Archive for April 2010

An evening at Milgi

April 29, 2010

It was the birthday of the volunteer in the office I was mentoring so I took her out to a meal at a Japanese restaurant. I was craving for something sweet after the meal so she brought me to Milgi, which is a funky little cafe just opposite the restaurant. We sat in a yurt at back of the main building where I was told in the winter you could curl up on the sofas there with thick blankets to watch the movies they play. It seems like such a fantastic hangout, I just wish it was closer to where I live. I’ll leave you to check out the photos.

Babies, hubbies, families

April 24, 2010

When I was younger and still single, I used to hear people say, “They wanted to save/strengthen their marriage, so they had a baby” or “Having a baby can really make or break the relationship”. Now that I am older and married (though I really can’t say I am that much wiser), I can really fully appreciate why they say that.

Because having babies and bringing up kids is stressful and is a real test which can draw a couple closer or push them apart.

I’ve only got a kicking bump at the moment and I already find it tough at times. But the problems now are just a microscopic chip of a huge iceberg. I can already imagine how much more difficult it would get when the baby comes, and how strong a couple needs to be to go through the rough times together. Hell, on top of managing the relationship, you’ve now got a kid to manage too.

Having been pregnant for almost 8 months, I can only say I am thankful I am not a single mum. I know there are lots of women who either by choice or circumstance, have to go through their pregnancy on their own. I admire their strength. It is an extremely challenging time which I really cannot imagine going through without the support of my husband. I know there isn’t much a man can help you to do physically – they can’t take away the fatigue, the nausea, the heartburn, the leg cramps – but to have someone around when you are at your most vulnerable can make you feel so safe and comforted.

If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I wouldn’t have discovered a different side to R. A more tender side to his usual tough, cynical and arrogant disposition.

I know he’s a nurse but I never thought he would look after me to the extent he did whenever I got ill. Staying up with me through the night, watching me puke, rubbing my back, making sure I religiously oil myself with the stretchmark cream.

I am also very surprised to find out he is actually quite paternal and hands-on because I never thought he is interested in babies. Afterall this is the man who always tells me, “I don’t want any children, that’s why I didn’t have any in my first marriage.”

But for a man who allegedly has zero interest in kids, he has truly amazed me.

He fervently researched about push-chairs, carry cots and baby carriers and bought the well-reviewed ones. I don’t even have a clue about how they work. My whole cupboard is now jam-packed with nappies and tubes of cracked nipple cream which he bought when they were on sale.

He reads to the baby my belly and makes sure I do so in Chinese because “nobody really knows how babies learn and develop – it doesn’t harm to start the process early.” He is actually excited about nappy-changing because he does it all the time (at work, with patients) and he wants to see how fast he can do it with the baby (he’s sick in my opinion). He wants to buy a nifty camcorder so he can record the baby’s significant moments. He came with me to the antenatal workshop.

Maybe this is all too early to tell but I do think that having a baby has actually brought out the best in him. He’s more caring, more attentive, more sympathetic, more considerate, more understanding. I feel our relationship has improved now that we have a common goal – to give the baby the best we can.

What I’ve realised is that if you are having a baby for the right reasons (i.e. not to save a failing marriage) and under the right circumstances (i.e. both are ready for the commitment), it’s a wonderful experience that no doubt deepens the bond between a couple.

I have learnt so much about R over the past 8 months. But the best thing by far is discovering for myself he will make an awesome father. I feel blessed and I am really looking forward to our new adventure together.

A day at the barn

April 22, 2010

We had a staff meeting yesterday at Amelia Trust Farm, a city farm some 20 minutes’ drive away from our office. It was an experience – we had particularly good free-range egg sandwiches, homemade cakes but the aroma of fresh manure wafting through the meeting room at regular intervals made it a bit unpleasant towards the end. Still, I love animals and nothing’s better than being able to get up close and personal with them!

The wheels on the cart go round and round, round and round!

Meet the farm cat with a cute bushy tail.

Lovely piglets  having an afternoon snooze. They all have little curly tails.

Lots of ewes and their fluffy white lambs.

Mummy and Baby 27 were particularly friendly.

So were these two hairy brown donkeys, who were going to get their winter coats sheared off!

There were lots of chickens running around the place. They lay wonderful tasting eggs – it’s true that happy chickens lay yummy eggs and farm eggs taste way better than those we get in supermarkets.

Violet pansies remind us that summer is on its way!

My kind of Sunday

April 19, 2010

I stayed home and in bed for most of the week because I was ill, but on Sunday I decided to head to the Farmer’s Market in Cardiff for a few hours. I took my red shoes with me and they met a red drink someone left at the train station.

It was a lovely warm day. I was wearing my £5 maternity dress and carrying my Cath Kidston peppermint green polka dot canvas bag. So I was happy.

There was freshly pressed apple juice on sale at the market.

Hey perhaps if you bought an apple tree, in a few years you could press your own juice.

Spring is my favourite season. Everything is so fresh, bright and cheerful.

Well except for this glum doggy.

But I love to see that everything is budding, sprouting, blooming, blossoming, growing, awakening.

After the Farmer’s Market, I dropped by the Chinese shop to get some ingredients to make dinner. When I got home I had a refreshing cup of jelly R made for me the night before.

Then we spent a few hours to build our outdoor garden table, put up the parasol, sit down to have a drink. After that we went back in to eat the vegetable curry I made for dinner.

Love notes

April 17, 2010

I love it when I find little post-its or notes around the house, left by R for me to discover.

Blearggh

April 16, 2010

I had a really awful night on Wednesday. For the first time in 13 years I vomited. Yuck I really hate the heaving but the relief you get afterward is worth the trauma.

Once again I was unwell when R had a long 16-hour shift ahead of him in the morning. Neither of us got any sleep. I began to feel ill after lunch. It started out as I thought a case of heartburn, but it didn’t resolve despite taking my usual remedies. It continued into the night and my stomach continued to feel tight, uncomfortable and painful.

R made me down some Gaviscon in the middle of the night and as soon as I swallowed that I felt the need to be sick. I made it to the toilet and threw up while R went to get some water to rinse my mouth. My stomach felt much better then so I managed to get a few hours’ sleep.

I called in sick in the morning and went to see the doctor because my stomach was still feeling bloated and painful, although it wasn’t as bad as before. She felt my belly and said the womb is all the way to the stomach and squishing against it, which is why there is this horrible feeling of discomfort. I am only going to get bigger so I’m afraid there is nothing I can do apart from eat small frequent meals and “really bland food” as recommended by the doctor.

She prescribed a liquid medication similar to but more effective than Gaviscon for stomach acidity. I took the medication after meals and spent the day in bed – sleeping, reading and staring out of my window at the beautiful sunshine.

While my stomach is feeling better, my strained abdominal wall muscles from the pain and vomiting have now become awfully tender, which makes walking, deep breathing and even burping all quite agonising.

God I am such a wreck now that I am pregnant.

Recent reads

April 12, 2010

I have been reading:

  • The Rough Guide to Pregnancy & Birth by Kaz Cooke. She is very funny, by which I mean the dry British humour I love. The book is extremely informative yet it doesn’t bore the crap out of you. I highly recommend it!
  • The Fat Ladies Club. A group of mothers who became friends after meeting at antenatal classes got together to write about their pregnancy experiences. It’s an interesting read which just proves that every baby, birth and pregnancy is different so just take what they say with a pinch of salt.
  • Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad. I got my local library to buy this book. I have only read a few pages but I am completely hooked. The book revolves around email exchanges between a British radio producer and an Iraqi university lecturer after the Iraq war. I find it fascinating to read about what life is really like for the Iraqis and finding out that actually they aren’t that different from you and I.
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl. R is reading this to Bean. I don’t think Roald Dahl was a vegetarian nor was he an animal activist but I suppose he wanted to make readers think about their actions.
  • Babies: The mumsnet guide. Again another book with plenty of experiences and advice one must take with a pinch of salt. Otherwise, reading through all the tales will leave you so fearful you may wish to terminate the pregnancy! It is important to read for the information, but it’s equally important to recognise that everyone’s experience is different and that it may seem hard at the beginning when you are a clueless new parent, but you’d soon learn.