No baby on board

I didn’t wear a Baby on Board badge when I was pregnant. I didn’t want to be labelled as ‘Pregnant lady in need of a seat’ and I relied on the goodwill of others to offer me seats off their own bat, and not just because my badge told them they should. Sometimes it worked (there was a nice lady at Stratford station that would accompany onto the DLR and ask me loudly how my pregnancy was going so that someone would offer me a seat) and quite often it didn’t – case in point being my last day at work before I took maternity leave, at 29 weeks. I stood on the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich to Stratford with my massive bump and not one of the buggers offered me a seat.

With nearly five years of accumulated wisdom, I would now wear TEN Baby on Board badges and rub my swollen belly in commuters’ faces.

As a result of my dying swan act last week, everyone at work decided I was pregnant. I have told them I’m most definitely not, but I don’t think they believe me. I suspect that some of them are waiting for me to brandish 12 week scan photos in a few weeks’ time. They are going to be extremely disappointed.

I may not be pregnant, but I have developed a knack for knowing when other people are, well before they make the news public. I looked at one of my colleagues a few weeks ago and thought ‘Gosh darn it, she’s up the duff’. You don’t ask of course. You wait for the announcement. Only…the announcement didn’t come. Colleague was definitely acting a bit strangely (downing food when she’s normally quite careful) and she was getting a bit of a tummy…but I get a belly when I’ve eaten too much bread (bloody IBS) so it doesn’t do to assume. I took the cowards way out and e-mailed another colleague.

I was right of course. 15 weeks. So I worked it out when she was 8-9 weeks pregnant. I rock, obviously. *does one woman Mexican wave*. She doesn’t wear a Baby on Board badge either.

I need a badge or maybe a flashing neon sign above my desk that says: ‘BABY NOT ON BOARD’ in big letters and ‘Husband has been to the Vets’ in smaller letters underneath.

 

Recovering

It’s fair to say that my hospital dash on Monday has knocked me for six. Although I’m feeling much better now, I keep nodding off at random intervals! It’s like my batteries need replacing or something. After spending most of the last three days in bed I decided that I actually wanted to get up, get dressed and leave the house. Apparently it’s been sunny and spring-like this week and I wanted to see the evidence for myself.

When the going gets tough I go to Hobbycraft and buy card-making equipment. I find wandering the aisles extremely soothing, as I browse for card toppers, paper stacks and sparkly letters. The girls have two 4th birthday parties this weekend (it’s neverending) so I have four cards to make. I’m really not very good at card-making it’s a hobby rather than a commercial venture, but it keeps me off the streets and I like doing creative things. I have a little Facebook page to display them on so I can look back at cards I’ve done before for inspiration. If you’re so inclined, a little Like on the page would make my day.

I enjoyed my brief trip out but  felt really tired so went home and watched THE KYLE. It’s the law that ill people must watch THE KYLE. I lasted one and half episodes before turning it off and doing some more of my mammoth cross-stitch project.

I was determined to accompany Dh to collect the girls from nursery as they (especially R) love it when we both go to pick them up.R rushed over to greet us….and immediately threw her arms around Dh. When he was sorting G out, R finally deigned to give me a huge hug and asked ‘Are you better?’. I dread to think what they’ve told everyone about Mummy this week. I imagine that, like everyone else, they have concluded that I’m pregnant and will be awaiting an announcement. They’re be waiting a bloody long time….

It’s book group tonight so I’m going to go along for an hour or two, clutching a bottle of water (no alcohol for me at the moment) as I have *drum roll* actually read the book this time. I need an early night anyway as Dh is on early shift tomorrow morning. He has instructed the girls to a. Give me a lie-in and b. Look after me. The chances of me achieving either are remote. I have visions of nodding off over a bowl of cornflakes.

Now that I’m on the mend, I’d quite like my subconscious to stop giving me ambulance-based nightmares where I pass out and don’t wake up. I’ve had quite enough of waking up bathed in sweat to last me a lifetime, thanks.

Resting

After my hospital dash yesterday R and G were at nursery today so I was able to take it very easy. People that don’t know me very well have assumed that I’m pregnant. I can assure you I am most definitely not! Perish the thought…

I find it really hard to completely switch off but I forced myself to do virtually nothing. I read the Guardian on my Kindle, flicked through Facebook and Twitter, watched and listened to some stuff that my lovely friend sent me to cheer me up, had a long bath and started a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It’s a bit of an old ladyish thing to do but I find puzzles really relaxing. Funnily enough, I haven’t found time to do them for the last four years…

Dh is a wonderful nurse and is making me a veg-laden casserole for tea. I’d rather have a pint of Guinness and a bar of dark chocolate to boost my iron levels but that’s my Irish ancestry (my great grandmother came from a line of Irish silk weavers) talking.

I’m seeing my GP tomorrow morning. I suspect that I’ll have to go back on the iron tablets again (fun, fun, fun!) and I don’t know if they’ll want to do any further investigations. I still feel really drained so I’ll see how it goes.

R and G…sorry, Alice in Winderland and Tinkerbell (they’re going through a stage of dressing up for nursery. Passers-by ask if it’s a special day. Our reply is usually: ‘Yes. Tuesday’) bounced in to see me when they got home from nursery. G is her usual self and gave me kisses and cuddles whereas R is more wary of ill people. However, they both insisted on extra kisses from me at bedtime and as we shut their bedroom door R called out in a soft little voice: ‘I love you Mummy’.

 

I love the NHS

Interesting start to the week. I collapsed in the toilet at work today. Twice. First time I was in the cubicle, saw sparkles, everything went black and I nodded off. I woke up, scrambled out of the cubicle and collapsed on the floor next to the sinks. I don’t know how long I was there but a colleague found me and fetched our resident first aider.

Things are pretty hazy but I was deemed out of it enough for an ambulance to be called The paramedics were brilliant and I was whisked off to St Thomas’ for further examination.

I’m not sure what was more embarrassing: doing an Elvis in the toilet or our Chief Exec popping his head round the door of the ambulance and wishing me well. I felt so daft.

The staff in A & E were great (going in an ambulance gets you first class service) and I quickly had bloods taken. I had a bit of a wait to see a doctor but things moved quickly after that and I was hooked up to a drip and had an ECG.

All of the tests – thankfully – came back negative but my iron levels are borderline so I need to see my GP.

I was accompanied to hospital by our office manager, who was fabulous throughout and waited until Dh arrived (keeping him updated via text) before departing.

Apparently my blood pressure was 54/80 at one point which is apparently pretty bad, but once I was in hospital I recovered quite quickly and was able to come home this afternoon. I still feel spacey and a bit wobbly so I have to be careful for the next 24 hours.

I have been instructed to rest for a couple of days. I’m crap at relaxing but I’m taking today’s events as a sign that I’ve hit a bit of a wall and need some time out. I plan to watch a lot of Man v Food, eat chocolate and not do a lot else until I feel better.

ETA: As I sat in A & E being treated I registered the irony of the fact that I was able to make use of the National Health Service in the very week that Parliament are voting to dismantle it. I don’t think any of us really appreciate how lucky we are to have a health service that is, essentially, free at the point of use (yes, we pay taxes but even so) and to not have to worry about whether I could afford to have those bloods taken or that ECG. I sincerely hope that the late Claire Rayner now fulfills her deathbed promise: ‘Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my NHS I’ll haunt him’.