Saturday, July 25, 2009

The example of Mary

Now I have no intention of turning this into a superspiritual "I've got all the answers" type of blog, cos, well, for a start, I certainly don't have all the answers, and there's nothing worse than pretending that you do, if you don't.

(Brief sidenote, I think doing better and getting there with my recovery from swine flu, however, I'm also aware that it seems to have brought out the rambling 'write extra long sentences' side of me. So if you find yourself losing the plot of what I'm trying to say, it's probably because I've gone off on a ramble rather than any fault on the your part).

Anyway, what I am trying to share with you all is some of the thoughts I had on Thursday night when M and I were reading the beginning of the gospel of Luke. The gospel starts off with Luke explaining why he wrote it. I know I've read that before, but it struck me again what a logical person Luke was. He set out to write the book in a way that was logical, that followed through and didn't jump about, and I really like that. It's the way that I try to be when I'm writing. Ok, so with all this ramble it can be hard to see that, but I do generally have a rough idea of where I'm headed and the logic behind it. Honest! Although actually, I wasn't going to write that paragraph about Luke, it just happened, so maybe I've still got a thing or two to learn from Luke.

Next Luke writes about Elizabeth and Zechariah, the parents of John the Baptist. M and I also discussed quite a bit about John the Baptist, and what he was like, and how he got his following, and things like that, but again, I'm not intending to stop and talk about him for long either. (See the title of this post, and you'll hopefully see where I'm trying to go).

Thirdly, Luke writes about Mary. Now, the funny thing is that we didn't actually read this bit, or not to start with. We read up until about verse 25, and it's in the next verse that it starts talking about Mary. However, we have a slight advantage, since we know how the story goes, and I admit I'm the sort of reader whose eyes slight further down the page to take a peek at what's coming next. Hm, I'm rambling, let's start a new paragraph.

Verse 26 starts with telling us that the following events (Mary being visited by an angel) took place in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, and I thought "hey, that's like me". We started talking about what it would have been like to be pregnant back then, and boy was it different. (I've just been thinking on that even more as I type, and there are more differences than I can even begin to list, but I'm trying hard not to get distracted).

At first I was thinking that Elizabeth went to visit Mary, and was sympathising at what that must have been like, after all the roads weren't necessarily very good, so it meant travelling by foot or donkey, or something similar, and judging by how tired I've been recently (swine flu aside) it would have tough. Then I realised that I'd actually misread, and that Mary was the one to visit Elizabeth, and that seemed fairer. Until I thought back on my first days of pregnancy, the ones filled with constant nausea and so much tiredness. In the early days of my pregnancy and new job I used to come home from work and go to sleep, my parents would wake me for dinner, and then I'd go back to bed. Choosing to travel anywhere would not have been on the top of my priority list.

Actually, I did travel to Cambridge for the day with my Mum early on in the pregnancy, and I can still remember now quite how dreadful I felt. We stopped halfway there (halfway through a one hour journey!) because I thought I would be sick, and when we actually arrived in Cambridge I was horribly and terribly sick. To cut a long thought short, travelling at the stage of my pregnancy was not fun, and I can't imagine it was much fun for Mary, however long the actually journey was for her.

And then, fast forward towards the end of Mary's pregnancy. Again, we were cheating a little, cos this doesn't happen until chapter two, but it was just a natural continuation of our discussion. Mary has to go with Joseph to Bethlehem to take part in a giant census of the Roman Empire. Now, looking at my life again for a second, I know that M and I decided we'd be decline the invitation to one of the weddings we were meant to be going to this summer, because it's so far away and would mean a lot of travelling. And that would only have been when I was 7 months pregnant, and was really only a few hours either way in a car. It could have been do-able if we'd really tried, we just decided we needed to be sensible (given that the following two weekends after that we have family weddings to attend).

I can imagine that if I were Mary, and my pregnancy was getting on a bit I would have begged Joseph to let me stay at home, while he filled in the census for me. Ok, so I'm a bit shaky on whether that would have actually been possible, but still, I'd have given it a go. (As my friend Danielle is often reminding me, there's only so long you can actually use the excuse "I'm pregnant", so you have to make the most of it!). But no, there's no mention of any sort of moaning or discontent from Mary, she just gets on her donkey, and off they go.

Mary amazes me, through all stages of her pregnancy we see her happy and rejoicing, willing to do as God asks her. Ok, so we don't get to read her pregnancy diary, but Luke still paints a pretty good picture of her. (And he was a doctor, so presumably had an inkling into what it would be like for a woman who was pregnant at that time). As M pointed out, think of all those pregnancy hormones raging through her body. I think M is just about getting used to me and my tears, tears which can fall that the slightest provocation, but I'm sure I don't always make it easy for him to live with me. I get fed up with all my crying sometimes, and I know he does.

But Mary faithfully followed God's plan for her. By travelling to Bethlehem and giving birth there, Jesus' birth was fulfilling prophecies made about it years beforehand. I wonder how much of that she realised at the time, or whether it was more of a blind faith. These are questions I guess I'll never know the answer to, or at least not on this earth, but this I do know, my present circumstances have given me a little more insight into Mary's life, and also a lot more respect for her, and the role she played in giving birth to, and raising Jesus. Here's to Mary.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recovering from Swine Flu

It all started last Saturday evening. We waved goodbye to the friends who'd come over to dinner, and within about 15 minutes I had a horrible stomach ache, and the (seemingly endless) digestive issues had begun. (Trying to be as delicate as I can about this!).

I didn't sleep at all well that night, what with several visits to the bathroom, and the high fever which made me believe that I was two trays of fairy cakes (aka cupcakes) which were topped with squirty cream. I had to stay totally still and not move a muscle or else the cream would collapse, and that would be the end of the world. (It all felt very logical at the time).

On Sunday I spent much of the day in the state of gentle delirium, and sweating out the fever with the help of paracetamol. By the end of the day I was running out of clean pyjamas, and I'd also had a long and in depth conversation with my teddy bear. (Again, it felt perfectly logical at the time, and I wasn't really aware that I was doing it). We rang the out of hours doctor in the afternoon, and after a number of calls I was rung by a doctor who after listening to be symptoms told me that it pretty much sounded like swine flu, and since I'm pregnant and an asthmatic they would put me on the medication for swine flu. I wasn't given tami flu, instead I had relenza (think that's how it was spelt) which is an inhaled alternative, and would not cross the placenta line to the baby. I sent out my flu buddy, aka my husband, to pick up the drugs for me, and stayed in bed. I think that evening I did make it out to the sofa (with a duvet) to watch some TV, but that's about the extent of my movements, apart from regular trips to the bathroom.

By Monday I was feeling pretty weak and feeble, well, I should say still weak and feeble, as I'd been feeling like that all the previous day. M had to go to work, but my friend Danielle popped around to see me, as did my Mummy. I think I may have tried eating a piece of toast at some point that day, but it didn't stay in me very long.

By Tuesday my temperature seemed to be back to normal, but I was very weak and woozy from the lack of food. That day and the next passed in a blur of watching television, trying to keep up with the fluids, trips to the bathroom (do you sense a theme?!) and naps.

Thursday, hm, that was yesterday. I was feeling well enough to strip the bed and wash the bedclothes and a bunch of towels on hot washes. I also ran the dishwasher and went round cleaning all the handles in the house with my dettol (anti-bacterial) spray. After that I collapsed in a heap. I managed to ate a few pieces of dry toast, and had some mashed sweet potato in the evening. My stomach had a mini-relapse, but I told it not to be such a sissy, and persevered with eating (but only small small amounts of bland things, aka dry toast). I considered getting dressed, but never quite made it.

Today is Friday. I woke up having slept reasonably well, and with no nocturnal tummy pains, which was the first time in days. It's now half eleven and so far today I've accomplished putting in a load of washing, eating some toast, and sitting at the computer for a couple of hours (oops!). This is the third post I've written (one of them will auto-post tomorrow). After I've finished writing this I will probably either take a nap, or at the least go lie on the sofa and stick the telly on. My stomach's been behaving pretty well so far, but my cough lingers on, and it feels like it's got the potential to get worse (meaning I'm a little bit wheezy, so I'm keeping an eye on my asthma), and I'm really tired and worn out, but other than that things seem to be looking up. My aim for the day is to have a shower and actually get dressed at some point. And probably go outside at some point - I haven't been out of the front door since Saturday.

Rach asked what were my symptoms. In brief they were stomach pain and diarrhea, headache, high temperature, cough, and at some points a sore throat. Although they're no longer testing to see conclusively if people have swine flu, I'm pretty convinced that that's what it was.

Sidebar links

I've been updating my links. I wasn't actually using several of the links anymore (due to lack of time online, blogs not existing anymore etc etc) so I've deleted a bunch of them. A few more may go, but I didn't want to be too ruthless and then regret it. So far I've only added one new link, one I found today. It's a blog I actually only found today, called Bake at 350, but I'd found it by such a circular route, and I loved the look of it, that I figured I might not find it again unless I added it to my blogroll.
(Remember that for a girl who's pretty much eaten nothing but dry toast, if anything, for nearly a week, the pictures on that blog were pretty attractive!!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm recovering from swine flu

and I've run out of pre-written auto-posted posts. So there may not be much on here for a day or two.
I'll be back when I'm better.
Oh, and Tiny waves hello. He's been kicking up a storm the last few days, which is great, but for the fact that it doesn't go well with belly ache and digestion problems!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The joys of third trimester grocery shopping

The bump is at the exact same level as the handle of the shopping trolley. Pushing the trolley with your belly works when you have a squishy fat belly, not so well when you have a firm pregnant belly.
(Incidentally, the bump is also at the same level as our bathroom sink. I've given up on trying to get any sort of lean in close-up look at my face for the rest of the duration)

Reaching up for items from the top shelf is increasingly difficult. Being a tall person, I've always been the one helping others out. I think I may have to start asking for help myself as these last couple of months progress.

Reaching for items off the bottom shelves is even worse. My left hip is hurting for some reason, and of course there's the back ache too. It's still just about possible to get down there, but I may soon just give up and cook meals according to what can be purchased from the middle shelves.

Going shopping while hungry is a huge mistake. This is a mistake when you're not pregnant, but I'm one of those "I'm hungry and I need to eat NOW" sort of pregnant people, and the resulting impulse buys are adding up.

Writing a list is always a good idea. There will always be impulse buys, but writing a list helps to eliminate some of those. And, more importantly, writing a list helps increase the likelihood that I will come home with that item. This is not totally fail-safe, for example last week I'd managed to lose the list before I'd even done have the shop. However, if you don't write something on the list, it's pretty certain that that item will be forgotten.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

On Friday I was looking forward to going to the housewarming barbecue of a friend of ours. On my way home from school I stopped at the supermarket to buy some sausages, lemonade, and a couple of ingredients I needed to make little cakes. When I got home I immediately got going with baking fairy cakes, so that they'd have a time to cool and I could ice them before we went out.

I spent some quality time with Menard and then iced my cakes. I showered and put on my favourite maternity dress. My friend arrived, and we finished setting off and got into her car - M wasn't coming because he had a training meeting at church to go to. We followed the directions I'd written down from the invitation on facebook, and we made it to the house. It was pouring with rain, but we managed to park right outside the house. We commented on the lack of cars, but figured it was because we were still fairly early, and that the rain might have put people off. (I knew that the guy has a garage, and had told us he'd be barbecuing in there if it was raining, so we knew it wouldn't be called off).

We got out of the car and went to ring the bell. I had the box of cakes and my lovely friend had the sausages and lemonade. We stood there for a while, wondering where everyone was. No one came to the door and we rang again. I think I commented that maybe he couldn't hear us if he was out tending the barbecue.

We stood there a bit longer and it began to dawn on me that no one was in. That maybe we'd made a mistake. I stopped and thought and it occurred to me that actually I had a feeling the date on facebook was a number in the 20s, and although I'm not very good at keeping track of the date at the moment, I know that school breaks up on the 22nd. I admitted to my friend that I might possibly have the date wrong.

We got back into the car and I tried to call a couple of people to confirm the date. I couldn't actually get hold of anyone who could tell me the date, but it was becoming more and more likely that I'd made a mistake. At this point I must stop and admit that my friend hadn't actually had a chance to look at the invite on facebook, so was just following my information, therefore it was entirely my fault that we'd turned up at the barbecue a week early. Once we'd begun to admit to ourselves that I must have got it wrong, we couldn't stop laughing. The fact that I'd even baked cakes and got a bit dressed up just added to the hilarity.

Having driven back to my house we looked up the event on facebook, and it is indeed taking place on the 24th. We cooked the sausages and had sausage sandwiches followed by fairy cakes and accompanied by lemonade for dinner. They were very good.

My excuse for the entire occurrence is 'Pregnancy Brain', and that's all I have to say about that!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Not the best photos in the world, but might satisfy a little of the demands for bump pics!
Side viewFront viewM decided we needed a close up!

Life as an ex-fat now pregnant person

I don't think I realised quite how hard mentally I would find being pregnant. It's getting my head around getting fat again that I'm finding really hard. I've got the hang of the wacky hormones - I know that I'm liable to cry at just about anything, especially when I'm upset (and poor M is getting to grips with that too!) and I can't read half the articles in my pregnancy magazines without welling up with tears, but that's ok.

But what I don't think I've got the hang of is the fact that my body is changing, and changing in ways that I can't control. Before I got pregnant I had put some weight back on, partly from the bad sprain I did to my ankle last summer and the lack of exercise, and partly from slipping into bad habits. But I felt like I could still control it, I could get the weight back off if I put my head and heart into it. But now this bump is here and growing, and it's not going to get any smaller until after the baby is born.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I love the baby bump that I see. It feels good. Other times I look in the mirror and I just can't quite deal with the fact that my tummy is getting huge. I was weighed the other day when I registered with a new doctor, and I've put on about 20lb in 28 weeks (well, actually in about 20, since my booking in appointment, but anyway). I couldn't really get my head around whether that was good or not. On one hand it was less that I was expecting, on the other it sounded a huge amount. I did read in a book about pregnancy that on average people put on about 20lb in that same period, which was comforting, but I also know that I wasn't necessarily 'average' before I got pregnant.

What I need to do is accept the situation and live with it. I can work on eating more healthily and try to exercise more, but I can't really change the situation. Besides, I am pregnant and you put on weight when you're pregnant. There's a baby growing inside of me, and since it's getting bigger, my stomach will be getting bigger too.

I guess at the end of the day I'm probably always going to have issues with food on some level or other. I'm working on my self image, and it has improved beyond measure, but it's still unstable at times. I need to accept that I am growing a baby, and that that is a beautiful thing to be doing. There's a life developing inside of me, and it's really exciting. I'm sure I'll continue to freak out about it at times, but at least I'm aware of my potential to do that!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Our bathroom appears to be the location of the Ant Convention this year. We have a regular attendance of regular ants, with guest appearances of flying ants for the past two days.

I only have three more days of work left before the summer holiday. (And only ten in total before I go on maternity leave).

This evening I gave a beautiful performance of the results of pregnancy on my brain. The story may be blogged in full at a later date.

I would have taken some photos this evening, but M is out and I don't know the code to log on to his I-Phone! (Since I still haven't configured my camera with this computer, I decided that would be the easiest way to get photos online). Maybe when he gets home from a meeting I'll have a go.

I'm really tired. I don't know if it's how I've been sleeping, or just that it's nearly the end of term. I've had bizarre but vivid dreams the last couple of nights. Yesterday I woke up feeling really mad at M, and told me a while to realise that it was for something that he'd done in my dream. Last night I forgot I even had a husband, until I suddenly remembered and was trying to figure out where on earth he was when I woke up.


I'm 28/3
It's getting closer....

PS I have another long post to write, I'm just too sleepy to write it now (this was written ahead of time and set to post automatically by the wonders of the internet!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Baby Names

So far it's safe to say that we don't really have a clue what we want to name this baby. If it's a boy he'll be given his Daddy's name as a middle name (since it's a family name which has been handed down a few generations), and we have a couple of vague girl name ideas, but other than that, we ain't got a clue!
Let's have a little reader poll...
(If you have children) How did you chose what to name your children? Did you look at things like meanings?
What's are your favourite names?
Do you think I'm having a boy or a girl? (Just thought I'd throw that out there, just for fun!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things WILL never be the same again

but I think I can deal with that.

If you'd told me a year ago what changes would be happening in the next 12 months I'd probably first of all laughed, then maybe cried, and finally probably totally freaked out. Those of you who know me in person probably know that a year ago it certainly didn't look like M and I would get things back together, my health was still causing me lots of problems, and I was pretty depressed.

I am so glad about the changes that have taken place, and I thank God all the time for how my life is shaping out. But I still have a mini freak out about it every once in a while. A couple of weeks back I went up to Cambridge to help Bekki to do some packing ready to move house. That night when I got home I had a big old sobbing crying freak out on my husband. It just felt like everything was changing in my life, and I needed the rest of my family to stay the same, but instead of doing that they were getting married, and getting engaged and all sorts of other life-changing events. I really wasn't trying to deny them their happiness, it just felt like I needed a little bit of stability, something to stay the same, and instead everything was changing, and changing BIG TIME.

I am happy for Hannah & Steve and Bekki & Rob, I really am. I love marriage. It's been just over 3 months for me and M, and I can't imagine anything else. It feels so natural, so right and so normal. I think it just continues to dawn on me, as and when things like this happen, that life doesn't stop. It goes on changing and evolving, families grow and develop, relationships change, things will never be the same again. But, and it's a big but, change doesn't have to be bad. It'll be exciting and different and at times downright scary, and I'm certain I'll have some more freak outs over the next couple of months. But, deep down inside, where it really matters, I know it's gonna be ok. God is good, and I can trust Him to never change. My foundation is secure, and I'm keeping my eyes on him. But keep the tissues handy, cos I'm sure I'll continue to need 'em.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My life is good

I've had a lovely weekend spending quality time with my wonderful husband. I don't want it to end, but tomorrow will come whether we want it to or not! I have to go back to work tomorrow, but it's not long now until we break up for the summer, 8 days in fact. And since I only will only go back for 7 days in September before stopping to go on maternity leave, the countdown to stopping work really had begun. (Of course, I'm going to have to go back at some point, but I'm trying not to think about that too much at the moment).

My ankle is mostly better. I'm still trying to take it gently, and it's probably not got quite the mobility and flexibility of the other ankle, but hopefully it'll heal up 100% soon. My bump is definitely getting bigger and affecting my sense of balance, but I'm doing my best to keep safe!

I'm almost 28 weeks pregnant. So going into the final three months. It's scary but exciting all at the same time. I'll get M to take some more bump photos for the blog soon!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Oops I did it again...

... last night I tripped over my own feet and twisted/sprained my left ankle. (One day I'm gonna learn what the difference is between a twist and a sprain. Or maybe I won't).
No yucky pics this time, I promise. For one thing it's nowhere near as bad as last time, or at least it hasn't started going all the pretty colours that it did last time.

I'm also sneezing lots. Think that's to do with helping Bekki pack up her stuff on Thursday (she moved house today. We were meant to help, but had to cry off cos of the ankle) and all the pollen. Hopefully it'll calm down again soon.

I'll have to take some more bump pics soon. I'm doing ok though, I guess. The last week of heatwave has totally wiped me out. Hopefully I'll catch up on my sleep in the next few days.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Go read

Bekki's news

Oh, and in other news. It is HOT here, I ache all over - combination of not sleeping properly and all the tossing and turning I've been doing. And everyone keeps telling me that my bump got HUGE.