You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

My lovely American friend (the one who got married) made this animation for Bubble.

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Its been a while, but I’ve been busy. The following is what happens when you’re looking for things in other people’s trousers. This is a summary of my journey to the other side.

Dec

Got married on a snowy day when unbeknownst to us, there was the tiniest twinkle that made us three in total standing there instead of two.

Jan

I’m pregnant! Here began the constant weetabix eating, the copious snacks taken on every journey, the early nights, the slumping in a heap of nausea and exhaustion.

Voiced that I’d always fancied a home birth if ever I was to have a baby. Dad not keen, decided on birth centre as halfway house.

Feb

This is the coldest winter ever and I feel sick- but my boobs are growing and sex is great!

Watched an energetic thing the size of a newt jumping up and down and spinning around. Dad thought he saw a little willy.

12 weeks came and went, no sign of an end to winter or nausea.

March

The first antenatal class. It was a ‘look after yourself’ one that the partners weren’t invited to. Very good and informative, not the pointless waste of time I was convinced it was going to be. When the nurse asked if we had any questions, a woman put her hand up and said, ‘when will I have to stop lifting things? I’m not sure how long I can do my job.’ The nurse replied, ‘that depends what you are lifting, what do you do?’ and the woman replied (bearing in mind we are pretty much in central London), ‘I’m a blacksmith’. Straight up! I kid you not. Nobody laughed, but I bet like me they were all laughing inside.

Last gig with the band that changed my life, Gabby Young and Other Animals. Emotions running wild.

Sang in a lunchtime concert with the chamber choir, Tredici. The last one for me for a while.

There is one band where being pregnant was never an issue, I was in the majority as two-thirds of us were pregnant. The Mange Tout Mamas! We played at the TUC building where we rounded off an International Women’s Day event with a rousing chorus of ‘We are Family’. Indeed.

When out on my bike, I used to think of the small developing thing that was travelling with me. It struck me that for these months, whatever I was doing, I was never alone. I would feel the baby’s presence keenly when I was cycling, or in the warm seclusion of a bath. It was on my bike when I was ruminating on a fact which I’d read that at this point the baby had see-through skin. The lyrics of a song began to formulate around this in my head.

Talking of reading things, I was forever looking at week-by-week pregnancy guides in various books people had leant me, on different websites and the freebies I got from the hospital. It was exciting to find out what was going on in there, and I hungrily lapped up all the information I could get my hands on. But it had its drawbacks, like being told ‘by now you should be feeling a whole lot better’ when you feel awful, and the point at which they say you should be feeling your baby move. I felt nothing till a good few weeks after they told me I would. I was impatient for the sensation and started to worry, which of course was completely pointless and when it happened it was wonderful.

Played in Claire Benjamin‘s night, ‘Electric Lady Lounge’ along with a trumpeter and saw player. Fay Presto was the headline act, and she told my favourite joke of 2010.

‘I asked my niece what she wanted for her birthday. She replied, “an Action Man for my Barbie”. I told her, “Barbie doesn’t come with Action Man, she comes with Ken”. “No,” she said, “Barbie fakes it with Ken, she comes with Action Man.”‘

Boom boom!

I noticed that when you go out for a night where you would usually be necking back the booze, and you stay completely sober, you kind of feel a little tipsy anyway, with the vibe of the people around you. I returned home late all wired and full of stories, and had to convince Dad I had only had water all night.

16 weeks came and went, no sign of an end to winter or nausea.

April

I’m getting fatter!

Loved lying quiet and still on my back, waiting for little movements and kicks.

Choir trip to Madrid singing Beethoven’s 9th –  last concert with the Philharmonia Chorus for a while. Sat right behind the French horns hoping baby would hear, knowing it would feel vibrations. First proper heat of the year. Lovely. Slightly overdid walking through the city in a balmy evening with my super-fit friend. The next day every muscle in my body ached.

The 14th – a big day. We saw our lazy baby take a big yawn on screen. No little willy. Its a girl!

20 weeks came and went, nausea lifted, the skies cleared. Thank God, thank God. Goodbye sickness!

Hello mega heartburn.

May

Fatter still, starting to feel ungainly. The only time when I felt normal, free and healthy was when I was whizzing along on my bike. My daily routine involved quite a lot of this back then. People began to have concerns and I was constantly having to explain myself. But not everyone was doomy. Some thought it was sensible and impressive!

Baby seems to get hiccups every morning.

Took part in the recording of Tricity Vogue’s album, ‘The Blue Lady Sings.’

Recorded some music for my friend’s wedding in the US (accordion now quite heavy on my bump. Remember that, girls – if you get pregnant it will hamper your ability to play accordion – THINK TWICE) and wrote a round for her congregation to sing as she and her groom arrived. I made a recording of this to send to her guests so they could learn it. An angel in the form of a friend of hers who is also a composer made it happen. They had three conductors, no less! The result is on youtube, I was proud of them all.

After lots of reading, started to think about homebirth again. Wasn’t sure if Dad could be persuaded though.

June


Played in the last Tricity Vogue Slinktet gig. Enjoyed playing the part of a jilted lover for one of the songs in my rotund state.

Gave half my pupils away to another piano teacher. A weight off my shoulders. Things are getting serious now!

Antenatal classes. A large number of pregnant people (I wonder what the collective term is?) and partners crammed into a stiflingly hot room, having to sit still and take in two hours of information. But all the talk of the importance of a calm environment and this phrase from the midwife – ‘Giving birth is a state of mind’ made Dad comment afterwards that maybe a homebirth is not such a bad idea. Hooray!

July

Its official – I want to have a homebirth. I want to be in intimate familiar surroundings and not have to make a trip outdoors halfway through my labour. I asked the midwife at my check-up who said someone would ring me. ‘They’re very keen to find people who want a homebirth’. I wait but no one rings. I ring and ring different numbers from on my notes, leave messages, people promise I’ll get a call back. I don’t. How frustrating.

Played at my mum’s exhibition in Brick Lane with Kath Tait. As I was pregnant and she was menopausal, she suggested we call ourselves ‘Hormonal Imbalance’. Great to play with Kath again, and to get some guitar in before things change. My girl is having the widest range of music to float around to!

Recorded my song, ‘Bubble’ which was inspired by the thought of a tiny girl with the see-through skin.

August

 

I finally made contact and met my midwife – a very sweet, very laid-back West Indian Lady. She will now come to see me at home every week till we give her the call that the show has begun. Very exciting.

I’m cleaning everything, I’m putting up shelves, I’m painting dodgy bits of wall, I’m doing my tax, I’m sewing spongy underlay on the back of the living room rug, I’m making flapjacks, I’m washing and sorting into sizes a HUGE bundle of baby clothes I’ve been given from my friend with five kids who are all under seven years old.

Gave myself groin strain by reaching for something high up, one foot on a wicker chair, the other on a slightly higher, wobbly table. The stupidity of it was made more so by the fact I’d already been warned in no uncertain terms about it months ago by a friend on the choir tour. Her pregnant sister had got groin strain previously and she didn’t stop badgering me about it. Then I went swimming thinking it would help, but it made it worse and I had to just stop moving for two days. ‘Idiot’, I told myself. ‘so far along without a hiccup and then you go and arse things up this close to the birth’. It was painful, but it didn’t last.

Due date came, due date went.

September

Come on already! Baby was still no-where near engaged. Every week I had seen the midwife and confidently said, ‘I think her head is engaged’ – ‘no, it isn’t’. Poo. Dad’s off work. We’re doing long walks, I’m eating curry.

This pretty addition leant to me by a friend which I placed at the foot of my bed greeted me emptily every morning. It did not help my state of mind!

I’m bombarded with texts and emails asking for any news. There is no news, I’m in limbo. Bets are placed on various dates which all sail by uneventfully. I wanted her to have the birthday 8/9/10. She didn’t. On the 9th, we went for a waddle round Kew Gardens. I no longer believed I was going to have a baby at all. Later that night….