Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tap shoes, please: size minus four months

Another week, another post.

I think I felt some movement on Tuesday night. I know I did this evening!

Mrs T had already noticed that Flicker often moves when he/she hears music. (A couple of weekends ago, I was playing in the house and she felt a lot of movement.) And on Tuesday night I was playing in a brass ensemble at the ‘end of term party’ for the orchestra I play with. While other groups were playing, I had my hand on Flicker and Mrs T kept saying, “there it was”, “did you feel that?” and so on. And I might have felt it, but to be honest still couldn’t be completely sure I wasn’t just feeling Mrs T's reaction to her feeling it.

Tonight, though, things progressed: I was cooking dinner when she called through “Come and see this!” I assumed she meant something on the telly, so wandered through — only to find her with her belly out and an amazed look on her face. “Watch!”

And sure enough, bits of her tummy were suddenly sticking out here and there. I gently laid my hands on, and undoubtedly felt it for myself at last. And then watched it some more. And loved it.

Flicker — you’re a dancer already.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Mrs T is growing.

In size, certainly. Only a couple of weeks ago people were saying she didn't look as pregnant as she is, but now there's less escaping it. She's bought one pair of smart maternity trousers which she's living in at work (and slobbing it in jogging bottoms the rest of the time) and a few nice tops that are designed to grow with her and we hope will see her to the end. Most of her usual blouses are somewhat stretched now (and she hates it when the bits between the buttons gape open, so many are relegated to the “can't wear for a few months” pile).

But there’s another thing that’s growing: her excitement about Flicker. She’s feeling him* move every day and is now, I think, beginning to find it quite reassuring. She’s still not keen if he’s too active when she's teaching, or eating, or trying to get to sleep, but I think I can understand that.
I found her looking at the latest scan picture the other day and she admitted she often stops and looks at it. She’s even chosen a colour scheme for the guest room.

On Saturday we went to a local “Baby and Toddler Fair”. I guess I was more keen on the idea than Mrs T, but we went along and pottered around for a while. It was pretty much as I expected - lots of local traders and organisations touting for business - and we chatted to some about baby signing and toddlers’ cookery classes among other things. Inevitably there was a small range of buggies and prams, so we had a good look at one and a long chat with the shop owner about the range. Although I’ve been doing a lot of reading about them, Mrs T has just let me get on with it as we're not planning to do any nursery shopping until the new year. But when we got home, she said to me, “Do you know what? I'm quite looking forward to looking at buggies now.”

When the time comes for the buggy shopping to start in earnest, I’ve found that one of the big online retailers over here has a big showroom which is actually pretty nearby, so we’re planning a trip to try them all out for size, weight, foldability, manoeuvrability, handlebar height, and of course style. It pretty much goes without saying that the ones I like so far are among the most expensive on the market. Do’h!
Can you guess which ones?

* Usual disclaimer: for “him”, read “him or her”.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Back to hospital again today for the repeat scan following last week. Flicker was still not in an ideal position but the radiologist* did manage to get the views of the heart he wanted. And then he got us a couple of pictures including this one which has a pretty good facial profile. According to Mrs T's colleagues, Flicker looks like me.


(* Last week I called this chap a "sonographer". Today I checked his name badge, and it actually says "Senior Radiologist". Not the faintest idea what the difference is, but I thought I ought to get it right this time!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Mrs T.

Home from work: 5:40pm
Asleep on sofa: 6:00pm
Awake enough to eat dinner: 7:00pm
In bed by: 7:30pm
Fast asleep: 8:05pm

What was that I said about her having more energy?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bits and Bobs

Nearly a week since my last post. I don't know. It feels like there's quite a bit to mention, so I'll do a "catch-up", but I guess I'll still forget some stuff. Now, where to begin..?

Flicker seems to be coming on in leaps and bounds. Since Mrs T first felt him move a week or so back, she's been feeling him several times a day and is beginning to get used to the idea. A couple of days ago he was kicking away while she was eating, which she didn't enjoy, but she's not so squeamish about the whole movement thing now. I don't think I have felt any movement myself yet. Mrs T has had her hands firmly on her tummy while she's feeling movement on the inside and assures me that it can only very rarely be felt from the outside. We're back down to the antenatal unit on Wednesday for a repeat scan so the sonographer can measure the heart, so we'll get a sneaky extra peek at him! (Or her.)

Mrs T
Transformed! Since she was allowed to up her Thyroxine she's like a new person. Well, she's back to feeling herself again. The extreme of tiredness that had so drained her is gone, and she's able to work effectively and have energy for other stuff as well. We've started going for evening walks (so she gets at least some exercise) and even went out socially with friends last night. The nausea of a few weeks ago is long gone.

The name discussions continue. Girl's names are less of a problem, as we have more common ground, but we're assuming Flicker to be a boy (unless proved to the contrary!) so are concentrating our discussions on boy's names. (Hence referring to Flicker as "him" earlier: it just sounds nicer than "it".)

The name under discussion the most remains the old family surname I mentioned previously, which continues to grow on me. What I hadn't realised is that Mrs T has been mentioning it to a few people to start to gauge their reactions. So I've now started to do the same, and have so far had only positive comments. (Having said that, we could tell that our friends last night weren't sure what to make of it.)

One of our nephews has a unique name, so I asked his dad how people have reacted to them, and to him. They've had "almost universally positive" reaction (I didn't ask about the 'almost'), and are sure they made a great choice. I told him about our possibility and he said he liked it. It's "very distinguished and proper old school", apparently.

Mrs T's reservations are generally about how other children would react. (And that, at a very young age, that they may have difficulty even saying it.) I do see what she means, and respect her opinion as a teacher of young children and therefore someone greatly experienced in observing children's relationships, but I also feel that you're an adult for an awful lot longer than you're a child. I'm trying to see Flicker not only as a baby and then a child, but as a person. (I'm sure she is, too.)

Still no 'active' preparations, but we've now started to consider redecorating the guest room to await young Flicker's arrival, and to properly look at out finances to see where we need to tighten things. We've made contact with the local branch of the NCT but are yet to book in to ante-natal classes. We've discussed nappies (aiming to avoid disposables apart from travelling); feeding (breast); prams, pushchairs and carseats (what a variety!); and much more.

Enough for now! I must try to post more often and then they wouldn't get so rambling. To bed!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scan report

Today we had our 20 week scan. It's also known as the 'anomaly scan' and I'm delighted to report that Mr Sonographer could find no anomalies. Everything is tickety-boo, as I believe the phrase goes.

Spine - yes
Arms - two
Hands - two (fists)
Legs - two
Feet - two
Head - one (phew!)
Brain - all present and correct
Kidneys, stomach, miscellaneous abdominal organs - check
Face - hiding
Sex bits - didn't want to know
Placenta - positioned nice and high.

(God knows how he could make all this out from what mostly looked to us like random blobs around all over the screen, but hey, that's what he went to college for.)

The heart was pumping away solidly, but because Flicker wasn't being especially co-operative (ie, lying face down as low as possible) he couldn't quite get a clear enough view of all four chambers to tick all the boxes, so we're going back next week for another go.

Mrs T is feeling much more energetic since the new dose of Thyroxine kicked in, and is now allowing herself to get excited about the whole thing. It is exciting, isn't it?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Meet the family

When we first announced Mrs T was pregnant, a friend asked whether our cats were being clingy. At the time we hadn't noticed any changes, but a couple of months on we most certainly have.

We have two cats, sisters from the same litter, who were eleven years old in the summer. As kittens they loved each other and spend a lot of time together, but when we moved to our present home they each took their own territory and don't tend to like each other's company very much (unless they're ganging up against another cat in the garden). The both love Mrs T and like to be with her, but usually if one's in the room the other will tend not to come in. For the last few weeks, however, they have both been desperate to be her favourite. They will fight for the privilege of sitting on her lap and are now often to be seen sitting either side of her, even vaguely tolerating the other being so close, although always on the look-out for the opportunity to get even closer. In other words, yes: they have become the most hopelessly clingy cats in the world.

One thing they've never liked is children; quite what they'll make of Flicker we have no idea.

In other news, Mrs T told me tonight that she felt Flicker moving for the first time yesterday, and again today. Go Flicker!

And yet more "other news": I finally got around to contacting our IVF clinic today to let them know we wouldn't be needing their services after all. (We were booked in for an cycle in January.)