Monday, 19 August 2013

The perils of a sickness bug and missing birthday plans

I’m really glad last week is over.
It began in its usual manner, full of hope and plans. Then it spiralled gloomily downhill, until I was thankful to see the back of it.
Monday was fine, the start of a brand spanking new week. Clean diary pages in the office, awaiting for tasks in anticipation for my maternity cover. A trip to the supermarket, our favourite meals sought, with tubs of cookie dough ice-cream for pure indulgence.
Tuesday followed pleasantly enough, the sun was still shining, and receiving email correspondence from friends is always nice. Fresh floral sheets covered the bed, after a long soak in vanilla essence bubble bath.
Wednesday I allow myself to look forward to the following weekend, without fearing I’m wishing my life away. Arrangements were made for husband’s birthday, the promise of chocolate brownies, and the company of family and friend’s.
And then Thursday struck. Without prior warning, out of the blue, it happened. 
I awoke feeling sick. I tried to shrug it off, “It will pass,” I naively told hubby, as I forced myself to eat my two Weetabixs.
It did not pass. I spent a rather unpleasant car journey, followed by two trains commutes, accompanied with an unwelcome queasiness.
I arrived at the office, fearing the worst. I could no longer contain myself, I rushed to the ladies and violently vomited. Twice.
I thought I would then gradually feel better. Alas, the opposite occurred, gradually I felt worse. Two separate trips to perform the same action were necessary. I was deteriorating.
A concerned Mark (I'd e-mailed him body function updates) left his office to collect me and assist me to the doctors. Being pregnant, it’s not only my health I have to fret over but the health of the unborn child inside me. How could I provide him with essential nutrients whilst this bug was causing such havoc? And what if this was something more sinister than a common, sickness bug?
It wasn’t anything sinister. The doctor informed me he’d seen five different people in his surgery with the same condition. He also assured me that the baby could feed from my placenta, although it was important I did not dehydrate. Therefore, he prescribed me tablets to banish my sickness, and drinks to rehydrate my body.
Finally, I arrived home and headed back to the safety of my bed. Mark concocted a blackcurrant rehydration drink for me to sip, and I eagerly swallowed a tablet to aid my recovery. I tried to sleep, but by this time my body was shivering and burning feverishly hot. I tried to position myself comfortably, which is hard to do with a large baby bump. (Cute bump has been replaced with feeling like the size of a small kingdom.)
At last, the tablet kicked in, I stopped constantly feeling on the verge of vomiting, and my body surrendered to peaceful sleep.
I was advised by the doctor to starve the germ. This resulted in a new sickness; the terrible hunger pains in the pit of my stomach, when I stirred from my sleep. But I was determined to beat this bug.
So Friday was a weak day. Another trip to the doctors was required for temperature and baby position check, and a cancellation for Mark's family birthday meal.
A cancellation for Mark’s family birthday meal! This was not pleasing. Unfortunately I was informed I could still be contagious to other humans, and plain food was essential for the healing process. So no chocolate brownies for me. Not to mention the guilt I felt that Mark’s birthday meal was replaced by a night on the sofa, gingerly nibbling on toast (spicy take away pizza for Mark).
Saturday was not a good day either. We'd arranged a friend's lunch for Mark's birthday, with pre-drinks in our garden. But I still felt weak and woozy. I couldn't risk passing it onto two pregnant ladies, three young children, and seven other adults. I couldn't stand the guilt of Mark missing another planned event, so I insisted he still went ahead, and met his friends in the pub opposite. I reluctantly sat on the sofa, dozing, feeling sorry for myself, and watching rubbish television.
You'd think Sunday might have improved, alas it was not so. I was gradually feeling better, yet a hungover Mark was not. I was itching to leave the house but birthday Mark wanted to watch cricket. All day long. You might or might not know, I detest cricket. As it was his birthday and I'd mucked up his arrangements all weekend, how could I refuse?
I'd rather not dwell on Sunday and the torture of watching grown men throwing balls and trying to hit them with pieces of wood. (Apologies if I've offended any hard core cricket fans.) 
Yes, I'm really glad last week is over. 
How easy it is to take our health for granted, until something reminds us how fragile and vulnerable we can be. 
This week I am obsessed with dirty germs, scrubbing my hands and surfaces with anti-bacteria wash. I'm dosing myself with fruit and vegetables, hoping my body will forgive me for the lack of vitamins I've allowed it over the latter part of last week.
And I'm so excited about the prospect of a weekend away from my bed and sofa. 
Roll on the busy weekend, and a germ free, healthy, non-vomiting body. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Prince George

Could you imagine buying your weekly groceries, hunting around in your purse/wallet to pay for your tins of baked beans and packets of frozen peas (or whatever you’d purchased), and staring right back at you, on your crumpled £20 note, was a picture of your nan?
Would you find this a teeny bit weird?
Or maybe it would be even weirder if you couldn’t purchase your groceries at your leisure, for fear of press intrusion. Huge camera lenses flashing before you as you reached that shelf to remove the washing powder.
Or even worse, if you walked along the streets without the security of a body guard, you were risking life and limb with the threat of kidnappers.
Is this the way you’d like to conduct your life?
It’s not the life for me.
I’d rather have anonymity and freedom, than history and privileges.
I’m trying to imagine being part of the Royal Family. In particular, putting myself in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (expensive, shiny) shoes.
It’s not something I often think about, I am not an obsessive Royalist. However, recently I have been pondering about such situations, due to the birth of their child, Prince George, who happens to be third in line to the throne.
As soon as it was announced the Duchess of Cambridge had arrived at St Mary’s hospital, to give birth to our future King or Queen, the UK press and newsrooms were in a frenzy for snippets of information.
For hours reporters stood outside the hospital, commenting and speculating, and waiting for the first picture of the little Prince or Princess.
I couldn’t help feeling a tad sorry for the new mum. Labour must be exhausting enough, without knowing most of the country is waiting for you to leave hospital and wondering what dress you’ll be wearing/if you’ll have a flat tummy/what your son or daughter will look like.
For the record, it was a blue and white polka dot dress, she still had a tummy (she may be a member of the Royal family but she’s not super human), and he looked like, erm, a baby.
But she looked lovely, happy, beaming, and calm. Posing for photographs and waving at the crowds.
I’m not sure if I will be looking half as decent as her after enduring hours of labour. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t.
I imagine I’ll have a make-up free, pale and exhausted face. My lank and sweaty hair tied back, and wearing whatever outfit I can fit in/remembered to pack in my panicked frame of mind before leaving for the hospital.
But I wouldn’t wish for it to be any other way.
Sometimes, I’m glad I’m just common old me, living my easy, modest life.
Oh and welcome to this crazy world, little Prince George.