when the baby is born, we will need to keep the ambient temperature quite warm. Newborns' little bodies haven't developed the ability to regulate their body temperature, and their circulation is still quite primitive. Our nurse/midwife at Gymboree explained one day, when I moaned about how stuffy and warm her office was, that babies can easily catch a cold or develop pneumonia if exposed to a cold draught. (And she's a 'modern' woman who blatantly negates most old wives' tales -- so I think I'll definitely take her advice!)

Engrossed in a telephone conversation with a very dear friend, I didn't hear the sounds of escape - until Max was right next to me in the lounge looking at me with proud defiance: "See, you can't keep me locked up!" Flabbergasted, I had to retract my previous statement that bunnies aren't that bright... Needless to say, his cage is now rigged to keep him firmly locked in his straw-strewn, bunny-poo home!
As I am becoming more and more pregnant, I am finding running around after this cheeky little bunny more of a chore which leaves me cussing and puffing (and, I'm ashamed to admit, wondering if there is a nice little girl in the village who would like a bunny!!) Someone rightly advised me to stick him outside in the garden where he'll probably be happier, but I just can't bring myself to do it! I imagine him shivering in the winter nights, wondering sadly why I kicked him out the house. Also, I know for a FACT, that I will neglect to play with him as much as I do with him being indoors: it's seeing him looking at me with those big, brown eyes that makes me open his hutch and cuddle him for a bit before letting him run around the house (and eat all my wallpaper - or, shall I say, the landlord's?!)

GUESS WHAT????? At the midwife on Wednesday, I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time!! The exquisite miraculousness of it hasn't yet reached the realms of my conscious, rational brain - I can't find the words to express the sound of such a tiny little heart beating like a running wild horse's hooves so deep inside me, and consciously being able to understand that THIS is my child... Prostrate on that examining table covered in stiff blue paper towel, I fell victim to something I felt before at the 12 week scan... I can only think that this overpowering emotion and deep awareness is 'mother's love'... In a few weeks' time, we'll be back at the hospital's dark ultrasound room, for our 20 week scan --- Craig is almost obsessed about this scan: then he'll be able to know if it is a boy or a girl. It's not such a crucial thing for me - maybe because I have the sore boobs, growing belly ETC (!!!) to make the baby more real for me, whereas Craig needs everything he can to be able to relate to this first child of his. There's a private clinic down the road that will do an hour's appointment with ultrasound and a 4D scan -- for 175 Great British Pounds! And despite our meagre earnings, this is something I think he would go without food for!!

Oh, I could write and write all day - but I need to do some research into how to get more traffic to my two blogs. (My dream? To be a full-time blogger and get paid for it. Unrealistic? There are plenty of bloggers out there who have stopped work to become full time writers - so why can't I? It's just that I've found my current attempts at publicity rather useless -- so I need to push myself a bit and get involved in forums and various other groups. Any ideas from you would be WELCOME!)

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