Sunday, 28 November 2010

when life gets too crazy

It's been a while since I last blogged. Things have got crazy busy over the last few weeks, pretty much since I got back from holiday and I've barely had chance to enjoy my pregnancy let alone do anything else!

I'm frantically working on my literature review for my next supervision this week, and need to begin developing some sort of typology of knowledge brokers by sort of integrating other peoples theories and coming up with something new that I can call my own. If that fails I've got another route to go down for finding something novel I can research for the next 3 years, but time really is of the essence so IF I can nail this typology this week, I might just about stay on track. Theres not much more to add to this stage of the lit review - there is more but that can come after xmas. I just need to get my head around what exists in terms of theory so I can mash it all together for my typology and then some of the background type stuff I need - like what is knowledge? and all that philosophical stuff - can be worked on over xmas.

I've got supervision this week and then another 2 weeks after that so it'll be pretty difficult for me to turn anything impressive around in between them, especially considering I've got 3 days of lectures next week. The module is called 'Developing Management Research' and as part of the module, were asked to present for 10 minutes on our PhD research, answering specific questions so we're all talking about the same sorts of thing. The assignment is then a 2000 word write up of what we talk about in the presentation, so as long as I get that right, it'll hardly take any time at all to write up. We'll be able to discuss it in supervision this week so then I'll be on the ball and know exactly what I'm doing.

Oh speaking of assignments - the marks l for the Research Design and Philosophy module came back and I got an A along with some really positive feedback so I'm very pleased about that. Hopefully I can keep the standard up for the upcoming assignment, especially considering thats all I'm doing this year as I'm exempt from two and the other runs the week the babys due so I'm probably taking that next year, as I'm pretty sure potentially being in labour is good enough grounds for extenuating circumstances!

On top of all my uni work, I've got 4 craft shows coming up over the next fortnight with MollyQueen (the business my neighbour and I set up a few months back which I may not have mentioned before). It great that we've got them, and we've done really well at the last couple, but it's just bad timing as I could do without the stress of preparing for those as well as having to do uni work. Mums on holiday at the moment so I've been staying at her house and having very limited sleep as the dog is really restless during the night and he wakes up really early in the morning. Its like having the baby here already, just without the breastfeeding and with more barking! He is very sweet, and taking him out for walks gives me the chance to get some much needed exercise and to collect all my thoughts, but he's very needy, and has to eat everything I'm eating so I'm yet to complete a full meal in peace without having to give him some.

We've got our birthing classes this coming saturday. I've decided that I want to use hypnobirthing - I'll explain more about it in the next blog after the classes - and am consequently going on a special course to learn the techniques I can practice before labour. It's something thats become very important to me as it reaffirms everything I think about pregnancy and childbirth - all the ideas it talks about were things that I felt and believed in anyway so its fantastic that I've discovered a method that allows me to embrace it. I described it to one of my friends and she referred to it as 'Earth mother-y' which I guess is a good way of referring to it. She wasn't as sceptical as many other people have been as her mum used similar techniques with 2 of her babies so she's much more open minded to different ideas. My mum, some of my friends and my partner are a little less convinced - He refers to it as 'wishy washy airy fairy' but says I can do as much of it as I like, just as long as I'm doing it in a hospital. I have to respect that as it's his baby too and I want him to feel comfortable about the birth as much as possible, but if it was entirely up to me, I'd be having a home birth. He has agreed to come to the classes though, and is quite keen on being my birth partner, so hipefully he can buy into the whole thing as its really important he's behind it 100%. More to come on this next blog...

The pregnancy in general is going well. Bump is getting bigger, the midwife is pleased with its progress - at the last appointment she measured it for the first time and said it was slightly below average for the amount of weeks I was, but not to worry as theres plenty of time for baby to grow and we only need to be concerned if its not growing at the right rate. I heard the heartbeat, which was just wonderful. It's a shame He couldn't be there, but he should be at the next one coz college has broken up for christmas by then, and I'm sure she'll let us have another listen. As bumps getting bigger I'm finding it much harder to get comfortable, particularly at night and when I'm sitting on the sofa. I'm struggling to put my shoes on coz I can't really reach my feet properly anymore without it feeling a bit painful - and the worst thing is the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE heartburn I've been getting. It doesn't matter what I eat, how often I eat, how big the portions are, what I drink, if I don't drink at the same time, if I lie down too soon, nothing seems to make any difference, its just constantly there, niggling away. Especially in the evenings. I've been drinking gaviscon like its water and taking no end of tablets to try and keep it under control, but I think this is something I'm just going to have to cope with. I did get away with no morning sickness so maybe this is the horrible part I have to put up with. I don't know which I would prefer as sometimes the heartburn is so bad it actually makes me sick :(

I had a a bit of a scare the other day, as for weeks now the baby has had a really regular routine of when it moves around and I can feel it kicking etc. Well I hadn't felt it for a day or so and after lying awake all night desperately trying to feel something, and thinking the worst had happened, I rang the midwife who said I should go to the hospital just to make sure everything was ok - which it was. We had a good listen to it's heartbeat, which was all ok and the baby moved around quite a lot while I was there. The nurse did however say that I had large amounts of Ketones in my urine, which means that my body isn't getting getting enough fuel and is basically eating muscle to keep itself going. So I am officially under medical orders to eat more - which is great - however it's a tricky thing to balance with the heartburn. I eat too much and it hurts; I don't eat enough and it might harm the baby - my pain is worth it to ensure I have a healthy baby to love in 3 months time :)

I'm 6 months into my pregnancy now, and although I'm totally calm and relaxed (almost looking forward to) the experience of labour, and obviously having my baby here, I'm really starting to worry that I'm running out of time to get all my PhD work done as theres still so much to do and such a small amount of time left to do it in. I find myself thinking that maybe I have taken on to much by thinking I can still do it and be a mum, but I know I'm not the only person in this situation and I worked so so hard to get to this point, that I'd be foolish to even think about the what ifs, or to give it up. I will always have the option to take some time out of uni - it does mean that my funding stops - but it's an option that will always be there and will give me time to spend with my child so I don't ever feel guilty about having a career too.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Babys first holiday (kind of)

We're back :) actually we got back on friday but I've been really struggling to motivate myself to do anything since we returned - I spent most of the weekend in and out of bed, we were both shattered from travelling back home.

We left home on the wednesday night and got the train down to Gatwick where we checked our bags in and then stayed at the hotel there overnight. We got up at a much later time than we would have done had we not checked in the night before, and had breakfast in the airport before the flight left at 10am. 8.5 hrs later we arrived in Barbados, they are 5 hours behind so it was mid afternoon by the time we got to the hotel. Pretty much straight away we were on the beach enjoying the sunshine. It was a little cloudy but still beautiful and hot. Our room was lovely, on the ground floor right by the beach, and so quiet. All we could hear was the sea lapping the shore outside our window, and we had a little patio we could sit on. I took to sitting there in the morning, between 6am and about 7.30, getting the first sun of the day and reading my book while He slept some more.

On Friday, we went into Bridgetown, the island capital, for some shopping and to have lunch o the harbour. We were both determined to eat local food and had lots of fresh fruit, grilled king fish, fried flying fish, plantain and cou-cou (a bit like polenta) during the week. We were all inclusive, but He didn't go overboard on the drinking. I really enjoyed not being able to drink - I probably had the healthiest week I've had in a long time, what with all the fresh fruit, no chocolate, swimming, walking and salt exfoliating from the sea. Everyone said I looked great when we got back, and even He commented on how good my skin was looking. I certainly need to lay off the chocolate now we're home! I seem to have got through the whole holiday with very little heartburn, and since we got home its come back. I think its caused by dairy, as I've and things like cheese, yoghurt and chocolate since getting back that I wasn't eating on holiday. I think the baby is trying to tell mummy it wants to be fed some better food!!

On the friday evening, a tropical storm warning was issued for the island. There was a bit of rain during the day but by the evening the clouds had really gathered and it wasn't looking too nice. The storm hit around 11pm and we lost electricity at some point during the night. I woke early on saturday, about 5am, as the wind was strong enough to wake me up. I sat by the door and watched the storm get worse until He woke up and there was eventually enough of a lull for us to run up fro some food. We spent much of the day in the room reading, leaving only to eat - the staff were amazing, managing to put on three hot meals for us using the most basic of equipment.

By sunday morning, the storm had passed and we heard from our neighbours that it had been upgraded to a Hurricane and was on its way to St Lucia. Tomas had wind speeds of 65mph as it crossed Barbados and left significant damage across the island. Lots of buildings lost their roofs, trees were uprooted, power lines came down and we heard later in the week that people on the west coast had been without electricity and water for 4 days as a result. We had no power for 36 hours maximum and never lost water, and the damage was pretty minimal for us as we were the first bit of the island to get the storm.

Finally on monday the weather started to clear up and we were treated to some sunshine :) We walked into Oistins, the closest town, just for something to do and encountered a local who took us along the pier to feed the turtles. It was lovely to see and got us even more excited for our trip the next day. We spent tuesday out on a catamaran snorkelling with turtles and over shipwrecks. That was really special, something I won't ever forget. Wednesday and much of thursday were spent on the beach and in the sea, before we left at 3.30pm on thursday afternoon.

It was such a relaxing holiday, despite the storm, and gave us the time we needed to spend together, enjoying one anothers company, actually talking about things without the distractions of work and laptops. It sounds soppy but it felt like I was getting to know him all over again and I hope we can continue with that now we're back home :)

Bump has got big now, I can't even pretend to hide it anymore - not that I was anyway! The baby moves around all the time now and I'm just about figuring out its routine. While we were away, it kicked hard enough for Him to actually feel it, which was really really special. Hes taking much more of an interest now and is saying that he will be there for the birth, which is amazing. I really want him to be, especially as the birthing programme I've chosen places a huge emphasis on the role of the birth partner in the whole process and how it can really help strengthen the bond between and couple and their baby. He's even agreed to read the book I've got which is a huge step for him.

Speaking of huge steps, yesterday he texted me to say that we should spend the evening looking at baby things online together. It sounds so insignificant when I say it, but for him thats a huge deal. It shows me that he's really accepting that its happening now and knows that we need to start preparing for the babys arrival. We spent a couple of hours looking at pushchairs and cots and various other things - I think he was a little confused by it all but we've found the pushchair of our dreams and the perfect cot and have researched lots of other things too like door bouncers, changing mats and bedding. I'm going to ask mum if she can get us the pushchair for my christmas present, and will ask dad to get us the cot and mattress - we wont need it til the baby is older but we agreed that we would get it soon and can always assemble it nearer the time. I'm so excited to start buying big things now - I've got a drawer full of babygrows and toys and nappies and muslin squares already but nothing big and significant that really makes me feel like theres actually going to be a baby in our house. Two of my friends have just had babies and it makes me even more excited about seeing mine :)

I am however, really struggling to motivate myself back into uni work. I have looked at some stuff and printed lots of things to read but not really done anything yet. I am however going to visit a friend in Liverpool tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time on the train to get some reading done and that'll get me geared up fro doing lots of work. I think I'm just going to enjoy having the house to myself today and the opportunity to relax some more and feel the baby wriggling about.