Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Rambling Week

I’ve felt humbled this week by the generosity of the British public. As a nation we raised over £74 million pounds for the charity Comic Relief as hundreds of people did crazy things to get the money rolling in. Two DJ’s broke a world record after broadcasting live for 52 hours – I sleepily text my donation at 5am on Friday morning as they managed to get under my skin with their tired humour and constant badgering. Had Chris been here he’d have text me a donation to bugger off with my tiredness and crankiness at not being able to sleep. Bearing in mind he lands on Tuesday I reckon he’ll have paid me £100 by Thursday.

It seems that every TV channel has been airing programmes centred on CHILD BIRTH. One Born Every Minute is a ridiculously long television series focusing on scary couples due to give birth imminently. It was simply awful and I watched snippets from behind a cushion. BBC2 showed a moving documentary about premature babies born at 23 weeks which opened a causeway of emotion. Another series, ‘Worst Job In The World’ followed a British midwife working at a maternity clinic in Liberia...staggering. A documentary made by Christy Turlington (!?!) challenged the medical care between the 1st and the Developing World. She seemed to miss the point and it wasn’t long before I switched her off.

Like the rest of the world I stared in horror as the events of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan unfolded before our very eyes. I became increasingly obsessed about watching the footage on YouTube and have marvelled at the patience shown by a nation as they’ve swayed on the precipice of a nuclear disaster. I’ve felt hatred for the Gaddafi regime. The UN recently called for an air strike and have thrown planes into the sky to protect the people from their despot leader. Are we seeing a situation similar to Iraq? Will what we do be enough?

I’ve wanted to stamp out the cold, wet, dark and windy weather - it reminded me of a tired November afternoon as the sky seemed half closed against the horizon. Then blink! With the arrival of this weekend came the sunshine. Warm, healing and relaxing it spread its fingers across the tree tops. Yesterday I sat on a bench along the river wall and looked across at the point where Ella’s ashes were scattered. Birds flew, boats unleashed from their moorings sailed along the water’s edge and my bones drew in the heat from the sun. What a difference a single day makes.

My mum, sister, 2.5 year old niece and I screamed in synchronised horror as three crazy looking goats charged at a fence where we stood. They manically head butted the gate with their tiny skulls as we ran like old ladies for the car! From running came the stopping…my energy levels have taken a pounding this week and I’ve begun to feel absolutely knackered. Eventually I did what my cousin told me to do, ‘take time out and sod everyone else.’ So we sat and drank strong hot chocolate, had a moan, a laugh and shared our worries about the arrival of our babies. That night I cancelled two dinner invitations. I felt empowered and celebrated by going to bed by 8pm.

Miserably I no longer have any sense of fashion and as far as footwear goes, forget it, forget it, forget it. Having found some very large knickers in the department store at M&S I failed to find them in my size so I asked the sales assistant if they had them in stock? She stared at me, ‘if they’re not there then we haven’t got them,’ before returning to her half eaten biscuit. I very nearly punched her. On the flip side Abby and her friend Jo took me and my credit card to Mother Care this morning. They were both brilliant and we shopped for things I had no idea existed and purchased things that terrified me. A breast pump springs to mind. Earlier in the week I cruised with my mum for a buggy and a child’s car seat – her enthusiasm was huge, it couldn’t be beat and I trotted (somehow) behind her wishing I could be half the woman she was. We purchased both items in a matter of several long hours and topped it off with a sandwich.

I’ve been spoilt by a friends delicious cooking (including a sugar-rush induced brownie), received lovely emails, encouraging phone calls and snatched a precious hour with my great friend Poll. A girlfriend give me a spot of space on a container destined for Uganda – the child’s car seat, buggy and one battered old cot fitted in a treat. I’ve felt a sadness listening to a conversation with a friend who spoke about not caring what foods she ate whilst pregnant (as she knocked back the alcohol and cigarettes). Life within is so precious, so delicate, so why? But I understand when to keep my mouth shut, especially as all women embrace and perceive their 9 month pregnancy so differently. I hope the 15 biscuits I inhaled tonight avoided my thighs and carried on down to my inflated ankles.

Like magic I’ve enjoyed looking down towards my vanishing toes and seeing my expanding tummy jut out like a smooth boulder. I’m suddenly feeling huge, yet powerful. It’s like a beautiful badge of love. My stretching smile, as I link my hands beneath my moving son, hurts my face – Chris truly wont know what's hit him :)

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