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conciouslyconcious

The ramblings and musings of a slightly eccentric thirty something year old.

Fish and Family

So.

Week 8 has been characterised by a gentle increase in appetite (much better than last week anyhoo) and persistent tummy cramps in the lower abdominal area. I’m in danger of bringing on the onset of repetitive strain injury as it feels like I’m wiping out my phone (on the hour) and reading up on every probable cause of every niggle (courtesy of  ‘The Bump’).

 Who am I kidding? I also like to look at the cute little pictures that show me how big the baby is week by week.

Raspberry

Computer says that  baby is currently as big as a raspberry and takes much joy in moving it’s arms and legs around like crazy!

(The mind boggles… cue mental image of my foetus performing the Nae Nae).

Dancing baby

 

 

And watch out for discharge! Apparently an abundance of discharge is rife around now. Apparently it’s normal (your body is over producing the stuff to protect your womb against infections) and until I read up on it I was freaking out slightly.

 

I had interactions with two really close family members this week (the ones that weren’t able to come round for Christmas), and what struck me was just how disinterested they were on finding out that I was pregnant for a second time. This was in stark contrast to the celebrations and fanfare which surrounded the announcement of my firstborn.

When pregnant with my son and throughout his infanthood – both women (one a staunch matriarch within our family and the other a very close older cousin), stepped in and played major roles in both guiding me on the practicalities of looking after a child and by often assisting me with childcare. I can honestly say I probably couldn’t have raised my first born without them.

Both women have always been very vocal about me having a brother or sister for my son so imagine my surprise (on telling them that I was pregnant again) when all it was greeted by was a shrug and a ‘that’s very nice dear’.

I guess I can put their reactions down to a couple of things;

  1. I’m a grown woman this time round (so they probably figure I can handle it better). First time round I was 18 and almost a child myself so probably more of a need to be there for me.
  2. The Matriarch (in the last 10 years) has gone on to amass no less than 10 grandkids of her own. While my son was the first in the family – she’s probably tired of making that excited face whenever someone announces that their pregnant. Again.
  3. Despite my understanding around this it still doesn’t make their reactions easier to swallow.

As a woman, a baby heralds a time of celebration, of friends and family members sharing in your good news and that collective joy that you hope to recount with them in years to come but sadly, not all of us get to experience that…..

And it got me thinking…..our perception and enjoyment of pregnancy often goes hand in hand with support from our family and when that isn’t there. When that’s lacking or when there aren’t other people to share your good news with, and without that….without people to share in your joy your perception of the whole experience can really get skewed.

Feeling alone and unsupported can really have an negative impact on your whole experience.

Perturbed (and frankly a bit saddened), I went home that day and told my hubby and you know what he did?

He gave me a big hug and said….

”It doesn’t matter – you have me”

And just like that everything was all better again.

 

On a final note

Genius Kids…….

So we’ve been getting into all these kiddie factual programmes which are absolutely fascinating (and also rate very highly on the entertainment factor scale – think ‘The Secret Life of 4 year olds’, and we came across a series about child geniuses.

In one episode, a mother with a 10 year old (whose IQ was on par with that of Einstein) divulged that she had snacked one tin of sardines every day throughout the whole 1st trimester and she was convinced that this was the reason for his mental prowess.

Now I ain’t no sardine lover……..but since HEARING THAT I’ve made it my life’s mission to consume one tin of sardines a day!

(Sardines are slimey as HECK but for that child genius I’ll happily give it a go – and who knows, being proactive now might save on private tuition fees later on:)

Sardines

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7 Weeks

So I’ve finally got over the irrational fear of going to pee pee (if you’re pregnant you’ll know exactly what I mean) and am starting to accept and embrace the physical aspects of being pregnant after what feels like a lifetime of  doing everything in my power ‘to NOT get pregnant’! (life is strange isn’t it)?

scary toilet

 

Symptoms

Unlike the first time (16 years ago!) I’m taking a painstaking interest in the babies week by week growth and development this time round. I’m taking my Pregnacare supplements religiously and I’m stocking up on the fruit and veg (although keeping up with the RDA is proving somewhat difficult with this bloody morning sickness that has just reared it’s ugly head).

So today I’m bang on the 7 week mark and the internet says the little sprog (that’s what we’ll call it for now), is as big as a Blueberry. In real terms it feels more like an orange though. I can pinpoint the exact part of my tummy where it must be sitting. It’s weird how you can almost feel it just ‘sitting there’.

fruit

The physical effects of being pregnant have really been making themselves felt over the past week or so. It went from nothing to:

Appetite Loss/ Nausea: So I’m not actually throwing up – but I walk around all day feeling like I’m about to throw up. By product of this is a complete lack of appetite which is virtually unheard of with me. I am a textbook grazer – since five I’ve been ‘the chubby one’ so at first not needing to munch on something every two hours was greeted with a certain joie d virie. Five days in (and at times going 6 hours without wanting to snack on anything) it’s started to admittedly get a bit concerning. I’m now physically forcing myself to eat and drink which is a bit nuts.

fat pic

No points for guessing which one is me 🙂

Sore boobs: Think someone scraping yer nipples with a cheese grater whenever ya swing em round too quickly. On Tuesday I had them pressed up against the wall radiator which seemed to work (don’t judge me – it was the only thing that seemed to offer some kind of pain relief).

Tiredness: Don’t get me started – I basically slept from Tuesday through to Friday of this week stopping only to watch back to back re-runs of Judge Judy and Cheaters on Wednesday (and even then that was indispersed with sleeping on the sofa in between).

Wind: Earlier in the week I had two days worth of bloating (accompanied with the farts) which was only made bearable by the fact that I was off work all this week (and could get away with sneaky silent ones when no one was around).

On a more serious note, since yesterday I’ve been experiencing intense dizziness  and lightheadedness. I’m sure this hasn’t been helped by my lack of food intake. Drinking Peppermint team, eating crackers and trying everything else that might aid to suppress the nausea. It’s funny – when I was pregnant with my son (as a teen mum 16 years ago) I don’t remember experiencing any of this at all.

 

Zee Physical

So the belly doesn’t look too out of the ordinary – possibly a little more rotund than normal but in a way that’s simillar to the bloating you get after eating too much bread or pasta. The top button on my stretch jeans feels a little too tight though and I’ve been walking around with them undone (which is okay for home but might not go down too well back in the office).

Other than the above my skin seems to be glowing – I mean really, really flawless (which I don’t understand) but hey – who am I to complain. I guess this just means that I can go easy on the foundation and concealer 🙂

 

Zee Family

So we told our immediate family this Christmas. We’ve just moved into a new house and I had 10 members of extended family sleep over for two days. It was an opp for me to show my mother in law that I can cook, keep a nice house and look after her son (she’s still speaking to me so I think I did okay)  – and it was after her prayer over Christmas day dinner – the one that went ‘Dear Lord, please give them a baby so I can become a grandmama’ that we broke the news to the group.

Cue rapturous screaming from the Mother in law (testimony that God moves quickly in her world) and general happy murmurings all around.

I guess that’s it for now. More next week.

Possibly.

 

 

Conflicting Feelings

black baby

So it’s been 6 months since my last blog post and in true fashion my life has been hurtling along at 150 miles an hour for God knows how long.

So the latest is I’m pregnant! After trying for 4 months, one false reading (it started to get a bit fraught after month 2), it finally happened.

Having a baby is never straightforward is it? It’s always emotional I guess….you have the women who feel absolute euphoria from the beginning, particularly if they’ve been trying for a baby for a while or feel secure within themselves. You have the women who feel fear from the beginning about possibly losing the baby and instantly wrap themselves both mentally and figuratively in a ball of cotton wool, and you have the women (who perhaps like me) find that they are not unhappy but absolutely terrified about the impact that the new addition will potentially have on their lives.

So I’ve been pregnant before. I got pregnant while in my first year of university. This was 16 looooong years ago and coming from a strict African family my dad was naturally furious at the time. I had shown alot of promise academically until that point and the general feeling (from my family) was if I went ahead and had this child I would basically become a nothing, a statistic, a woman on benefits who would most likely go on to a lifetime of missed opportunities for having a baby so young.

My feelings were conflicted back then. I can remember feeling very alone, I remember the ‘baby daddy’ not being very supportive and I remember crying alot as I tried to make a decision but I also remember feeling strong, optimistic and feeling that this baby would give me the determination and the focus to really make something of myself and prove everyone wrong.

I subsequently moved out of my parents home, went on to have that child and also went on to forge a long and successful career for myself in the City over the following 16 years.

And now – fast forward January 2016

black woman

I find that I’m having a baby again (recently got married) and while I have the most amazing husband I’m scared shitless (scuse the french) about what this will mean for me as a woman – an individual.

I’m an expert in my field but that doesn’t mean I’m indispensable. How will having a baby at this point in my life affect my earnings or prospects for promotion?

I’m intensely independent – I’ve always been able to pay my own way, taken pride in the fact that I can get up and go at a moments notice (locally, geographically). I’m not sure whether I’m really ready to have limitations imposed on me in this way?

My friendship circle is not as large as it was when I was younger – this has happened through a combination of working too hard and moving away from my extended friends and family in recent years (marriage, my old friends have also settled down and moved away – it happens). How will I manage without the support circle I enjoyed before?

And last but not least;

How will I cope with being financially dependent on my husband for 12 months or more? He’s more than happy to step up to the plate, but I’m finding it very difficult to reconcile the thought of having to ask him for money (for things that he might not deem as important), when I’m taking time off for maternity. I don’t want to have to ask him for money if my funds are low. I don’t want to be in the position where I have to haggle with him or have to explain the benefits of shellac nails versus acrylic nails for example or I would hate it if I had to go into detail over the benefits of buying say a Dyson hoover say over a Vax when I might ordinarily just go out and buy the one I wanted (with my own money) without having to pursuad him or even have the debate at all.

So in short;

  • I’m scared
  • I’m excited
  • I’m grateful (after a 16 year gap I wasn’t sure whether it would happen again)
  • But I am utterly, utterly terrified.

On the plus side  I feel that I’m going to enjoy the physical aspect of the pregnancy more this time round, but I can’t shake this feeling that there’s still more that I want to achieve in life and I’m not sure how becoming a mother in my mid thirties will fit in with this.

It’s almost like I’m about to wave goodbye to myself and any dreams and aspirations that I still have. There’s still so much more that I’d like to achieve in this lifetime.

Am I wrong to feel like this?

Am I the only person feeling like this?

 

 

 

Changes.

So I’m sitting here contemplating (on what the face of it), would appear to be one of the most crucial years of my life.There are very few moments in life like this. Times when you’re swept up in a whirlwind of change where you can quite literally (take a step back) and see that every single decision that you make at this point in time will have far reaching implications for you and the rest of your life as you know it. In the past I’ve been swept along by it. This time it’s different in that I’m fully in control of it.

Middle age Mile Stone

So I’ve just turned 35 and I remember being a fresh faced 16 year old thinking about all the things I would have achieved by now. Back then I considered 35 to be middle aged (now i’m here I feel anything but middle aged – more like a sprightly 25 year old), and when I think about where I’ve come from I guess I can justifiably be quite proud.

Getting Hitched – Milestone

I got married last year (October 2014) to an amazing man (one that I never thought existed). He proposed after two years and we wed after a two year engagement. A well known soul singer sang at our wedding  reception and it was wonderful. After getting pregnant at 18, splitting with my son’s dad and struggling throughout my 20’s to singlehandedly provide for my child (financially and emotionally), I had given up on ever finding ‘a decent bloke’.  Approaching 30 and with my son growing more independent by the day, I was getting ready to live out the remainder of my life as a MILF. I have a decent job, was planning on getting a fabulous car on HP and planning two holidays a year to Caribbean….. then this guy shows up (who totally wasn’t my type initially but he grew on me) and he turned out to be my knight in shining armour (ladies – it can happen, I found mine at 30).

Buying my first property – Milestone

I’m also very lucky in that I finally managed to get in the property ladder this year (after 15 fackin years of renting). No easy feat I can tell you, particularly as I have no degree, started out as a teenage mum (with no support from extended family), I live in London and spent most of my adult life single juggling continuous employment and singlehandedly raising my son. I’ve fought tooth and nail to keep a roof over my son’s head no matter what life has thrown at me and I always told myself ‘whatever you do anything in this life – make sure you leave something for your child’. With perseverance (and after embarking on a major mission to restore my dodgy credit score) I finally brought a two bedroom flat in West London’s Shepherds Bush in May 2014 (brought without my husbands help I hasten to add, this was something I had to do for myself). The purchase was my investment  – something that affirmed that the struggle has all been worthwhile and when I leave this earth it will go to my son (and now I know that I’ll die happy). I can breathe now. I feel like I did my bit for him and now I can relax.

I’ve lived in London all my life, and it breaks my heart to see the way things are going for the twenty-somethings downwards. How alot of the kids are being set up to fail with these extortionate university fees yet a lack of decent paying jobs. What kind of life are we leaving for our children? So much wrong with the UK at the moment but I’ll save that for another blog post……if I start moaning about London this  blog will turn into a dissertation.

Moving – Milestone

So along with this marriage malarky – all these other things come into play like ‘babies’, where are we going to live?, future priorities and a natural consequence of this has been a decision for us to move to a larger and more affordable family home in the suburbs. My two bed flat a stones throw from Westfields will no longer be sufficient to hold my current family  – plus the babas that will no doubt soon be coming our way. Everywhere is virtually unaffordable aside from East London – so we’ve just also completed on a 4 bedroom family house in Dagenham. This is obviously a major wrench for me. I’m moving from one side of London to the other (an hours drive from all my friends and family) and let’s not beat around the bush. The difference between where we’re moving from to where we’re moving to is pretty evident in all aspects from crime rates, to healthcare facilities to schools  (I raised an eyebrow when a friend referred to Dagenham as ‘Daggers’).  Despite my reservations (I’ve always been a risk taker never a follower) and moving now just feels right. Dagenham has no choice but to go up (despite what I’ve heard to the contrary) and if I still have this blog in 5 years time I’ll be able to give you an update on how we’ve got on.

It’s weird. As one chapter of my life closes it’s like another one is beginning and at 35 I feel like I’m being born all over again. This time my new world is being shaped by my choices rather than as a result of circumstance and while I’m a bit nervous I’m also excited about what my future will bring.

Brave new world 🙂

Chuckle

Sipping a 7up and reminiscing on a convo I had with my son when he was three.

We were walking home hand in hand from nursery at the time.

Son: Mummy – we can’t stop off at the park today because it’s getting dark and I might get lost.

Me: Yeah.  Mummy would be very sad if you got lost.

Son: ……I will cry and go to sleep on the big swing.

He does make me laugh 🙂

That usually depends on who you’re asking (your mum, your significant other, your best friend). This week there’s no denying that one bum has taken it to a whole ‘nother level of big bum-ness irrespective of which way (or which angle) you look at it.

Kim Kardashian’s derriere made it’s debut this week on the front page of ‘Paper’ magazine and you have to hand it to her. In today’s salacious and media driven environment it takes a lot to generate news that’s worthy of making even Hugh Heffner’s jaw drop. Since her first very public outing (sex tape anyone)?, it would appear on reflection that Kimmy has spent the last 11 years engineering both her professional profile and personal relationships to the point where she is now arguably one of the most photographed and influential women in the world.

Bimbo accusations and arguments of feminine objectification aside – one can only conclude that behind the huge eyelashes and vacant smile there indeed lies someone with a steely resolve, both a shrewd business woman and opportunist who refuses to lay down and accept the limitations that anyone or anything puts in her path. Put it down to a ‘domineering’ Mother if you like….Kim has three other sisters and a brother whose own exploits can’t compare (Kim Kardashian dix poi/ Robert Kardashian nil poi).

How many of us would have shrunk into obscurity and shunned the spotlight following the leak of OUR very own sex tape? I for one would have booked myself onto the first Malaysia Airlines plane going to nowhere. . Remember – this is a woman who once played second fiddle to Paris Hilton (Paris who)? A virtual nobody who played third, fourth, fifth fiddle to a once well known RNB star (Ray-J who)? My point exactly!

When it comes to turning something to her advantage Kimmy ain’t playing.

And while her ability to turn every cloud into a silver lining is admirable (a non tech entrepreneur launching one of the most successful apps of 2014 – scandal!), one can’t help feeling that this latest venture is a step too far. This week’s ‘Paper’ feature struck a cord with me for all the wrong reasons. The action smacks of someone who is desperate to keep the limelight on herself at all costs and Twitter retweets (and Instagram likes aside), I fear the future ramifications of this on her daughter really haven’t been thought through. While growing up in a showbiz family will surely reduce North West’s sensitivity to the press – I can’t help putting my feet in her shoes. At this point she’s probably oblivious to the furore being generated by her mother. Fast forward 15 years and you can imagine the awkward conversations round the dining room table when the timeline of her mothers ascent to fame and fortune are presented to her. Probably going to lead to some awkward moments at private school aswell.

Madison: ‘Well my mummy said your mummy was a hoe’…..

Northwest: *silence*

 

 

There’s always home – schooling I guess.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that Kim is proud of her body – but the message I’m getting is that pleasing the public is worth more to her than her daughter’s spiritual and emotional wellbeing. I can understand a woman’s decision to pursue this route if it’s the only option to feed, cloth her family or provide them with a good education (I’m not a member of the Amish community). I could understand it if  this feature followed an extended period of  being overweight (i.e. in celebration of getting your body back). In this case Kim’s action clearly isn’t spurred by either –  with Kim’s existing personal wealth, a wealthy husband, wealthy family and participation in the Bound two video (to add fuel to the fire), material desperation can probably be safely ruled out.

Time to put the Louboutins and baby oil away? I think so – if not for her baby at least for her future sanity. Continue reading “Does My Bum Look Big In This?……”

Downloading…..

In short. Therapy. First blog post and already it feels good to be writing this.

So I used to write a diary. Mainly in my teens, for years and years. I’m not sure why I stopped although in hindsight it did coincide with when I became happy. Deep down happy. Really, really happy and just happier with life in general. I started writing a diary in 1992 and continued right through until 2010.

So I’m not pissed off or anything – and now, I when I look back over my old diary entries I do chuckle (did I ‘really write that!’), and as we’ve progressed in the intervening years from putting pen to paper (to putting fingers to keypads) I want to bring it back. I actually wanted to start a Private You tube vlog (just for myself), but given all the Iphone expose’ crap that’s going on (plus the fact that I get no fackin privacy in my own damn haaaus!) – I figured blogging is a tad safer.

Grabbing your thoughts and arranging them so they’re fully visible is cathartic to say the least.Partly because it allows you to sit back and really process what you’re thinking. Partly becasue it gives you an amazing insight into where you were back then and where you are right now. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and in the same token, so are memories.

So I’ll be writing about my life. About what I like (and what or who I don’t like). I make no apologies for spelling, grammar or swear words (my blog remember). Names, geographical references and titles will be changed to protect the innocent. You’re welcome to follow if you like (although you don’t have to) & last (but not least) insightful comments welcome.

Butterfly

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